I usually don't comment on private dinners but last Saturday night, our friend and trainor, Pat Gaito, fixed an outstanding Italian dinner, for eight.
He started with a cold Antipasto, meats, cheeses, olives, roasted peppers and a fairly spice mix. That was followed by a large bowl of steamed shell fish( shrimp, mussels, clams) all cooked in a broth with white wine and a dish he claims to have invented, Chicken Scappilla( slices of grilled chicken breast, spicy Italian sausage, red and yellow belle pepper slices plus mushrooms and onions also sliced and cooked in a very tasty, fairly thick, herb seasoned, broth). All this was accompanied by large baskets of fresh Italian bread and several bottle of excellent wine. Come to your own conclusions.
Monday night was good, but not outstanding, shared Italian food at "Maggiano's" in Kenwood Mall. A well run large Italian chain dinning establishment which is always pleasant and offers good standard fair and attentive service, Monday was no exception.
Four of us divided two orders of Capellini, made to order, with artichokes, mushrooms and sun dried tomato's all tossed in light Olive oil and garlic sauce. We also split a large chopped salad which came, unfortunately, with it usual toppings( avocado, onions, prosciutto and cherry tomato's) but this time not in abundance. We should have sent the salad back for the more usual treatment. Drinks before, our usual, and coffee after brought the charge to $34.74 for the two of us.
Thursday was a fine visit at "Otto's" 521 Main in Covington and I feel that reporting in depth is "gilding the lilly" as we go there enough that any regular reader knows "the drill". Marilyn and I each had the "Wedge of Iceberg"( covered with blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits) while for our main courses I had Salmon and she Tilapia. My Salmon, rubbed with sauce, was roasted and came on a bed of sweet potato fries all topped with fresh asparagus spears. The tilapia, which was sauteed in lemon butter and capers, came with fingerling potato's and asparagus. We completed the meal by sharing, with the other couple, an order of warm apricot bread pudding covered with vanilla sauce. A very fine full dinner, as usual, at one of our "homes away from home".
The last spot, this week, was Friday at "Maribelle's Tavern" 2062 Riverside Dr. Cincinnati 45202 (513)861-2484. We have been there several time and have seen an evaluation from a bar and "hamburger joint" to a more diverse and slightly upscale dining spot. The "Bombay" is good and reasonable as is Marilyn's, large, cranberry juice and soda. I started with a half order( plenty large) of the Goat Cheese salad; mixed greens, sweet potato slices, goat cheese, nuts and cranberries, followed by lamb sliders and an order of Brussels Sprouts( small sprouts sauteed in brown butter). Marilyn had a large portion of Duck roasted nicely and covered with a light citrus sauce. The duck came with eggplant slices and cornbread dressing, with berries, as a foundation for the dish. We also had a good taste of their jalapenos grits. A fun evening with good friends and good interesting food, in a spot where in the past you could walk in but you now better have a reservation, especially on the weekend.