Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Rookwood

"The Rookwood Bar and Restaurant", 1077 Celestial St., Mt. Adams, Cincinnati, OH 45202-513-421-5555. Has changed it's name, slightly, and it's ownership and it's menu. We went there last night, with another couple. It is the same relaxed bar and restaurant but the menu seemed a bit smaller and the food a bit better. It's a fine place to go for a pleasant bite and good conversation.
Dress is very casual and the food comes from the kitchen hot and promptly. There is full bar service and choices from appetizers to desserts.
I chose one of the specialty burgers, of which there are 6 or 8. Mine was loaded with crushed avocado, grilled bacon, grilled onions and lettuce and tomato, all top with a jalapeno mayo. I asked that they leave the jack cheese off this combination. It is served on a toasted, buttered bun along with kettle chips; french fries, which looked good are at an "up charge". It was delicious and plenty. The draft beer selections are fine but there are only 3 of them plus a dozen or so bottled beers. Wednesday is half priced wine night but since I was the only drinker we passed. Marilyn had a plain Cheeseburger while the other couple both had grilled chicken breast sandwiches. The other man had the homemade chili which was hot in temperature, medium in spice and quite thick. Pricing runs $15 to $20 per head, including tip, depending on the item and the drinks.

Sunday we were lounging, at home, when friends called and asked if we would like to join them at "JeanRo Bistro". Never missing a chance we were on our way and met them at 7 PM. To our surprise the place was packed, and it wasn't the football crowd. Our friends are in the wine business and again it was "half priced" night so we started with a Cabernet Franc. The table shared an appetizer of Lobster Macaroni & Cheese, about a good bite each, and I shared Beef Tartre with the other women. My main dish was a fish stew, very much along the lines of bouillabaisse. Marilyn and the other women each had calf's liver while the other man had a cassoulet. I tasted the cassoulet which had good flavor but was on the dry side. My fish stew had fine seasoning but came out luke warm. After a trip back to the kitchen it came back acceptable but not steaming. I like hot food hot and cold food cold and am willing to let time adjust temperature to my liking. JeranRo food on the whole is very good and we are fortunate to have a good french bistro downtown. Sunday night they were probably surprised by the turn out and so the food lamps in the kitchen came more into play.

Saturday, our daughters Birthday, we had a late meal at "The Summit". "The Summit" is the restaurant run by the culinary division of Cincinnati State. I have reported on it before. It is staffed with student chefs and servers with professional over site. This is our 2nd or 3rd visit and things to be going well although the room seems fairly empty each time we are there. We started with a bottle of Argentine Malbec and a round of first courses, mine being a Jonah Crab and Lobster salad, excellent. I followed this with Hemacci on Kimchee. The fish was served in a stone bowl with slices of breaded eggplant, a fascinating, slightly spicy dish. For dessert I tried to throw the kitchen a curve, being late and all, and ordered one of the salads. Even though they were about to close the salad arrived, as advertised, romaine, fresh figs et al. Our server was starting her second career and had exceptional knowledge of the food but was still in the process of learning about wine.
There were six of us and I was obviously the most adventurous. The table had 2 orders of duck breast, prepared perfectly and 3 orders of Gnocchi with a marvelous mushroom sauce made with four varieties of the fungi. The Gnocchi were not the usual, made with potato's, but was a light pastry rolled around the stuffing. Grocchi was the hit of the evening.
"The Summit" is not cheap and the service is somewhat slow but it is well done and the effort should be supported.

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