It's hard for me to keep up with reporting on the restaurants we are visiting. At this rate you'll think we never eat at home and your over 50% correct.
Our good friend Danny Meyer, in his book "Setting the table" made a very telling point of the difference between Service and Hospitality. Last night at The Quarter Bistro, 6904 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, OH 45227--513-271-5400. The point was driven home once again.
The Quarter Bistro, in the heart of Mariemont, next to the Mariemont theater, was certainly a swinging place at 8 o'clock on a Friday night. There is a bar and tables inside and out. The decor is upbeat and so is the service and the crowd.
We were having dinner with a couple 49 and 51, our friends are all ages and all types. Our table was ready when we arrived, honoring a reservation, a nice touch. After a short chat with one of the past Music Director's former wives, but that's another story, we were seated and order a drink or wine, by the glass. Our server informed us that there were only 3 Sea Bass specials remaining and I ordered one. he others ordered Seared Ahi Tuna and a large Cobb salad, as their entrees.
In just a few minutes the Asst. Manager appeared and told us that the kitchen had made a mistake in it's count and that there were no more specials left. He offered to substitute, anything on the menu for the Sea Bass and that The Quarter would pick up the cost, not just the difference. I offered to pay some or all but he politely refused. My arm twists easily. I choose the Lobster Ravioli, not the most expensive entree.
The 3 dinners come with a choice of salad, with the dressing served "on the side" in a very attractive, tall, thin vessel with each salad. They were cold and crisp and the dressing( house) had a pleasant tang.
The tuna was barely seared and was served Sushi style, with all the accompaniments. The Cobb salad was chopped, generous and topped with a large portion of Guacamole. The Ravioli as well prepared, tasty but slightly salty. I'm not used to much salt and so this report is to my taste.
One cup of coffee and a bill, before the deduction of approximately $55/person. Desert was down the street at Graeter's, Chocolate Chip with raspberries. Thinning conclusion for the evening.
I'm old enough to remember when I bought lunch for a dollar, including a 10% tip. Times have changed and it is hard for me to rate restaurant prices today, with over $3 gasoline. I'm sure Cincinnati is reasonable compared to New York but when I get over $50 a head I take notice.