This week, in lovely weather, we ate at two different spots taking advantage of their decks. It's a great time of year, with few bugs, a beautiful setting sun and just the right evening temperature.
"Knotty Pine on the Bayou" 6720 Licking Pike, Cold Spring, KY-859-781-2200 has a lovely deck, overlooking the Licking River and delightful food to enhance the view. We had eaten there once before, at least 5 years ago, and were not impressed. Lee Comisar, of Maisonette fame, told me that they had small frogs legs and so I set my sight on going there and trying for myself. I was not disappointed. The server, a young women, was not only attentive but knowledgeable and guided the three of us thru an excellent dining experience.
I had, the a fore mentioned, frogs legs, sauteed in a light butter and wine sauce, although they will fix, almost, anything you order in the manner one wishes. The crisp mixed green salad was very good with a choice of a number of dressings, some made in house, but the rice, my poor choice over redskined potatoes, was ordinary, although they did offer gravy for the rice, which I refused. The waitress had suggested ordering an order of Etouffee to use as a sauce for the excellent "pan seared" Grouper, Marlyn and our other guest had. The Etouffee had small shrimp and pieces of crab along with the other ingredients. It was properly spiced and I ate my share without the need for any accompanying seafood. The collard greens were well prepared but came in a bowl with too muck "pot liquor" which absorbed the wine vinegar and other seasonings.
For desert we split their version of an Opera Cream Cake, good, but we'll stick to Bonbonerie.
"Lavomatic Cafe and Wine Bar, 1211 Vine St., Cincinnati-513-621-1999 is just a few doors up, north, of the Ensemble theater and thus makes a perfect spot before or after the show. We went, also, with another person before and had plenty of time for dinner and coffee.
This is one of the Jean-Robert's restaurants which operate in conjunction with his main spots downtown. We ate on a rooftop deck between two buildings but with plenty of open space. I started with a "Butter Lettuce" Salad with shaved beets and fennel and a creamy lemon dressing and followed with a sizable Pot of Chili, served in a metal pot with a lid and ladle. The chili was loaded with beef and, of course, the requisite amount of beans. I washed it down with a Draft Ale, which held me thru the show. Marilyn had a cheese tarte, which resembled a pizza on thin crust. It was a good stop although I still like the lunch menu more than that offered in the evening.