Last night, Grandma, Grandpa and I ate dinner at the best table in the best restaurant in Cincinnati. It couldn't have been a more perfect evening.
Orchids is located in the main ballroom of the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel. Tucked away in a corner booth, our conversation was dwarfed by the half-acre of Brazilian rosewood paneling, German silver light fixtures and soaring ceiling murals all in the French Art Deco style. However, the decor paled in comparisons to our dishes. Yes, Orchids is truly fantastic.
I opened my meal with a Shirley Temple. Then came the bread - three pieces served on your plate and accompanied by three delicious dips. Then came the amuse-bouche, a hollow egg shell filled with egg and truffle custard and topped with more truffles (evidently, you can buy an egg topper to perfectly open eggs every time; for us, this was the most exciting part, of the amuse-bouche). Chef Todd Kelly had bought plates especially for this dish. It was good, but it paled in comparison to the ensuing onslaught of edible excitement. Woo...what a mouthful!
Pictures and descriptions of each course are located in an accompanying post, so look there for more in depth details. I'd prefer to focus on one in particular, the "Main Lobster Salad." Throughout the meal, we would rate each dish after we had finished, and early on we had to be careful with our higher grades...but this was still a 10. It has everything you want in a dish: crunchy, chewy, pasty and stringy textures; hot, warm and cold elements; sweet, salty, fishy, eggy and a mixture of tastes. Each bite was like looking around a corner without knowing what you might see, but then being incredibly excited by what you found. Each bite added to the complexity of the dish, adding layers upon layers to a beautifully painted masterpiece.
Oh, and the Shirley Temple was also fantastic!
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better evening with better company. Grandpa has been trying to get me to come and visit Cincinnati for a while; if I had known this was what was in store me, I would have made the Midwest trek much sooner!