Over the weekend we went to "Pelican's Reef" 7261 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati 45230 (513)232-2526, with another couple, after drinks and nibbles at our place.
"Pelican's Reef", a sort of Key West Seafood Bar, has always been good for not only food and service but a general, relaxed, atmosphere as well. Maybe it's because we have been close to the owners for several years we feel that way.
Any way I believe the food quality and preparation have improved, from a good level, to one approaching any top seafood restaurant in the area.
Each week they send out an email notice of the weekend specials( I'm sure they will add you to the list) and I have found tempting items, almost without exception. One special this week was a killer dessert but we'll get to that shortly.
Our friends had a crumb crusted fresh John Dory, a firm, flaky white fish. The fish was crusted and baked and then placed in individual baking dishes on a bed of pasta and then baked again for a short time, heating and melding all the ingredients. It was outstanding.( I stole a fair sized taste)
I had large shrimp(scampi), split in the shell and stuffed with a crab stuffing. The shrimp were broiled and were firm and juicy while the stuffing was grainy, a good contrast, and had enough crab to give it a definite crab flavor. This was served on 3 cheese grits, in a large flat soup bowl, with a Southwest sauce( tomato's, peppers, onions etc) well seasoned but not overpowering. Another winner.
Now for dessert, and this may have been what brought us to the Reef. A large bowl, the four of us didn't finish it all, of deep fried chocolate, pecan, Carmel brownies, cut into strips and wrapped in an egg roll shell and popped into the deep fryer. When you cut into them the chocolate oozed out and mixed with the very large scoop of praline ice cream which made the center piece. As if this wasn't enough the ice cream was topped with whipped cream. No wonder we have an obesity problem in this country. Unconscionable but absolutely delicious. Total cost for the two of us with beer, salads, tip and tax $48.
The other pleasant surprise, at a favorite, was lunch at "Otto's" 521 Main St Covington KY 41011 (859-491-6678) I have posted comments about "Otto's, one of my emotional favorites, so that it is unfair to write more. The good news is the Paul Weckman is very much back in evidence and the food and service show it. The lunch menu seemed somewhat expanded and everything came out of the kitchen hot, tasty and delicious.
Sticking to my diet(Ha) I had an item that used to be only on the brunch menu, a Fried green tomato, bacon, lettuce sandwich, on a croissant with a fried egg added. Undoubtedly as many calories as a bacon cheese burger. To continue my wayward behavior instead of fruit, salad or soup I choose the home made, wonderful Saratoga chips.
My companion, a vegetarian had the excellent tomato soup followed by the always great tomato cheese pie. After all how much longer will the fresh tomato season last?
It was a great weekend of eating and I am thankful that our trainer doesn't have a computer and that the new treadmill, in the work out room, is functioning as it should.