For years it has been my dream to open and run a first class, Jewish Deli in Cincinnati. There have always been a few things that have stood in the way; MONEY, actual restaurant experience and partners who were as enthusiastically as I and more knowledgeable. Now my dream has been partially answered.
"Rascals (NY) Deli", Blue Ash Ohio, (513) 429-4567 opened about a month ago in a strip center at the corner of Kenwood Rd and Cooper Rd in Blue Ash, behind the US Bank building. We went Thursday for lunch, along with another couple, and tried an array of their items. Some were "tastes" or "samples" and others were regularly sized portions. I asked for and received, willingly, a taste of both the chopped liver and the Sable. The first I found only fair, to my taste, and the second was fine, standard, cured Sable. Incidentally the servers and managers( probably partners) did everything possible to be accommodating.
I ordered "soup and half sandwich". My soap was the sweet and sour cabbage, a favorite of mine, which I found to heavy for my taste with too much beef, other delis versions run from no noticeable beef to very light, and two thick a sweet base. It came only warm (temperature) but was soon corrected to nice and hot. Along with this I had a half of a pickled tongue on dark rye which was exactly as advertised. The tongue had good flavor and the rye, while too thick for my preference, was hard crusted and with good rye flavor. The table ordered the two kinds of cucumber salads and we were very please with the standard vinegar one but not happy with the Israeli seasoned version which had a fermented taste.
Marilyn had beef barley soup and a half corned beef on light rye which she reported to be just fine, on both. The others had Matzo Ball and noodle soup and one tongue and one Pastrami.
The restaurant is fair sized and I would guess seats around 50. We arrived at 11:30 AM and were seated immediately but before noon there was a line waiting for seating. All items can be "carried out".
The menu is extensive and runs from breakfast items to dinner plates. Prices for these not too usual Cincinnati items seem to be in line with costs in other locals. The "soup and sandwich" was 7.95 and also included one potato pancake, a small cup of apple sauce and a generous slice of dill pickle.
I wish them luck and will return to try the Sable in some form, sandwich, plate or omelet, and possibly some of the other fish or deli items.
Also we split our time this week from eating in and going out, hitting "Pelican's Reef", "Suzy Wong's" and the "National Exemplar' in Mariemont. The first two are regulars but the last has been absent from our dinning scene for several years.
"The National Exemplar Restaurant" in Mariemont, OH is on the village square in the "Best Western Hotel". It is large, quiet and frequented by many of the "older" set, of which we are prime examples. Nice place to go for relaxed dining and a menu that rarely changes. They have a full bar and serve a decent sized drink. Starting with my Bombay I followed with the excellent rich Hungarian Mushroom Soup. For a main course I chose calf's liver, medium( which was slightly too done) that is accompanied by creamy mashed potato's and in my case fresh spinach. The calf's liver was both tasty and tender.Others had prime rib, salmon and halibut. All the food was well prepared and nicely presented We should venture there a little more often.