I never know whether people like comments grouped or listed separately. When they are grouped someone can scan and read what they want. On the other hand if anyone wants to look up something it is usually easier to find it under a separate heading. Maybe a couple people, who check the Blog, will make their feelings known by clicking on comment.
Baba India Restaurant, 3120 Madison Ave, 45209, phone 321-1600. is owned by the same people who own Ambar in Clifton. The selections are almost identical and the cooking does not vary. They both serve very good, standard, India food in an atmosphere that is more functional than decorated. There is a large selection with vegetable dishes being predominant. There are also the usual lamb, chicken Nam and a few sides.
We usually split a spinach and mushroom order and also one of cauliflower. That plus an Onion or Garlic Nam and accompanying order of rice, which comes with every main course, is sufficient for Marilyn and me. The only discussion that can get heated (not a pun) is the amount of seasoning. She is 0 while I am a 3 or 4. The usual compromise is either one or two depending on who prevails that evening.
The service is usually efficient and you can be in and out in an hour, if you need to be. Pricing with a side of cucumbers in a Yogurt sauce is usually under $15 each without beer, wine or tip.
Celestial Steakhouse, 1071 Celestial St, 4502, phone 241-4455, is the current incarnation of the Celestial Restaurant which has been a fixture in the Highland Tower, Mt. Adams, for may years. If I am correct it has been French, Italian, Eclectic and is now a steakhouse, serving beef, lamb and seafood. On our visit a week ago we chose one beef and one chicken. Marilyn had a romaine salad while I stuck with the Iceberg Wedge. The dressing, we chose were very good and the helpings adequate if not large. I had a beef short rib which was quite tasty but had not been closely trimmed and so had excess fat. Short ribs by nature are not a lean cut. Marilyn chose Chicken Scaloppini which she reported was very good. Both came with sides and garnish. We had a medium/high price bottle ($45) of a good Italian Red which we split with the other couple, and Marilyn finished with coffee. The tab was about $45 each, without tip.
Service was very attentive and everything came as ordered and advertised. The room and view have always been attractive and the table placement makes for easy conversation. It's one more steakhouse, of which Cincinnati has many.
Lavomatic Cafe and Wine Bar, 1211 Vine St. 45202, phone 513-621-1999 is half a block north of the Ensemble Theater, in a part of "over the Rhine" which is being rehabbed. It's a long narrow room with brick walls and a bar running for quite a length against the south wall. There is seating at the bar as well as tables. I was there twice within 18 hours.
Sunday night Marilyn and I went with a wonderful, outgoing, attractive 40 year old women and her mixed gender 5 year old twins, two cuties. She was widowed before they were born when her husband was killed in a car accident. The family is super and we enjoy out time with them.
I had a large helping of beef chili loaded with beef. Marilyn had a Tarte Flambee consisting of a thin crust, Gruyere Cheese, melted and topped with Bacon and sauteed onions. I had a very good glass of Rhone. I, of course, helped the twins with their grilled cheese and cherry sandwiches; they had emptied two baskets of bread. I enjoyed my meal as did the rest of the table.
The next day I returned for lunch and was surprised to find the menu somewhat different.
I ordered a Muffoleeta Sandwich which was a disappointment. It was much to dry and I hasted to tell the manager of duty,when she asked. She took the comments as constructive, as they were meant.
Lavamatic is the newest creation of Jean-Robert and the Wades and follows closely on the heels of the opening of Chalk in Covington.
There are kinks to work out, the restaurant was understaffed Sunday evening and the food needs some "tweaking" in my opinion but it is basically a good place and deserves support for all who want to see the city revitalized, and like good wine and interesting food.