Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two interesting repeats

Tuesday night we went with some of our young friends to "Brown Dog Cafe" 5893 Pfeiffer Rd. Blue Ash, OH 45242 -513-794-1610. We had been there once before under different ownership and with different "friends". The previous time, which was years ago and our first, and only, visit was marred by nothing being satisfactory to the other couple. Hard to enjoy any meal under those circumstances. This time was entirely different.
The current Chef/proprietor is Shawn McCoy and Tuesday night he was a master of ingredients, flavors and presentation. For my dinner Marilyn and I split a "Maza" appetizer (a Mideastern sampler). Approximately 6 items based on Olives, tomato's, cucumbers etc. plus humus and nicely toasted Pita. Of course I started with Bombay and the only less than perfect items were the cocktail onions which are good sized but not crisp.
I followed with a salad of spinach leaves, grape tomato's, diced HB Egg and Gorgonzola. It was dressed perfectly, for my taste, with a light creamy, slightly spiced dressing. My main course was Boar, a meat with which I am not familiar. The four small medallions were prepared medium rare and produced a flavor somewhat like tenderloin but more firm and with a slightly undomesticated flavor. It was accompanied with a Cos Cos, bathed in a citrus juice and fresh asparagus and mashed avocado. A wonderful mix of sights and flavors, "well done chef". Besides sharing the Maza plate Marilyn had beautiful duck breast, of which I was given one nibble. The Prednizone has increased her appetite and she is not into sharing. Total cost including coffee was approximately $32 each before tip. A beautiful meal well worth the price.

Tonight we returned to "Boca" 3200 Madison Road, 45209, 513-542-2022, for the first time in several years. On previous visits we were not too please with portion size and price points.
Richard Brown, formerly of "Pigalle" has taken over as head of hospitality, and since he is a true friend, we followed him and at his suggestion came on a Wednesday night, when they serve Pizza, $10 to $14, in the Bar. He arranged a table and although the special Pizza menu was given to us, we chose the regular "Bar " menu instead. Richard tell us the Pizza are large enough to split but I am slightly skeptical as portion size does not seem to have increased, measurably.
Marilyn and I split a roasted Cesar salad, a spear of Romaine infused with an excellent Cesar dressing, the Boca sliders, one each, made of ground tenderloin an seasoned very nicely, and an order of Pappardelle Bolognese. The Pasta is made in house as is the sauce. The sauce had the best and most distinctive flavor of the evening, although for my taste the kitchen has a heavy hand with the Sodium. As I said the portions remain small but Richard was correct that cost for this first class restaurant is reasonable. Our check, including a good Argentinian Red wine and Marilyn's Cranberry Juice and soda was $46 for the two of us before tip.
Richard sent a small desert to each of us. Marilyn's was a dense, dark chocolate tort while I received and extremely light cheesecake timble with Camel and maple sauce. A sweet way to end a sweet evening. Now were off to California for 12 days, more on that when I return, I'm sure pounds heavier.

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