If you live in the northern part of the Cincinnati area, especially around I275 or above I suggest the next time you are looking for a good meal and relaxed surroundings that you head North to Dayton instead of Cincinnati. On the south side of Dayton approximately 30 minutes from I275 you'll find "Rue Dumaine" at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd 937-610-1061, a store front Bistro with a wonderful eclectic menu and even better preparati0n.
Marilyn and I were there Thursday night dining with a couple from the Dayton area. We arrived at 7 PM and found the restaurant without any trouble on the North side of State Route 725, headed East from I675. The place was only about 1/4 full and it deserves better. The chef, owner, moved from New Orleans, back to Dayton, and opened about 6 months ago. The food may have a slightly Southern twings but I hate to put it in any category, except satisfying.
There were 3 specials and Marilyn and I decided to split two, Ruby Trout Almondene and fresh Flounder. They both came sauteed with a side or two. The trout had a hugh portion of almond slivers, which we thought, at first, was a portion of wild rice, and well prepared green beans. The flounder is served on a bed of roasted Yukon gold potato's with a side of steamed spinach. I had read of their pasta with cheese which they gladly substituted for the roast potato's. The fish was beautifully done, the veggies green and tasty and the sauces served on the side were pleasant accompaniments.
Salads are large and we began our meal by splitting an excellent Belgium Endive, apple, pecan and blue cheese salad for our first course. I'm still working on my waistline, with slight success, so we had no alcholic beverages but Marilyn finished with her usual "decaf" Total coast, with generous tip was $35 each.
The other couple were not as reserved and had not only wine and desert One chose the lamb medallions and the other roast pork both of which looked inviting. From out house travel time in in the range of an hour, depending on traffic, but we will make the journey again.
Friday I had a new experience. I went to a naturalization ceremony for 32 new Americans. I am taking a course at OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Cincinnati. Continuing education for mature adults, at least in age. The course is on Immigration and the Moderator invited us to lunch and to view the ceremony. I'm glad I did both.
He suggested "Mecklenburg Gardens" 302 E. University Ave, Cincinnati 45219-513-221-5353. Meklenburg was founded in 1865 and has had several iterations since then. It has been in the same location since it's founding and still retains the outside beer garden covered with grape vines. When I was growing up it was a favorite of my parents even though it was rumored to be a meeting place for the German American Bund. The specialty,in those days, was "smearcase" a smooth wiped cottage cheese topped with fresh chives and accompanied with rye bread. Alas, those days are gone and for a period of time it was run by an "ashram" and other various groups. Now the Harten family has taken ownership and things, yesterday, at lunch were highly satisfactory. I had a "house smoked Salmon" salad and all though the Salmon was slightly salty the salad was very good with crisp romaine, excellent firm tomato's, tough to get this time of year, and crisp cucumber. The mixed balsamic dressing was just right and the lunch was good enough to encourage a return either for lunch or dinner.