John Wine Snob says:
Oddly, Edwardsville, Illinois, my old college town has an inordinate number of first rate restaurants. I say oddly because most small Midwestern cities are no nonsense meat and potatoes kind of places. My friends Kent and Bonni took me to a restaurant called Cleveland Heath. We had a terrific hostess, a great young waiter, and a nice and enthusiastic dessert lady. The owner herself was cooking that evening. We sat al fresco in a kind of hipster alley that ended up being weirdly cool. My summer weakness for Tempranillo led us to order a bottle of Abadia Retuerta Tempranillo 2009 from Spain for $57. It was a great wine which I will get back to after a discussion of the food. The appetizer of Spanish chestnut raised jamon with Spanish bleu cheese and a cherry sauce with crusty bread could not have been a better way to start. I love duck and have had it in restaurants all over the world, but the one I had at Cleveland Heath was by far the best ever. We split a beet salad with locally grown greens, radishes and locally produced cream. Absolutely amazing. There was also the Gazpacho to beat all Gazpacho. Kent also had the duck and Bonni had some boffo shrimp tacos. Ok, so then there was the wine. This Tempranillo was just what the Dr. ordered on a sultry, humid, Midwestern evening. Chilled just slightly, it was light and airy like a Tempranillo should be. There was a bit of a twangy spice to it, and we all spoke of our different Tempranillo experiences in Spain. My story was about an outdoor bistro, not actually in Spain, but Andorra, with French relatives and pepper steaks. But my digression is meaningless. The Tempranillo was about perfect for summer, so I will give it 4 stars.