Saturday, May 28, 2011


It's been another very big week of eating out but I'm going to start with a Wednesday night dinner at Cincinnati State.
"The Summit" is the restaurant open Thursday thru Saturday, for dinner, at Cincinnati State. It is staffed by recent graduates of the Culinary Institute and is a bridge for both the kitchen and front of the house, staff, before they move on to other spots.
On Tuesday and Wednesdays, near the end of each semester, the location is taken over by students who are in their last weeks, before graduation. Those nights it is a requirement that they be there and take the jobs to which they are assigned. They practice on "customers" who are in the most part family and college staff. We were happy to find out about this and were pleased to be included last Wednesday night. The food and service were both very good and there was very little difference between what happens later in the week and the meal we had that night.
The menu, ala carte, consists of first courses( one prepared "table side"), salads and Main. I had 3 excellent courses, White Gazpacho, pureed cucumbers, onions, grapes and apples in a semi-thick base ( slightly sweet for my taste but otherwise refreshing), Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad, drizzled with Virgin Olive Oil, and a Main course of Artic Char, done perfectly( crispy skin and juicy flesh) on a bed of sweet and sour Kale and a sweet potato puree. All had wine while the others had a variety of dishes. The prices were very reasonable and the whole staff could not have been more attentive.

The rest of the week were familiar places and well prepared items, some seasonal and some "main stays". Monday night at "Bonefish Grill", Edwards and Madison Roads, I dove into soft shelled crab stuffed with a lump crab cake, wonderful, while Marilyn had Tilapia. It was pouring rain and the dining room showed it, but the service and food were of their usual high standard. Still a very good seafood chain restaurant.
Speaking of service, I don't know how they do it, but "J. Alexander's", Rookwood Plaza, seems to higher and train attractive, well groomed, efficient servers who almost never disappoint. We join another couple there Thursday night and the only disappointment was that they ran out of the "side" of roast beets before our order was fill, the server was also disappointed as she had told us they were her favorite and she planed on some that evening. Oh well, the Cheeseburger and Hugh mound of French fries over stuffed me and my cholesterol count for the next 36 hours. Very good and very naughty. Marilyn had her regular Prime Rib Sandwich and baked potato which is one of the best buys around.

Last night, again with friends, we drove up the block to "Nectar Restaurant", Mt. Lookout Square, and let Julie Francis over satisfy us with her wonderful cooking. The table divided the Mediterranean Meze a collection of mid-eastern tastes and textures from Farfalle to Humus and also including, pickled beets, eggplant relish, thin sliced cucumbers and yogurt with marinated onion strips to name some. It's a large appetizer which the four of us made "all gone" Three of us, including the writer, had fillets of Flounder sauteed with a cornmeal crust and served on a combination sweet corn and green pepper and bean cold relish. All surrounded by a fairly strong mint coulis. A beautiful dish even more flavorful than it looked.
This wasn't enough so we split a Peach Tar Tartan covered with Carmel sauce and topped with a scoop of Lavender Gelato, overkill.
Who knows what may come next.

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