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.