Monday, March 8, 2010

The Senate

The new "kid on the block", at least the block in the "Gateway District" between 12th and 13th on Vine, is "Then Senate" 1212 Vine St. Cincinnati, phone 513-421-2020 (they don't take reservations but you can check hours and attendance). I went there for lunch on Thursday, as I was in the neighborhood, and found a long thin renovated space in one of the old buildings on Vine. The atmosphere congenial and the decorations, from the bare brick, to the pleasant lighting, brings to mind "watering holes" is crowded metropolitan areas. Small, long space used efficiently. There is a bar down one side, a long banquet seating on the other and an open kitchen in the rear.
The menu is varied and trendy stressing "Hot Dogs" and other bar items in different forms. There seem to be 4 to 5 special "dogs" from Korean to Chicago, I concentrated on them. As I remember, and I should have brought home a menu, there were an array of sandwiches, Lobster BLT and PB&J with foie gras being the most memorable, salads a soup and several entrees.
I started with an excellent, creamy split pea soup served with several croutons and shreds of roasted pork shoulder. I followed with the "Korean Hot Dog", a nine ounce grilled all beef sausage topped with shredded beef short rib, Kim chi, marinated cucs and a sauce whose flavor was lost in the combinations of tastes. The dog, in it's bun, was served on a small wood cutting board and it is recommended that to eat you preform at least minor surgery( cut the offering in half). There is an extensive been and other beverage menu, as well. I believe the owners idea in a "brew pub" with interesting eats.
The young couple who own the place are in attendance. The day I was there he was in the kitchen cooking and expediting and she was on the floor servicing and helping. According to them they have already developed a night time crowd and the day I was there the were about 2/3 full at lunch. It's a good addition to the "downtown scene and keeps stretching the boundaries, in several ways.

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