Chew On It
Blogs » Chew On It
By Andrew Kochirka GoErie.com staff blogger
Food has been an integral part of Andrew's life from a young age; from cooking with his mother and grandmother to creating recipes in his own kitchen. Now he scours the area's non-chain restaurant scene to find the best of the best of local food from chicken wings to French cuisine.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-878-2230
Posted: July 22nd, 2014

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Last Wednesday evening, Amanda and I had our first visit to the newly opened Cloud 9 Wine Bar at 25 E. 10th St. We arrived, without reservations, around 6:30 and had no problem getting a table. Our server, Cassie, came by with menus and left to get us some drinks. We spent some time looking around the restaurant, checking out the decor, wine tap system, and the chalkboards above the bar advertising wine, beer, specials, and desserts. Appetizers were our main focus so we took a few minutes to decide on some starters to share. We settled on the Crispy Duck Egg, Crispy Pork Belly, Duck Wings, and the Spring Salad.

cloud9_duck-egg

Our food took some time getting to our table, so we sat patiently, observing other patrons’ menu selections. Cassie brought all of our dishes to the table and walked us through each one. The first item up was the Crispy Duck Egg. A golden brown breaded duck egg was nestled on a bed of risotto that contained chunks of pancetta, burnt onions, and whole sprigs of thyme. It looked fantastic, but then things went a bit downhill. She picked up a small pot of bouillon and poured it over the crispy egg. Liquid and fried food don’t mix, so the egg ended up being anything but crispy. I wanted to try the risotto alone before I broke the egg open. It was creamy with a wonderful al dente texture. The pancetta added some saltiness with a touch of crunch. The burnt onions seemed out of place, but the sweetness that came from the caramelization was nice. I broke into the egg with my fork, causing the yolk to coat the risotto in even more creamy richness. Unfortunately, the egg itself was almost flavorless. Due to the moisture from the bouillon, the breading slopped off with every forkful. I would love to try this if it was kept crispy, but the risotto was delicious enough on its own.

cloud9_pork-bellyNext came the Crispy Pork Belly. A piece of pork belly was placed on top of a slice of burnt pineapple and served with shaved fennel, pickled green tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction. There was a dusting of some chili powder, but it wasn’t enough to really impact the overall flavor of the dish. The belly itself had great flavor, but was definitely approaching a “too dry” level of texture. The crispy top fat layer had the crispness that the duck egg lacked. I would have loved a creamy or sweeter element on the plate with the pork belly to help balance out the acids from the combination of vinegar, pickled vegetables, and pineapple.

cloud9_spring-saladWe moved on to the salad. The Spring Salad was a mixture of arugula and spinach mixed with chopped asparagus, sliced strawberries, feta cheese, and spicy cashews, all tossed in a caper-tarragon vinaigrette. This was a simple salad that I could easily eat again. Everything was fresh and well-balanced. The sweetness from the strawberries and asparagus, the refreshing spinach, peppery arugula, the spice from the cashews, creamy feta cheese, and the bright acidic dressing. Every bite was packed with flavor and the last few forkfuls were the best part.

cloud9_duck-wingsFinally were the Duck Wings. Five duck “drums” were fried and coated with cassis blackberry jalapeño sauce which is the medium heat option of the three sauces available (Ghost Honey Garlic and Maple Mustard Stout are the other two choices.) The duck itself was succulent and tender. However, the sauce was lacking in heat and overall flavor. It was overpowered by the oil flavor from the fryer. Next time, I would ask for a side serving of sauce so I could add more or even mix flavors.

Certainly nothing we ate was bad, but our experience did have its ups and downs. Attention to detail is absolutely crucial to make sure every plate is balanced, flavorful, and executed with correct technique. Hopefully the issues we experienced are just new restaurant kinks that will be worked out as the menu and restaurant move forward. The number for information is 870-9007. The hours of operation are daily from 11 a.m. to midnight (or later) with dinner being served from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Keep sending me your recommendations for local favorite comfort foods to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew – Beard vs. Food

Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Appetizers
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 15th, 2014

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter! Rory’s Ristorante, formerly known as L’Olivo, is located inside of La Nuova Aurora Society at 1518 Walnut St. Amanda and I had the first reservation at 6:00 on Friday evening. Just as we were being seated, patrons […]



Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 8th, 2014

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter! It has been a few months since I have been to Pineapple Eddie. I made reservations for Amanda and I at 6:30 on Thursday night and when we arrived, were seated in the lower dining room by […]



Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 1st, 2014

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter! Summer is starting and my second burger tour is coming to an end. I had the opportunity to try 27 different burgers during my eight week tour.  There were some that I was glad to have gotten […]



Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 25th, 2014

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter! For my last stop on my second burger tour, I ended up at the Freeport Restaurant in North East.  I was joined again by my coworker, Steve Anthony. We made our way through the vineyards on Route 5 […]



Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in: Uncategorized
Subscribe to Make It Erie newsletter
Marnie Mead Oberle serves up delicious recipes each week in her Make It Erie newsletter, the only place you can ask Marnie for the recipes for pepperoni balls, ox roast, pierogis and perch (and many more hometown secrets). Click here to have Make It Erie delivered to your email inbox every Wednesay.

Switch to our mobile site