Intro to Lake Erie Shores, Ohio

When I received an email inviting me to Lake Erie Shores, Ohio, I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. I write mostly about luxury travel, or areas with a lot of great food and wine. I wasn’t sure there would be enough in this area for me to cover.

I began to rethink the destination after visiting Buffalo and Niagara Falls. I couldn’t help but to wonder about what was on the other side of Lake Erie. I contacted Chad Whaley, who handles PR for Lake Erie Shores & Islands.

My schedule was pretty full, but we came up with a three day introduction to the area that he was sure would be enough to make me come back for more.

My friend Lisa and I drove to Sandusky, Ohio, the center of Lake Erie Shores. It took about seven hours and the ride became more scenic as we continued. I loved the weeping willows welcoming us just as we entered the city.

We were given a house on the bay side (Lake Erie is on one side and Sandusky Bay on the other) that was just perfect for our short getaway. It was one of many available to rent in this area. This one had three bedrooms, a large kitchen, a dining room with sliding doors for a view of the bay, an enclosed porch and a deck outside. We also had our own dock.

Lisa and I each picked our bedrooms upstairs. I chose a rather large one with a closet that stretched the whole room, a sitting area and a private bath. We were relaxing a bit before dinner when I received a call from Chad. “Would it be alright if we picked you up by boat?” he asked. My answer was “of course,” and I excitingly went to tell Lisa the news.

Chad and his brother/partner Ryan at our dock a few minutes later in a beautiful boat. It was a warm and clear night and we enjoyed the ride and the scenery. We had even had a nice view of Cedar Point Amusement Park as we made our way to the dock in downtown Sandusky about 20 minutes later.

We walked from the boat dock to Crush Wine Bar & Kitchen Bar. Chad and Ryan had recommended it as the menu was international and they also had lots of small plates, wine by the glass and brews. The dishes by Chef Cesarre also have an emphasis on using local products whenever possible, in a menu that changes seasonally.

As we enjoyed some wine, I looked over the menu. There was so much on it that sounded wonderful and it was hard to narrow down my choices. Fortunately the others felt the same way and we decided to do a lot of sharing.

First came the small plates. We ordered the Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Beet Salad, Bacon Wrapped Dates and Shoestring Poutine. I don’t know if I can tell you which I enjoyed more, but I can say the Poutine was the best I’ve ever had.

My dinner was the Parpadelle, served with three types of mushrooms and roasted garlic. It was full of flavor and much more than I could finish since I also had some of Ryan’s fabulous Macaroni & Cheese, the Crush version with chicken and penne in a sauce filled with cheese.

Lisa loved her Fruitti di Mare, with scallops, shrimp, calamari and white wine on linguine and Chad got the same dish as me with salmon added.

We were just about to say “no” to having room for dessert when presented with the possibility of the Chocoholics Anonymous. As a true chocoholic, there was no way I could say “no.” Ryan was with me and we both indulged in the richest, most chocolatey dessert I’d ever have. It was so incredible that I don’t even remember looking at the plate to see what Chad and Lisa had!

It was getting dark so we drove back to the house. We went by Cedar Point Amusement Park, which was all lit up and about to close. We had a very full day planned as we were taking the ferry to one of the islands (Put-in-Bay) before a very special dinner. Lisa and I chatted a bit before going to our bedrooms for the night.


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