Friday, May 30, 2008

the Summit

Last night 4 of us went to "the Summit" at the Midwest Culinary Institute at "Cincinnati State. It opened about a week ago, to the public. It is in the main building, on their campus and is most easily reached off of lower Ludlow Ave. They can be contacted either by phone at 513-569-4980 or by email at The hours of operation are Thursday through Saturday 5:30 to 9 PM.
"The Summit" is a wonderful dinning room, staffed by students, and functioning as a "real time" training ground for the culinary students. There are two full time professionals: the Executive Chef-Matthew Winterrowd and the Dining Room Manager-Donna Schmitt.
Please keep in mind in reading my comments that this is student run and operated with only a slight amount of professional supervision.
They are able to serve wine and beer and there is a nice wine list, appropriately priced. The four of us shared a bottle of Pinto Nor, although as unusual Marilyn doesn't keep up her end.
For my first course I ordered the Soft Shell crab(1) appetizer. It is served with Black Beans, Avocado, Lime and Chilies. The crab was sauteed perfectly, however I found the chilies slightly overpowering for the light taste of crab. The presentation is very attractive. The others had Water crest salad, with dried figs, and a mixture of green and white Asparagus with a lovely light dressing. As usual I'll only comment on items I order, personally, but I must add that all four of us were pleased, through out, with our selections and their preparation.
My main course was Rack of Lamb served with Cous-Cous and a Mango Curry cleverly infused in a cooked egg yoke. The other accompaniment was cauliflower mixed with chopped almonds.
The rack was two small chops accompanied by several small pieces of lamb shank. The sauce was an interesting combination of meat, mint and curry flavor and went well with the lamb.
The others had Crisp Duck Breast, a main course portion of the "Soft Shells" and a main course portion of Risotto, about which the other male raved all evening.
We ended by splitting the Artisanal Cheese Course, which they request be ordered early so as to reach room temperature, by serving time and a Strawberry mouse served on a small baked torte with some freeze dried strawberries, a first for me.
Overall I would rate the evening a hugh success and my hat is off to the two professionals. My constructive comments to these two were that the service needs more attention and that my ribs needed more trimming and my main course could have been hotter. Not bad for a dinning room and kitchen where the staff will rotate constantly.
As mentioned before the presentation and the flavors were excellent and we will return.

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