Thursday, December 24, 2009

Local 127

This is not an easy report. The food and service were first class but several problems existed which took away some of the shine. I'll just report what happened and my reaction.
Tuesday evening, along with two friends we went to "Local 127" 127 W. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202-Phone 513-721-1345. The location was previously "Jan Robert's at Pigal's".
The decor has changed slightly, from it's previous incarnation, but the feel of the room is about the same, even though one enters from the former cocktail lounge entrance.
Our friends were at the bar and the meeting was awkward as the passage way is narrow and the hostess, new for the night, was in conversation with another patron. Eventually she recognized us and after a pause asked us if we, four, would like to be seated. Marilyn asked if there was a coat room and the hostess replied that she would take our coats, but not until she had shown us to the table. We had already waited for the one Valet, who was away parking a car, so that we could pay the $7. At this point the evening had had a rocky start.
Our pleasant server, in Jeans and a long black apron, took a few minutes to arrive and after explaining the mission of the restaurant and it's "water policy" asked for our drink order. I was mildly surprised when she told me the only Bombay, my drink, was the Sapphire. This is a trend that I find annoying, almost as much as my "small pour".
The menu is divided into sections, first courses, small plates and entrees. Pricing is moderate to high. Our server was well versed and explained fully in answer to our inquiries. I chose a roasted beet salad ($9), as did another in our party. There were both red and yellow beets, quartered or eighth on a bed of wiped goat cheese and topped with some shaved Prosciutto. I followed with a Bison Rib eye($28) served on mashed potato's, which I asked to be left off, and topped with a black olive tapenade and a few shavings of Parmigiano and french fried onion bits. A very taste preparation. Marilyn had a "grass fed" chopped beef burger ($14) accompanied with thin cut french fries. The other man had "Chicken 2 ways", roasted chicken Brest on a chicken colis while his companion also had the "Burger", she had started with a yellow squash soup.
For desert with split a "deconstructed apple pie"($10), excellent baked apple pieces, glazed and served on a mix of crumbled pie crust and granola. With Marilyn's "decaf" came a plate of small "in house" baked chocolate chip cookies.
With my rib eye I had a glass of Rhone, served in a "one size fits all" wine glass. When I asked about a red wine glass I was informed that they only had very good red wine glasses which were reserved for bottles over $100. I hope they were kidding.
The pleasant manager asked for suggestions and as usual I didn't hesitate.
Besides her interest there were several other very pleasant touches. Marilyn did not order a "small plate" as the three of us had but the server brought her a demi-tass of soup while we enjoyed our starter. We also were served an "amuse bushe" of an excellent mushroom risotto.
I imagine that we will return but I hope some of the annoyances the next time are missing. The food is the main draw and it was uniformly good and interesting.

The night before we were at "Brio Tuscan Grille" at Newport on the Levee, 859-431-0900. As I have reported before this is a first class chain restaurant built around and Italian menu and theme. I find it well run with good food and service and can only compliment management. After "Regular" Bombay I chose Shrimp and Lobster Fettuccine in a spicy butter sauce. I asked for Capellini instead of the fettuccine, which was no problem for the server or the kitchen. The butter sauce was a little thick, to my taste, but a few red pepper flakes and some scallion pieces gave it a pleasant tang. I was also pleased to find several pieces of recognizable lobster meat. Marilyn had her usual Cranberry Juice cocktail, Pasta Bolognese and coffee and our total bill came to $48 including tax but not gratuity. The comparison, this this meal vs "Germano's", last Friday, easily come down on the side of "Brio's"
And now to wait up to see if Santa Claus brings more chocolate chip cookies to go along with those already deleived by neighbors.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Old yet New

That is sort of the way I feel about myself, some times, and definitely the way I feel about this season of the year. I am writing about restaurant experiences and a couple of them this week fit into the category of the title.
Last Monday night, with a friend, we went to "Mecklenburg Gardens", 302 E. University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219 Phone 513-221-5353. I believe Mecklenburg's started in 1865. I'm not sure if the present location was the original one but I have been going to this location since the 1930's, although I wasn't old enough to drink, at that time. It has gone through several reincarnations but is getting back, under the guidance of the Harten family, to it's roots as a German Beer Hall and dining establishment. This was our first evening experience, under the new owners, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Monday, was still a time of business holiday parities and Mecklenburgs was jammed. I had called ahead, always a good idea, and our table, the last unoccupied, was waiting. Service in the begging was spotty, because of the crowd, but as people departed we received more and more attention. The food was great and the beer selections plentiful. After a sample I choose a medium dark German brew with which I was very pleased. The menu list appetizers, soups and salads, small plates and main courses. I started with the Mock Turtle soup, our servers suggestion, and am happy to report it was excellent. This I followed with a "small plate" containing 3 types of sausages, Bratwurst, Knackwurst and Bier, all sliced and served on a bed of sauerkraut and shaved green peppers. This came with a side of spicy mustard and requested pumpernickel, warm and sliced. Our friend had an onion tart, also a small plate, while Marilyn had very good Weinershnitzel served with spatzela noodles and red cabbage. All the dishes were well prepared with the exception of the red cabbage which in my opinion was over cooked. A pleasant discussion with one of the owners, Tom Harten, brought thanks for my comment about the cabbage and an offer to replace, which was turned down. We had a most pleasant evening and will return, although I remain nostalgic for the old German waiters, the "schmercasse" and the small tenderloin sandwich.
After several days at home I next ventured to "Virgil's Cafe", 710 Fairfield Ave, Bellevue, KY 41073-859-491-3287. This fairly new restaurant is getting to be old hat to me as people want to try, for a first time. My guests were Marilyn Harris and he husband. I enjoyed a bowl of bison chili, my usual, while they each had a cup of soup, chili and a shrimp bisque, followed by very rich sandwich of ham, cheese, fried egg and a cheese sauce on a croissant, wow the calories, even split.
They ended with a piece of coconut creame pie. A filling lunch which I am happy I observed rather than partook. I left with a "homemade" Pastrami sandwich, always good, which I took to my "shut in" friend.
Friday night, along with two other couples, we went to "Germano's Restarante" 9415 Montomery Road, Montgomery OH-513-794-1155. "Germano's" is not "on our radar screen" and so even though it has been in it's current location for several years, having moved from a filling station on Route 4, this is only the second time, within memory, that we have been to their Montgomery site.
I find "Germano's" pricey and have left both times with a feeling that a return is problematical, not a good feeling for a restaurant. Service was very slow, they were full and possibly understaffed, and with the exception of wonderful, rich Oyster stew, most of Marilyn and my meal was a disappointment, others had somewhat the same reaction. We decided to split a Veal chop($40) and although the meat was prepared perfectly the cut, in my opinion, should not have been served. Veal chops, by nature have an amount of fat, but this chop was over 30% fat and very gristlely. I had a very pleasant, long talk with Dominic Germano, owned and Executive Chef, who insisted in removing the chop from our bill, proper handling for something not "up to par". The table shared their signature dessert,Raspberry pie, which all enjoyed.
I'm, now, off to take my Granddaughter to lunch and start another week of culinary adventures.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Several people have referred to this Blog as a restaurant review. To recap, what I have always said, I report on where I go, what I eat and my reaction, if any. I don't try to comparatively rate or even cover all aspects, such as ambiance, food preparation, ingredients etc. of my experiences or place of dinning. It's just one persons report on activities, mostly centered around food and "eating out".
Quite a bit of activity since last posting has been either private parties or meals here.
We were included in a very nice Birthday dinner celebrating one of our friends major birthdays, of course at our age they all are. A chef from the Cincinnati convention center prepared the meal, for about 30 of us, which centered on beef tenderloin. This he served with excellent cous-cous, mixed with chopped apples and dried cranberries and a platter of roasted vegetables. His extremely light, wonderful meringues served with creme-fresh and fresh strawberries finished a lovely dinner.
Not to be out done, the following week I fixed a large amount of brazed, beef, short ribs and root vegetables. I have been asked for the recipe but since I cook without one all I can do, when asked, is send a list of the ingredients and leave it up to the individual, to take it from there. The amount ended up serving almost 12 people, at three different sittings. The process of preparing takes, from start to finish, almost 6 hours and so it is not for the faint of heart or the heavily committed, family or work, oriented person. Also I consider it a "cold weather dish". Marilyn contributed Grapefruit and Grape Jelly another family passed down, side.
Our one major excursion was the "The Summit", the restaurant at Cincinnati State. We went to celebrate our daughters 54th Birthday and it was strictly a family affair. Their menu and presentation are both interesting; and I was somewhat surprised this time to see "Pot Roast" and Turkey as 2 of the 6 entrees. Several of our party had rack of lamb, two chops, while our daughter had "red snapper" pieces in a stone bowl fixed oriental style. I chose Fettuccine with mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, in a light cream sauce with specs of truffles. For an appetizer I chose a smoked trout and beet combination. This was very interesting with the beets chopped and marinated ant the trout served in several different forms, mouse, chopped and a spread all on a firm horseradish soft crust. A treat entirely new to me. The meal was all first class and the service, while not speedy, is certainly attentive. I was please to see the there were a numbers of filled tables so that obviously "The Summit" is serving it's purpose as a training ground for culinary students.
During the past few days I have had several lunches and one other dinner,out, all at regular spots, "Oriental Wok", "Pelican's Reef" and "Coldstream Country Club"
Sunday morning I did go to "Otto's" where I fixed scrambled eggs and onions for the owners family and the restaurants staff. I took along pecan roles from "Shadeau Bread" which I feel are by far the best in the city.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I know that Hamburgers are one of the quintessential foods associated with the USA, right along with Baked Beans, Mac and Cheese and Apple Pie. I like Hamburgers but because I am now an ancient and trying to ingest a reasonable amount of calories I usually choose something else, although not always something thinning.
That said I did have two Hamburgers during the last week at two quite different "joints", but more about that as we progress.
Monday night we drove to Kenwood for dinner at "Maggiano's" in the Kenwood shopping center. "Maggiano's", part of a chain, is known for very large portions and quite decent food and so we and the other couple decided to split orders, all billed as "half". After drinks, which we didn't split, we shared a Chopped Salad, Lobster Fettuccine, Ravioli stuffed with Veal and Mushrooms and a Seafood Cannelloni(diced crab and shrimp). The Fettuccine had a light butter and wine sauce while the Ravioli came with a Veal reduction and the Cannelloni a light Alfredo, one can see how diligently I am watching calories. The food was served hot and tastey and we all left satisfied.
Tuesday lunch, was also not a calorie saver. My friend and past secretary and I stoped by "Detroit Joe's" in Newport KY where we shared a "Whaler", a large deep friend piece of fish served on dark rye with sides of slaw and an appropriate sauce, either "cocktail or tarter". Not to spare the grease there is a large mound of potato chips. We also tried their "mock turtle soup" which in this instance was not up to par, too thin.
Tuesday came the first Hamburger. After a late Camp Nebagamon Reunion, Marilyn and I went with two of the camp directors, from Boise ID, to "Terry's Turf Club", Eastern Ave, Cincinnati. We have been devotees for several years but last year it received a review, in the Cincinnati paper, and has been impossible to get in easily from 5:30 to 9 PM. Luckily we arrived after 9:30 and had our choice of tables. After beer and peanuts, shells go on the floor, and a visit with the server, who pulled up a chair, we all ordered Hamburger's and "well done" French Fries. My burger was topped with banana peppers, grilled onions and a potabello mushrooms, one of the less exotic combinations. I believe "Terry's" does a great job and is certainly my favorite "Burger Joint".
Wednesday I had a bowl of "Bison Chili" at "Virgil's" 710 Fairfield Ave, Belleview KY 859-491-3287 for lunch and went to dinner at "Honey" Hamilton Ave in Northside. Shoshanna Haffner, the chef, is one of the most iteresting and original in our area. She must stay up nights dreaming up combinations of flavors, which almost always work. I wish "Honey" had regular Bombay but I am forced to suffer with "Sapphire" or go without, unthinkable. For my main course I chose Broiled Red Snapper accompanied with pan sauteed oysters and served on a savory bread pudding all bathed in a tomato broth. The food was delicious although I would have liked a little more "heft" than the broth provided but that might have covered some other flavors of the combination.
Thursday lunch was "Quatman's" Norwood, OH, just off Montgomery Road. A bar, meat market and Hamburger emporium. "Quatman's is neither long on abidance or accoutrement's. The burgers and fries come on paper plates with yellow mustard and ketchup in plastic squeeze bottles on the table. Not in real competition with "Terry's" but a true neighborhood establishment that has been around for years.
The last "eating out" was back at my club, "Otto's" Main St. in Covington. Shared a 1/2 price bottle of Chardonnay, very good selection, and then ate "light" with a small tureen of their excellent Tomato Soup, a shared plate of "fried green Tomato's and a large piece of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese and bacon crumbles. A fitting prelude to several nights of home cooking with some stress on cutting consumption.


This Icon popped up on my screen and I want to see if it is really an easy entree point for the Blog?

Saturday, November 28, 2009


It seemed to me that I shouldn't let November slip away without some mention of Thanksgiving and a few event around the holiday. NO, I didn't get up at 3 AM on "Black Friday" to buy something I didn't need. And, YES, we did have a Thanksgiving dinner, but more on that later.
Going back a week ago we had dinner with another couple( our age who are getting married today) Friday night, Nov 20 at "Oriental Wok"-Regency. As those of you know, who read this Blog with some regularity, we go there a lot. It is easy, not overly crowed or noisy and they have very good food and excellent service. After the Bombay and appetizers I had a mixed plate of two of their specials, scallops and eggplant in a rich, slightly sweet and spicy, sauce and oysters and shredded green vegetables in a light ginger sauce. I don't know which I enjoyed the most but they complimented each other and I'm glad I had the split order.
Our Granddaughter arrived late Saturday night, from Bates College, and she joined us as we helped a young friend prepare for an after Thanksgiving party by making a Costco run. Herring, Cheese, Crackers, Cashew Nuts, Pork Tenderloins, Rolls, Napkins, etc. Later we sat with her and her 6 year old twins while they had Pizza and Hot Dogs at the warehouse, we declined the invitation to join them.
The three of us went to, "Vincenzo's" 11525 Chester Road, Cincinnati 45246 513-771-0022, for our own Italian dinner. We divided two main courses, quite large, an a special salad.
The mixed salad was fresh greens and romaine plus artichokes, tomato's, dried cherries, sweet peppers, croutons and Gorgonzola with a very good balsamic dressing. The main courses, equally as good, were Cappellini Bolognese and Gnocchi Dante, consisting of small Gnocchi, al dente, in a light cream and wine sauce with shredded prosciutto and mushrooms, delicious. Needless to say, it beat Costco, but maybe not if you are 6 year old.
Still with our Granddaughter we had lunch Wednesday, Nov 25 at "Wild Ginger" 3655 Edwards Road, Cincinnati OH 45208 513-533-9500.The three of us again divided orders of Pot stickers, Won ton Soup and a very large Ocean King sushi roll, soft shell crab, "fake crab", shrimp, avocado and shredded carrots and scallions. The rice is wrapped in a crust of shredded, fried, filo dough. it is one of the better sushi dishes in the area, in my opinion.
At last Thanksgiving. Our son-in-law's Mother took over the holiday meal replacing Marilyn. That was a very nice gesture as Marilyn is still not up to major cooking, or even minor for that matter. She did the roast turkey and got help with all the sides and appetizers. Everything was traditional with the addition of a wonderful baked apple casserole and Key Lime Pie in place of Pumpkin. I supplied several kinds of white wine and a fine time was had by the 6 of us, all family.
Friday, for lunch, I met a friend at the "Oriental Wok" where he had wonderful "twice cooked pork" and I settled for their first class combo Pad Thai. That night was the "after Thanksgiving party" held at "City Cellars" a wine store and party room at 908 Race street. The hostess left home without the Costco Purchases but realized her mistake and corrected with a stop at "Fresh Market" for replacement items, including sushi. Luckily the Pork Tenderloins had been cooked elsewhere and that plus the roles and cashew nuts(hurrah) made the scene. The wines were all Spanish and I was taken enough by the white, a Gordello, to purchase some for our home use. We, of course, raised the age average, as we do often, but a fine evening of the day after was a nice closer .
Some friends from Nashville, Marilyn's home town, were passing through so we met them for lunch today at "Arthur's" on Edwards Road in Hyde Park. The place was packed and we all had fairy light lunches, soups and salads, before walking around the corner to "Graeter's" where they purchased Cincinnati's finest.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Our life is never "routine" but sometimes trips and special occasions disrupt the normal flow of events. Since returning from Chicago there has been very little special but a lot of our normal "routine"
Going back almost 10 days we had dinner at "Knotty Pine" about which I have written numerous times. I always say that I am going to try something new and almost always end up with the Etouffee and the Grouper. This time I had the grouper with Cajun Spices and I will return to the pan seared as the Cajun is to highly seasoned, in my opinion, for the mild Grouper. Incidentally I like spicy food, in it's place, and I like "Knotty Pine" and it's relaxed surroundings and good food.
On that Friday night we went we went to "Cumin", another favorite. Being an ancient, and with a couple who are in our same age category, we found the food and service excellent but the atmosphere too nosie for our taste and conversation. It's not "Cumin's" fault but I will stick to mid-week instead of the weekend. I had wonderful sweetbreads and an excellent lobster crape which was listed as lobster ravioli. I don't refer, any longer, to "Cumin" as Indian as it has so expanded it's menu that it has become world wide cuisine.
The next day lunch was at "Bronte Bistro"(Joseph Beth) at Rookwood Pavilion, Hyde Park. I chose the "Black and Bleu salad and only consumed about half. The rest was my main course at dinner that evening. The Black and Bleu is roasted, sliced chicken( not enough spice here) on greens, tomato's and a sprinkling of peppers all top with bleu cheese crumbles. Acceptable but not memorable. The vinaigrette on the other hand was quite good.
This past week, starting Sunday, and after "Hair" the forty year old (hippie) musical at CCM, we joined others at "The Pelican's Reef" on Beechmont Ave. As you may remember the reef is a "Key West" bar and restaurant. Marilyn has not been eating much and so they accommodated her with a grilled Walleye Sandwich, not on the menu, while I had prepared Oysters, several styles, and a large large house salad. The food is good and the atmosphere relaxed and very pleasant. Sunday night after 7:30 PM it is usually less than half full.
Monday lunch was at the "Oakley Pub and Grill" 3924 Isabella Ave. 45209 513-531-2500. The Pub is just what the name implies. I usually have an excellent grilled grouper sandwich, on rye, but that day my companion and I chose to split an order of "Buffalo Chicken Wings" , Monday's special and a large order of crispy slaw. Too much slaw for two but always fresh and containing cabbage, nuts and Ramin Noodles, great. That night, with another couple, we tried a partially opened "Pera" in Mt. Lookout Square. "Pera's" menu is a mixture of Turkish, Italian and American. The food was good and plentiful but I think they are just finding there way in the first few days of operation.
Just for the record I had Shepard's Salad and seafood Fettuccine, on which I changed the sauce from a heavy Alfredo to butter and olive oil, while Marilyn had Mushroom Ravioli, over half of which came home.
After lunch the next day at "Lemon Grass" 2666 Madison Rd 45208 513-321-2882, one of many Asian and Thai spots in Hyde Park, I had enjoyed the Pineapple fried rice with shrimp. A dish I like there because there is enough curry to be noticeable. we had planed to join someone for a late dinner, so I was surprised when I returned home and found dinner had been mover up an hour or more. Being brave I headed for "Tinks" on Telford Ave in Clifton where I tackled a bottle of Chardonnay split with our dinner companion plus Salmon Tartar, much more resembling Guacamole with some smoked salmon bits added, and a tempura shrimp "poor boy". The food was good and the company outstanding.
After several days of minimum 2500 Calories a day, and several pounds on the scale it was time for a light dinner at home last night, clearing out the refrigerator." Left overs for several meals mention above.
So this is "routine" and I don't know if I can keep up this pace.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SOFA-Sculpture Objects & Funtional Art

Before I review my trip to Chicago and SOFA, the reason for going, I go back a few days to a meal here in Cincinnati; Tuesday, Nov 3 at "Maury's Tiny Cove" 3908 Harrison Ave. 513-662-2683. The "Cove" is a west side institution which is currently celebrating it's 60th Anniversary. It has been in the same location, although it has been physically expanded, and is now owned by the third person to be the proprietor. The clientele, surroundings and food have not changed much, an that is just the way the customers want things. The new owner had spoken to our class and so two couples made the journey into foreign territory, the far west side. The Bombay($5.50) was a generous pour, the Greek salad was good sized and good tasting, the Chicken Chili was more of a Navy bean soup, but had good flavor and the mixed berry cobbler, made by the current owners Mother, was served hot and accompanied with vanilla ice cream, it was excellent. Marilyn had her usual non-alcoholic Cranberry juice and soda followed by a house salad, baked potato, shared cobbler and coffee. Total bill, including tax, but not tip was $28.60. Maury's advertises itself as a steak house but none of us went that route.
Thursday, Nov. 5 I drove to Chicago (5 1/2 hours from Graeter's to Max and Benny's) after picking up desert items for Friday nights joint dinner. A friend met me at "Max and Benny's Restaurant" in Northbrook IL for a late lunch. "Max & Benny's" is what I wished we had in Cincinnati, a real full service "Jewish" Delicatessen. I had a bowl of sweet and sour cabbage soup and a half chopped chicken liver sandwich on hard crusted light rye. It was accompanied by a side of excellent slaw and a slice of sweet onion and crisp dill pickle, Jewish heaven. My friend had a bowl of thick home-made vegetable soup and two of the in house baked rolls that came with our food.
That evening I accompanied my hosts, long time very good friends to "Avil" Winnetka IL. "Avil" is a large new Greek restaurant in a rehabbed old brick laundry building. It is bright, cheerful, modern and noisy with a very mixed happy crowd. The first thing to appear was a plate with a cod row mixture, lightly seasoned and slices of warm Pita. This was the warm up as we ordered our drinks. The three of us shared two appetizers, Baked Lima beans, tomato's, onions and feta plus warm roasted red peppers stuffed with a spicy cheese spread. For my main course I chose Greek style grilled lamb chops( shoulder and small and thin but medium rare) with a side of spinach and rice in a tomato olive oil and Herb emulation. We also shared a plate of warm pita with the spicy cheese, almost like smooth cottage cheese, sauce. The other two chose main courses of Grilled shrimp and stuffed eggplant. The food was excellent and the service attentive. I was their guest and so did not receive a bill but I was told the total for us all, including drinks was in the range of $100.
The next day I took the train from Glencoe and the bus to Navy pier and spent 3 1/2 hours enjoying glass and wood art and the artists and gallery owner who were in attendance. On my walk back to the station, it was a beautiful day, I detoured to "Portillo's" at 100 W Ontario St. It is a large local chain serving pizza, sausages and many other Chicago favorites. I was in quest of a "Chicago Hot Dog", which I found and was not disappointed. If you are unfamiliar with a "Chicago style Hot Dog" try Goggle.
Friday night a group of 4 couples, this year minus Marilyn, joined for our annual "lobster dinner". The group has been together for more than 40 years and this annual event is held usually in Chicago, where we all meet, but has also graced Cincinnati, Maine, Wisconsin and Florida. Besides appetizers and whisky and wine the meal centers around steamed clams and boiled lobsters. For some reason I have a reputation as the lobster chef so after fortifications I fixed 8 2lb crustaceans which were accompanied with corn pudding, tossed salad, toasted loafs of cheese bread and my contribution of Graeter's Ice Cream( four flavors) and pastries. Most items are prepared in house and we treat ourselves well. The last act of the evening is a major contribution, pro rated, of a monetary amount to an area food shelter or food bank, our way of sharing this bountiful feast. Home the next day after about 6 hours sleep, tired but happy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New York City-Part 3

Shopping, that is probably the mantra for most teen age American girls. So it came as no surprise that our Granddaughter had told Marilyn that what she "really" wanted to do was see some of New York's' big stores. I became the pinch hitting, after all it was World Series time, "big store" guide.
We left the Apartment a little after 10 AM Thursday morning, Oct 29 and headed to Lexington Ave. After a stop at the shoe repair shop, where I deposited my 12 year old "gym" shoes in the waste can after hearing the repair price we walked on to Bloomingdale's at 60th and Lex. A sales person directed us to the 3rd floor, which had casual, but expensive slack, blouses and jackets we dropped down a level, both in altitude and price, and I found a chair, for the next hour, while Raina surveyed everything available. We ended with several items and were on our way by 12:30. Lunch time found us at the "Food Exchange" 120 East 59th St, NY 10021-212-759-0656. From a selection of approximately 20 sandwiches, 8 hot soups, many salads and shelves of drinks and sweets we chose an interesting Thai seafood bisk, tuna salad pita wrap, chips and green tea for a total cost of $13.50 or less than 1/3 the cost of the carry out the day before. We found a small table in the back and ate and planed our next move.
After lunch I thought Raina should see Bergdorf Goodman, a very top end retail establishment, and St. Patricks Cathedral before entering Saks Fifth Ave. at 50th and 5th Ave. A ride, on the escalator, to the fifth floor began our floor by floor decent. We departed an hour later with a very pretty green blouse and another shopping bag. Next on to Rockefeller Center to view the ice rink and, actually "30 Rock". The high point, for our Granddaughter, of the day may have been a visit to the NBC Shop where Raina choose a T shirt with one of her favorite says from the program of the same name. Last stop before returning to 75th an Madison was the New York Public Library at 42nd and 5th.
We had arrange to meet our cousin from Mamarinek at 5:45 for a pre theatre dinner. For it's location, and expertize in getting people to the shows on time, we chose "Scarlatto" 250 W. 47th St, between Broadway and 8th Ave, 212-730-4535. Marilyn and I had been to "Scarlatto" before had found the food quite satisfactory. They did not disappoint. I had the usual Bombay, a wonderful pear, arugula and Gorgonzola salad, with a pear obviously sliced with a mandolin, beautifully decorating the greens. My main course was a braised lamb shank on a bed of polenta.
We shared a Tartufo for desert and others had coffee or tea. I tasted some of the other items, Dover sole, Ravioli and a wonderful appetizer of spicy marinated baby artichokes. We were
on the street by 7 PM.
Our theatre was on 46th St and we headed there to try to exchange Marilyn's Mezzanine ticket for one on the first floor. The older NY theatres have neither elevators or escalators. The older gentleman in the ticket booth asked if I didn't want to sit wth my wife and I explained that there were four of us. He told me, firmly, to take the tickets he would exchange and low and behold we ended up in the "house seats", 9th row center. The show "In the Heights" had won the Tony for best musical in 2008. It is a young persons show and although I enjoyed it I found the music to loud for my taste and was not able to understand all the lyrics. Our Granddaughter, however, knew after the first act, that she had to have the CD. It was a lively and up beat evening.
Next morning I put Raina on the 10:03 to Boston to meet up with her family. I took the bus from Penn Station back to 75th and Madison and convinced Marilyn and our host to join me , across the street at "3 Guys Restaurant" 960 Madison Ave. NY NY 10021( between 75 and 76)
"3 Guys" is a typical upscale Greek dinner, there are several on the upper East side, with a large menu and upscale prices to pay the rent. A bowl of clam chowder, two spinach pies and a Grilled Cheese sandwich came to $46 with tip and tax.
I had wanted to see the Kandinsky retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and Marilyn was willing to give it a try. She lasted about 45 minutes while I was there well over an hour. The exhibit is outstanding and I was "blown away" with his use of color and geometric designs. To me this is a must if you get a chance to be in New York while it is on display.
Marilyn had returned to the Apt. and so I spent the rest of the afternoon back at the Met, viewing the American painter exhibit, in depth, and some Frank Ross photos from the mid 1950's.
When I returned to our base Marilyn said she felt so bad that she wished to go home, to Cincinnati. I tried to get a flight that evening but had to settle for one Saturday afternoon. In the mean time a person has to eat and so we walked to "Girasole" 151 E 82nd St ( at Lexington Ave) NY 10028. It was a new adventure for us but had been highly recommended by our host. "Girasole" is a small, Italian, upscale, neighborhood place with singles to families occupying their approximately 20 tables. The staff is solicitous and served our every need. Since Marilyn was not at the "top of her game" we decided to split a grilled Veal Chop. I started with a beautiful Lump Crab, endive and tiny green bean salad, good sized, after the usual libation. The veal chop was served with a few lightly fried slice potato's and sliced carrots and baby green beans. Marilyn had her usual decaf and the restaurant provided a plate of almond Biscotti(sp) and two different cookies for each of us. We had developed a nice rapport with the manager and so he also sent a small glass, for each, of "lemon schella".
The trip home the next day was not easy, cancelled flight, delayed flight and slow luggage but at least we were home and in our own environs. NYC is still "GREAT", my Father thought that it was the only vacation in the world and possibly "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".

Monday, November 2, 2009

New York City-Part 2

Tuesday, Oct 27, our Granddaughter Raina decided after several nights with her sister in a Vassar dorm that it would be a good idea to "sleep in". Marilyn, who was not feeling up to a lot of activities stayed in the apartment most days.
At a little after 11 A.M. Raina and I strolled up Madison Ave. from 75th to 86th where we boarded a "cross town" bus to take us to 86th and Amsterdam. Our first stop for the day was "Barney Greengrass", 541 Amsterdam Ave(86th/87th) NY, NY 10024 - 212-724-4707."Barney Greengrass' may be the oldest delicatessen in Manhattan having celebrated their 100th Anniversary. They are famous for their smoked fish and of course have all the other regular items, corned beef, pastrami, etc. The "dining room"(Ha) is small crowded and served by one very efficient server who covers those tables plus some in the deli proper. We met a longtime friend, who is a Presbyterian Minister, retired, and lives on the upper West side. She was ordained after her youngest left home for college. We have been friends from our days in Glencoe IL( 1965/77). "Barney Greengrass" is a must for me, especially since the original 2nd Ave. Deli ceased operation.
I choose an order of eggs with 2 sides, nova and smoked sable. I also go for NY Rye, toasted, as I can get satisfactory bagels in Cincinnati. Jean, the friend, was a light eater, that day, which I am not, and so I managed to enjoy a 1/4 of her corned beef, pastrami, Swiss cheese and 1000 island double decker. Raina managed her own smoked sturgeon, tomato and cheese.
After vacating our table we spent more time visiting before the two of us took off for the Rose Planetarium and The NY Natural History Museum. Raina, especially want to do this and we spent all afternoon, following the star show, at varying exhibits, Dinosaurs to Gems.
That evening 4 of us, Raina, Marilyn, Fran Hess, our host, and I went to my favorite, "Union Square Cafe" 21 East 16th St NY 212-243-4020. I really don't know why I eat anywhere else.
The Union Square Hospitality Group( Danny Meyer) operate a dozen or more restaurants, in Manhattan, alone, from Hamburger emporiums to 4 star gourmet but I enjoy none more than the "Union Square Cafe". Union Square combines hospitality, service, menu and food preparation and quality to appeal to all my senses.
After my Bombay I had a lightly dressed red leaf lettuce salad with shredded Gruyere. Raina started with excellent Calamari which she generously shared. Since the restaurant opened 25 years ago a main stay has been their "filetmignon" of tuna, marinated and served medium rare. I couldn't pass up and old friend. A glass of Sancerre and two shared deserts, chocolate torte and bread pudding put me in shape to waddle across Union Square for the bus ride uptown. Oh yes, Rania ordered lamb chops(4) and gave me a large helping of one, which had been grilled perfectly. I know I rave but it's one of the best places I visit and I look forward to every visit.

Grandpa reared his ugly head Wednesday morning and Granddaughter and I headed for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I felt Raina should see this even thought I knew it was "not her thing". We stayed about an hour and a half and saw the Vermeer exhibit along with the new American Wing, the Temple of Dundur and an exhibit of American painters from 1760 to 1915. I did not have the heart to insist on a longer stay and so I returned Friday afternoon, to view items in depth.
Walking home from the Met( 82nd St and 5th Ave) we stoped at EAT, a Zabar run eat in and carry out. Two or three small purchases, for lunch, ran the bill to $45. We ate a the kitchen table, with me finishing Monday's Lobster roll and then went to the theatre district of the Wednesday matinee of "Billy Elliot", the 2009 Tony winner for best musical. The show was great but the dancing, staging and set design were worth more than the price of admission, which is high.
That evening the four of us, same as the night before, walked from the Apt. to "Atlantic Grill" 1341 3rd Ave (between 77 and 78th) 212-988-9200. "Atlantic Grill" is part of a small excellently run chain, reminiscent of "Morton's Steak House", in quality, upscale but not over priced. There Bombay was the most reasonable on this trip and the entrees were all in the low to mid $20's. I had a chopped salad and a main course of Linguni with fresh clams For dessert I chose an excellent warm apple crumble with maple ice cream. Others had Salmon, Chicken and Crab cakes for their main courses and there were also desserts of molten chocolate cake and a mixture of "house" cookies. The tab for us all was $190, including tax and tip.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New York City- Part 1

I'll break our trip to NYC into several parts. As always concentrating on where and what I ate, but also adding some comments on activities.
We arrived Saturday Oct 24 in late afternoon. Marilyn did not fell great, as we left Cincinnati, but we were both hopping a change of scenery would help.
Saturday night we met a "Nebagamon"( camp) friend, whose wife was working on Detroit, temporarily, at "Gino's" 780 Lexington Ave 10065-212-758-4466. My Father fist took me to "Gino's" in the mid 1940' shortly after it opened. Not much has changed, except prices and the fact that they now accept credit cards. It is old, steady and the food is standard except for the kinds of things that are on their menu, which I like and can not fine often: tongue, tripe, sweetbreads and brains. After the Bombay I settled on a Gino Chopped Salad and Beef tongue served on spinach or greens. Our Nebagamon friend, in his mid 50's, assured me that he would help with a bottle of wine and I took him at his word. His idea of help was one decent size glass and so I'm not sure if the food was as good as I remember or if the wine induced haze made it seem that way.
Next morning we caught the 10:52 to Poughkeepsie for a visit with our son and his daughter, who is a Freshman at Vassar. Our son and the rest of his clan had come East for a visit including Vassar, Cooperstown and Cambridge, for the Harvard bands 90th reunion.
The ride up the Hudson was knock out gorgeous, fall foliage etc, and it was great to be met at the station by him, his wife and younger daughter. The 5 of us had lunch at "Coyote Grill". one of many restaurants built around bar business and expanded "bar food". Trying to eat light, whenever possible, I had an Iceberg lettuce wedge with sliced tomato's and crumbled blue cheese. The Balsamic vinaigrette dressing and corn bread were both outstanding. After a 2 hour tour of the Vassar campus( the library is phenomenal) we took Lilly, the Freshmen, to "Stop & Shop" to load up on dorm room food. Lilly is most happy when eating "Pasta" in one form or another and so she chose "Thai Spice" 28 Raymond Ave Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 - 845-486-8888. The place was packed but two servers handled the crowd efficiently. There is a large and varied menu and although several chose Pad Thai, including Lilly, there were enough other dishes that tastes could be shared. For the table we had platters of Spring Rolls and Chicken Satay. I had Pineapple Fried Rice, served in a half of fresh Pineapple. It included both chicken and shrimp in plentiful quantity. Beer seemed the correct beverage for this dinner.
Monday, Lilly's younger sister, Raina, took the train "into the city" to spend some days with Grandma and Grandpa. I walked from our quarters, at 75th and Madison to Grand Central Station on 42nd Street. I left plenty of time for lunch, before the train arrived, at "The Oyster Bar" Grand Central Station NY, NY 10017 - 212-490-6650. I like seafood and the Oyster Bar has never disappointed. It is large, seating approximately 450, and since the volume is great the food , to me, is always fresh. Being alone I sat at the counter and enjoyed a platter of raw oysters, 4 different varieties, and a good sized portion of Cole slaw as well a conversation with an accountant from Long Island, who is a regular. I had told Raina, who had never tasted Lobster, that on the trip she should have a Lobster Roll. I ordered one "to go" ($28) and found to my delight that is was large and accompanied with slaw and sweet potato chips. Raina, when she got to the apartment ate about 1/3 and so I had the balance, still fresh, 2 days later.
Monday evening our cousin came in from Long Island (Mamaroneck) and the 4 of us went to "Heidelberg Restaurant" 1648 Second Ave, 10028 212-628-2332. The restaurant is in the heart of "Yorkville" which used to be an old German area, and it alone, in this neighborhood, carries on the tradition. There is a large bar, with 16 or more German brews, and decorations and staff costumes out of a "Disneyland German Beer hall". The food is very good and very reasonable, especially for East side upper Manhattan. Dinner was approximately $25 each including beverages. Not gratuity.
I enjoyed a German semi dark beer. We began by the table sharing an order of marinated cucumbers in a sour cream dressing, crisp and beautifully seasoned, the four of us did not finish the serving. I had Wiener Schnitzel ala Holstein, served with a large amount of in house made Spetzels and a side of Red Cabbage. Marilyn had the same with "home fried potato's" instead of the Spetzels and the potato's were equally as good if not better. I was the only one of the four able to finish the majority of the food. As you might guess that place attracts many young people whom seem to share the costs, and drink a "Boot of Beer", each, which I would guess is 36 to 48 oz. Ah, to be young.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Wednesday and Thursday night we ate out enjoying two very good meals, however the places could not have been more of a contrast if we had planed long in advance. The meals were satisfying, and more, and in both instances as advertised, but the price point, ambiance and decor were miles apart.
For my Birthday I received a post card from the "Hitching Post" inviting me to a free dinner during the month of October( maximum value $7.95). Being one, never to turn down FREE, Marilyn and I went to the "store" in Hyde Park, corner of Edwards and Madison Roads. The "Hitching Post", as most of you know, operates stores all throughout the area. They specialize in fried chicken but have other items on the menu. The featured chicken dinner is a breast, wing and leg plus 2 sides for $7.95. Marilyn and I like the wing. leg and thigh and so we substituted and found to our delight the price dropped to $6.95. We both had mini potato pancakes while I had apple sauce and she very good Cole slaw. The food came hot and and as ordered and the chicken was crisp and juicy. A satisfying dinner at a bargain price.
The next night we went, with a good friend, to "Boca" 3200 Madison Road, Cincinnati 45208, 513-542-2002. Our friend Richard Brown is the General Manager and he had spoken at my class on Tuesday, so it was payback time plus our friend had chosen this spot several days before. Richard has had a career in Cincinnati serving in top positions at several of the best and most famous establishments in our dinning scene. With his personal attention and touch we had an outstanding and fairly expensive evening. The Bombay is $10, just barely on the very high side of upscale restaurants here at "Boca" the first courses and entrees are in the range of their high end competitors. Marilyn had Flounder served on a bed of spinach and wiped potato's and prepared and seasoned perfectly. I chose an "off menu" item, of which I had heard, Linguine and caramelized Cauliflower, outstanding. I started with a "Boca" Cesar, which is Grilled Romaine, dressed, while warm, with a pungent Cesar dressing and presented with shaved Parmesan. The table shared a room temperature Creme Brule. The kitchen added a demitasse size portion of a cauliflower bisk, creamy but very light. We escaped at around $55 each, including tip. Marilyn, as you know, doesn't drink and that evening I passed on wine. Service and decor were both as expected.
Good spot when one wants to treat themselves or others.
We're off to New York City, in the morning, so the next report will include happenings in that part of the world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


This is the 200th posting I have make since I started over 2 years ago. Many follow the same pattern or lament, but that is the fate of a "foodie", who indulges and reports his food, drink and places he goes, as he "eat's out".
The week just passed, unfortunately was no exception. I ate out too often, consumed too many calories, too much Sodium and the weight and waistline both showed the result.
Monday, Oct 12 was lunch at "Otto's", 500 Main St in Covington. Paul Weckman, the owner has enlarged his menu and the response has been positive, all tables were full and guest were waiting. I had a delicious Turkey Rubin and a side of fresh fruit, a bow to healthy living. At dinner, with several others, we went to "Bonefish Grill", Madison Rd and Edwards, in Cincinnati. "Bonefish" had sent a gift card for my Birthday, the week before, covering an order of "bang-bang shrimp" as an appetizer. That was enough to get in the "hook". Along with the appetizer, which was shared with all I had an order of fried fresh Oysters( exceedingly sweet), a house salad, with Danish Blue Cheese and some of Marilyn's Tilapia. Unfortunately I also had a scoop of Graeter's Ice Cream. By the way, I think the house salad, at "Bonefish" is one of the best accompanying salads in the city.
Tuesday we were taken for dinner to Nicola's, 1420 Sycamore St. Cincinnati, for a Birthday celebration. "Nicola's" is excellent, but expensive, and I had offered to handle the "bar bill" so the evening might be within reason for my host. Both that night, and the previous, I started with Bombay, as is my usual custom. At "Nicola's" I had the same house salad, with the excellent oil and balsamic, I had been served on the last visit when we had the "special" in the bar. This was followed by Vermicelle with Maine lobster and Cauliflower, a superb dish. For desert we shared Panacate topped with Chocolate Ganache, hardly rich.
Wednesday a retirement group meet at "Cumin" Erie Ave. in East Hyde Park. The soup de jour was a potato basil bisk, nicely flavored and not too heavy. I followed with a "hot dog" with several Indian sauce, for me a poor choice, even though I love "hot-dogs". This was accompanied by a marinated fresh vegetable salad, which I liked more than the "hot-dog" .My mind was not "open" as the "hot-dog" is priced at $9.95. That evening, before a CCM concert, we had a light dinner at "Tink's Cafe", 3410 Telford, Clifton. I had not been to "Tink's" in well over a year and found it a fine place to grab something either before or after a show, live or on celluloid. I chose a Tempura Shrimp "Po'Boy" with sauce and Mango chutney and Bay fries. The round potato slices were done exactly as ordered, extra crispy, and are accompanied with a side of catsup.
Thursday I met a fellow CSO Board member at "Via Vite", 520 Vine St. on Fountain Square. For lunch I chose Linguine con Vogele(clams). I was disappointed as I believe the clams were canned and the dish was overly salty. That night we were invited to a cousin's Birthday Diner and though I don't report on private parties I must mention the the menu, veal, was interesting and the home made icebox cake worth two servings.
Friday was a business lunch at "Song Long Restaurant", 1737 Section Rd., Roselawn. "Song Long" remains as it has been for many years, reasonable and reliable, even though the lovely sisters have gone. I usually get the chicken chow mien, which is made with real pieces of chicken, both dark and white, and I ask that it include extra bean sprouts. That evening was an Anniversary party for friends and a group of us went to the "Precinct","dutch treat". The "Precinct" , Del;ta Ave and Columbia Parkway, is our neighborhood steak house and we have been going, half a dozen times a year since it opened. Marilyn and I usually split a steak, that night it was the bone-in Rib eye, and baked potato while each have our own salad. Sometimes I feel I should have two Bombay's to make up for Marilyn's abstinence. If I didn't think the "Precinct" was good and enjoyable I find another place for steak, as there are many in the city.
Last night, Saturday, we joined another couple at the "China Gourmet" 3340 Erie Ave, Cincinnati. All four of us consider the "China Gourmet" a place for seafood, not standard Chinese fare. Therefore, after the usual libation, I had their special Oysters, expensive at $9 for four and Marilyn and I split a pan fried Walleye ($31). The food was very good and the service likewise, but I believe the "price point" for Cincinnati is on the high side.
Tonight it's home cooking or lettuce leaves and lemon juice, sodium vamoose.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eight Decades

WARNING: This posting is not about Restaurants or Food, only memories of an Ancient

This week, around 3 in the afternoon I was driving by "Summit", a private school in Hyde Park. The first thing I noticed was a pair of uniformed city Police Officers directing traffic. When I passed the long driveway I saw that vans and cars were three abreast as parents inched forward to pick up their children. I could help think of how things had changed.
I was born at the time of the "Crash", 1929, and grew up in the 1930's and 40's. Families had at most one car and the great, great majority of children went to "public" neighborhood schools. There were no public Kindergarten's and so we all started in the 1st grade and were in that school thru the 6th, unless our parents changed locations or the "School Board" changed the boundries. The first week of school Mothers, most of whom were stay at home homemakers, would walk their new "student", age 5 on up, to the school but after that they join the other school mates in the journey. We all walked to and from regardless of grade, weather or distance.
If a family had a car it was all most always reserved for the Father, who was the main "bread winner". The 1930's, of course, were the years of the "Great Depression", and it's aftermath, and so earning a living and having an income was the prime objective. The children revolved around the parents, not the other way around. No comment on which is better. "Helicopters", either mechanical or parental were not in the vocabulary.
I went off to an 8 week, overnight, Boys camp at age 10. Eight hundered miles away and accessible only by train or a 3 day drive, from my home. There were about 120 of us campers and the counselors were mature men, probably school teachers who had the summer off and need the money to supplement there income. The only medications, I ever saw were dispensed by the full time Doctor or Nurse, who ran the infirmary and were used for obvious illness. Now the same camp has approximately 230 Boys and the cabin staff over 25 years old, can probably be counted on one hand. Medications are passed our at meal time and there is hardly a table that does not have at least one camper as a recipient. The meds cover everything from Allergies to Mood changers. I again don't know who were better adjusted.
I have not gone into electronic or mechanical changes or diet and entrainment but in 80 years progress has come in all kinds of fields, including medically, which is probably why I am here to write some of my thoughts. Hope my "pace-maker" battery stays fresh.
By the way, for our children, 1960's, and grandchildren, 1990's and 2000's they are in the "modern" Generation, and we probably are being dragged in also.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


As most of you know yesterday, Monday was Yom Kippur, "the Day of Atonement". That is a solemn day of meditation and fasting. Therefore Sunday night was Erev(the night before) Yom Kippur. All Jewish Holidays start at sundown the previous day. Remember "there was darkness and then there was light". so far I haven't taxed my knowledge of Judaism, but I'm not far from doing so. What has all this to do with a "food Blog"?
We'll Sunday night is also an unofficial ritual Holiday, for on that evening many Jewish Families eat "carry out Chinese". So in keeping with tradition, that is just what we did.
Our friend Guy Burgess, of the "Oriental Wok- Regency" put together a special package, which our daughter, who has special needs could enjoy. We had "pot stickers" followed by a chopped Chinese Chicken Salad, small strips of chicken and a mix of marinated Chinese vegetables, plus his "Oriental Wok" chow mein, not Kosher since it includes Chinese roasted pork and grilled shrimp, in soft noodles, and excellent taste Pad Thai. Great food and plenty to see me through the next 24 hours.
To "break the fast" we often sample, near sundown, herring and a white fish salad. Just to get the juices running, as if that is necessary. Yesterday it was just the herring and then we were off to a delightful treat at "Nicola's" 1420 Sycamore St. Cincinnati 45202 513-721-6200. "Nicola's" is acknowledged to be one of the best, if not "the best" Italian Restaurant in Cincinnati, with a price point to match their rating.
Our good friend, and trainer, had tipped us off to what just might be the best deal in town, especially if you like outstanding, cooked to order Italian food. Monday night "Nicola's" offers an "in the bar special" of a medium sized house salad, with some of the best tasting simple dressing, virgin olive oil and well aged Balsamic vinegar, and a bowl of Pasta Bolognese, accompanied by a wonderful bread basket stuffed with a variety of items all for $13, drinks and any additions, including tips, are extra. Unbelievable food, especially the Bolognese, in a most congenial atmosphere for a terrific price. Everything was superb. What a way to "break a fast" or chow down any Monday night. I hope I don't do for "Nicola's" what Polly Campbell did for "Terry's Turf Club", but then I don't have the readership.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pleasent Surprise

Yesterday I had two events, "eating out", somewhat out of the ordinary.
At Noon a companion and I went to "Ichiban" (Japanese Cuisine) 1020 Delta Ave. Cincinnati 45208-513-321-8686. "Ichiban", which means number one or first in Japanese, almost my total knowledge of that language, opened about 2 weeks ago in Mt. Lookout Square, in the spot previously occupied by "Aqua". The interior remains the same.
Unfortunately, for the restaurant, we were the only guests during the noon to one o'clock time frame. I hope as people get to know this will change as both of our lunches were excellent.
Upon entering we were greeted by an attractive Japanese lady server who showed us the display of the "Ichiban Box" which I eventually ordered. Obviously we had our choice of tables or booth and chose the latter as we had a lot to discuss.
The sever explained the menu, and as I said I chose the "Ichiban Box", six or more compartment each with a different offering, while my companion had the prime rib teriyaki served with fresh green beans and oven roasted potato strips. I sampled one piece of meat and it was wonderful. My "Ichiban box had crisp, not oily, shrimp and vegetable tempura, a beef and onion combination with a scoop of Potato salad with Japanese mayonnaise, a small quiche like wedge of egg, bacon and mushroom again accompanied by green cold veggie salad, 6 California rolls and some mixture of marinated noodle like, gelatinous, unknown except for the marinated mushrooms.
All lunches come with a flavorful Miso soup, ordered with or without tofu, and a small green salad with dressing. My lunch was $10 for much too much excellent food while the prime rib was $14 for again a very filling meal.
Do yourself a favor, be adventurous and go, you'll be rewarded.

In the evening, along with our cousins, we went to "The Cheesecake Factory" 7875 Montgomery Road (Kenwood shopping center) Cincinnati 45236-513-984-6911. it was my second visit, the first being shorly after they opened and before I started "Blogging". The first surprise was the crowd. The place was overwhelmed, to the surprise of management. They had not schedule enough servers for a Tuesday night and so there was a 30 minute wait to be seated, even thought there were plenty of empty tables. We did check one other restaurant, next door, and found the same situation with a 45 minute wait. We stayed the course.
After being seated we were please to receive excellent service for the young man who took care of all of out needs. We all had the "wild mushroom soup", ordering a "cup", which turned out to be a good sized bowel, of delicious, hot, very mushroomey soup. This is a regular Tuesday night offering. The four of us next shared "home made Guacamole" with warm chips, salsa and sour cream, on the side followed by beef sliders and French Fry's. Each order had 4 mini hamburgers with good crisp pickle chips and ketchup. All items came promptly, were hot or cold, as desired, and made for a pleasant meal. For this kind of mass dining( over 450 seats) establishment it was beyond reproach. Our total per couple, with a generous tip and tax was $33.
A very pleasant day as mention in the outset.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

No excuse

I have not posted anything since Aug 25. There are two reasons: one, we have not been to any place new, although some of the regulars have been very good, as usual; and two, the next night, Aug. 26, after dinner at "Otto's" Marilyn slipped on the sidewalk and ended in the street, with lacerations and blood from head to toe. Because she has been on strong medications, for a Kidney problem, the fall was a cosmetic disaster, not to mention the psychological discomfort.
We have been out, actually quite a few times, but they have been with some effort on her part and plenty of understanding from out dinner companions.
As I mentioned, we had finished a fine dinner at "Otto's", where Marilyn was the youngest of the six, the eldest being 94. Our next venture was to "Walt's Hitching Post, followed by a Birthday dinner(9 in all), at our home, for a friend who just celebrated her 90th. Several of us did the food and Marilyn was more of a guest than an active hostess. I provided "hors d'oeuvres", with an asst from Costco.
We joined a couple at "Floyd's" in Clifton for good home cooked Lebanese( spit roasted chicken), but because UC was not in session the owner and cook decided that she would cut back on her menu till the students returned. There was plenty of good food but a couple of items I wanted to try she was not cooking that evening. Three nights in a row, in early Sept. we graced "Knotty Pine on the Bayou"( pan seared grouper), the "Sky Galley", crowded and not up to usual, and again "Otto's", to let them know there were no hard feelings, only "hard knocks"
The last two ventures out were to "Bonefish", sparsely populated and "Honey"( North side) where Shoshanna is still holding forth with her interesting and inventive combinations of flavors and textures.
I have been doing a fair amount of cooking and last night dreamt up a new Roasted Fresh Tomato preparation to top some Pasta. Our farmer's market, this time of year, is a treasure chest of excellent home grown produce. The Concord Grapes have put in an appearance, which means fall is not to far away.
Several agency and community picnics over the weekend so it will be hamburger and hot dog time until the next report.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two different experiences

Continuing my report on the "heavy week" I'll fill you in on our evenings out both Friday and Saturday. Each time we were joined by another couple.
Friday night, without reservations, we showed up at "Wild Ginger" on Edwards Road. "Wild Ginger" has expanded and has 3 dining area plus an outdoor patio. We were immediately shown to a comfortable table for 4 and waited only a minute or two for our most attractive server. She explained the menu, which has grown with the restaurant, and took our drink order.
With Asian food I often drink beer and went that route Friday.; A cousin, who knows brews, introduced me to Kirin Ichiban( number one) and the 22 oz bottle is sufficient to last though out the meal or be split at the table.
Marilyn and I split an order of pot stickers while the other couple had summer rolls and regular spring rolls. For my main course I selected the "King of the Ocean Roll" built around fried soft shell crabs. Marilyn had her favorite "3 Flavored Walleye", a pan fried fillet served with wilted spinach and a delightful slightly sweet sauce. She shared a bit with me so I had the best of both dishes. "Wild Ginger" remains reasonable, about $25/person, and very pleasant.
The next night was not the same. With our very close relatives and friends we went to "Daveed's" 934 Hatch Street(Mt. Adams) Cincinnati 45202, phone 513-721-2665. We had a 6:30 reservation, earlier than we had requested. The place was full, noisy and although there were sufficient servers the kitchen was struggling. We started by sharing an order of "pommes frits" for the 4 of us. This we requested with the drinks and when they arrived, slightly after the drinks were served, they turned our to be somewhat soggy French Fries, ordinary at best. We all followed with salads, Marilyn had the "Heirloom" Tomato Salad, for $10, which turned out to be about a half slice of tomato with a few greens and a cherry tomato, cut in half. I had the Blue Cheese Beignet which consisted of 3 ping pong ball sized dough with no stand alone flavor($8). Our main courses were quite satisfactory, my Rigatoni Carbonara had good flavor with a generous amount of pacetta and sweet peas added to the rich sauce. Marilyn had Duck Brest which she said was excellent. We ended with coffee and no dolce.
Our server, a well spoken statuesque young women, spent more time conversing with the Bartender than she did seeing how our dinner was perceived. She was quite surprised when, with the checks, we gave her an uncomplimentary report on our first two courses.
The total for the evening was approximately $50 each, a poor value for what we received.
Sunday night we took several dishes, Southern homemade green beans and a gourmet salad next door where our neighbors provided drinks, grilled hamburgers and a rich chocolate brownie desert. A nice wrap up for a "heavy week"