Saturday, February 21, 2009


When you find a talented Chef with a good idea and wonderful execution it's time to pay attention.
Julie Francis, the proprietor and Chef of "Nectar", 1000 Delta Ave-513-929-0525, has been staging "Dinner Club" events for the past year, or so. She has covered, Garlic, Mustard and others. Thursday night it was "Spinach, A Tasty Green" with Turner Farm. The evening was a treat.
There are five courses, all using, in one way or another, the featured item. One seating, about 7 PM and a price fixed charge for the dinner of $55 per person, not including beverages and gratuity. The portions are moderate but I doubt that any left hungry or dissatisfied.
The courses and their ingredients are as follows:
Baby Spinach Salad( three types, Bordeaux, Space and Winter log lasting, all small leafed and crisp),Organic Shiitake Mushrooms, Red Onion, Chestnuts, Grated Hard Boiled Egg. The salad was dressed with an excellent Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette. A wonderful combination.
Second came Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Grana Parmesan and Lemon Brown Butter. The Gnocchi were delightful. The mixture of the spinach and ricotta with the dough made not only from a mild taste but the preparation produced wonderfully light and fluffy, melt in your mouth, pasta. This is a winner.
The fish course was Pomegranate Glazed Hawaiian Marlin with Spinach flan. As you know, Marlin is a relative of Sword fish and has many of the same qualities. The Glaze was very light and the flan very creamy so it produced an interesting combination.
Next came Lamb Kibbi with Creamed Spinach( not your steakhouse variety). The Kibbi came as two balls, slightly larger than golf balls and was mildly seasoned. The Spinach was whole baby leaves with a light yogurt sauce. Each setting off the other.
Dessert was Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Current Filo Pastry with Carrot Sorbet. The accompaniment was diced tropical fruit. The filo was a mix of Spanicopita and Baklava. The sorbet was so frozen that I just popped it in my mouth and let nature take it's course.
There were two featured wines, at a reasonable price, as well as there usually wine list and bar items, and the whole evening, while not inexpensive is a very fair value.
To quote Mikey, "try it you'll like it".

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