Last week we ate out several times, I reported two earlier. Of the other evenings we hit two new spots, for us, and renewed our acquaintance with one.
The renewal was with "J. Alexander's Restaurant" 2629 Edmondson Rd (Rookwood Center) 45209 (513) 531-7495. We were on our way to a show with a 7:30 "Curtain", a quaint old term as most live theatre does not use a curtain anymore. We arrived at the restaurant around 5:30 and had no trouble being ushered to one of many open tables.
Our excellent server, I find most of them well trained and helpful, there, suggested we try the nights featured appetizer, smoked Salmon salad( more a spread), which we happily did, as accompaniment to our drinks. It was more than enough and very tasty. I settled for the evenings "special soup", the Chef's family recipe, Polish Gumbo, thick brown broth well seasoned with chicken, Kielbasa and rice. A filing dish. That and the appetizer would have been enough but I added a half portion of Ceasar salad, large enough to be a main course. All the food was good and the service, from everyone, was excellent.
The two new spots, for us were both downtown.
"Bar 5-0-6" is the new cocktail lounge at the renovated "Residency Inn at the Phelps", 506 E. Fourth St. Cincinnati, OH 45202. We went with two other couples Saturday night, before the Symphony concert, to watch the Kentucky Derby, have a drink and try their "bar food". Nothing was disappointing, if taken in that context. Large TV screens made the Derby easily accessible, the drinks came as ordered and the food was what one would expect. Service was attentive. The table started with two orders of Saratoga Chips, warm, crisp and with two dipping sauces. I had a Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Bacon sandwich( including caramelized onions and slices of Granny Smith Apples) served on an oblong plate with a bowl of steaming tomato soup. The quintessential camp lunch, or Sunday night supper. Marilyn had the Mini Mo Sliders, beef patties on small buns. Others had the Kobe Beef sliders or a fish taco. At 6 PM there was no crowd and on street parking was easy( no ball game).
The other newbie was the "Walnut Street Grill" 631 Walnut St( space previously "Bootsie's) Cincinnati (513)-241-0707. This new effort by Jeff Ruby, and his group, lives up to their reputation of good food well prepared and served. WSG is not a steak house and their menu is varied and somewhere between "down home", chicken pot pie, meatloaf etc, and big city bar and grille. I found the ambiance "hard" ( hard walls, ceilings, tables, bar fronts etc) and very very noisy. I would return if I could be assured of a table in the small alcove, in the rear, were we would have a chance of somewhat normal level conversation.
Marilyn and I split a "Shanghai Salad", chopped greens, tomato's, green onions, bacon bits and Chinese crispy noodles in a light and very tasty ginger vinaigrette( good sized and appetizing) I had the Lake Superior Whitefish, perfectly done and a more than fair sized portion plus broccolini, while she went for the Chicken Pot Pie, which she managed to down half while the rest followed us home. The others had a salad with grilled shrimp and one of several specialty burgers. It is not cheap, especially with the $8 valet parking, but the portions are generous and compaired to the proprietors steak houses the tab is reasonable.