Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not sure

I'm not sure how to proceed. I wrote the last time about a new diet, strongly suggested by my Cardiologist and being somewhat neurotic I have probably over done the control of salt content. This, of course, makes my "eating out" fairly bland and somewhat monotones. So hear is the dilemma, do I post what I am doing, what people I am with are eating or do I just take some time off and only write when there is really something special to report or my diet gets changed?

Anyway, we have been eating out less and here is what I have done since the last posting.
"Enoteca Emilia" 2038 Madison Road Cincinnati, OH 513-834-5773( although I have never gotten a live person to answer my call) was the spot Monday 9/19, a 3rd time for Marilyn and me. After a "Quartino", about 8 1/2 oz or a 1/4 of a 5th, of fine Barbera I settled for the Calamari and Shrimp salad, an excellent choice. Mine was large enough that it would have serficed for a light meal, however I added 2 small secures of lamb, only 4 pieces, total, but the secures also had some fingerling potato's and some slices of grilled sweet onion. The lamb was grilled perfectly, medium rare, and although this dish wasn't necessary it made a nice contrast to the salad. The table split and order of "Emilia's" wonderful Ricotta Fritters. The other three had the mushroom Ravioli, which on previous occasions had been great but that night was too heavily salted even for normal consumption. "Emilia" handled the situation well and we were all satisfied by the outcome.
"La Poste" 3410 Telford Ave, Clifton 513-281-3663. We went after an "open house" at CCM(UC) which served drinks and hors dorves. Marilyn and I both had the superb Grilled Pork Chops. Mine had no seasoning, none was needed , and Marilyn's had just enough, she reported, to bring out the flavor. The major difference in the two plates was that under hers were vegetables and polenta, with a sauce, while mine was on the vegetables without a starch or sauce. The meat was grilled to perfection and each chop provided protein for another meal, the next night.
"Sky Galley" Wilmer Ave, Lunken Airport. This informal, super frendly, family restaurant hosted 6 of us on a Sunday night, including 8 year old twins. They prepared their"world famous"( I'm not sure) Chicken livers which I believe are some of the best in the area, without salt, at my request. My accompaniment was a very good baked potato and a large helping of virtue. A fine meal but somewhat restricted, at my desire. Marilyn had a Mushroom Swiss burger, which she reported was just fine.
Lastly, Monday night, 9/26, was "Bonefish Grill", Madison and Edwards Road 513-321-5222. Marilyn's usual is the Parmesan Crusted Trout and she did not deviate. I started with the Iceberg Wedge with sliced tomato's, and by design, the Bleu Cheese crumbles on the side, and NO Bacon, Italian or otherwise, please. I followed with an order of Ahi Tuna Sashami, not seasoned in the kitchen, but served on a bed of greens with the usual thin sliced Ginger and Wasabi. The meal was satisfying, if not a taste treat, but the Blood Pressure is staying controlled, and that is the whole point.

We'll see what happens next; either reports only on outstanding, like "Nectar" or a relaxation of the guidelines as I become more realistic. End of the "Organ Recital"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Doctor/New Life-Style

This week I changed Cardiologists. I liked my previous one but his practice was bought out and his in-hospital work will only be in a somewhat distant location. Times have changed and so have I. To make the change was not difficult but the new doctor has a much different philosophy built on a holistic approach with much heavier stress on diet, exercise and especially a drastic( for me) reduction in Sodium. Therefore, I'm going to give a shot to a very low Sodium diet and see what happens. Already I have been able to cut some of my Blood Pressure Meds in half or more.
I wont stay home but my food choices may be quite different from people with no Blood Pressure problems or other heart concerns.

"Nectar" Restaurant 1000 Delta Ave 45208 is easy and a pleasure, why we don't go more I don't understand. Most of the food, which Julie Francis prepares is made from fresh, organic, fruits, vegetables and meats or fish and if one asks for, "no salt added" you can have pretty much your choice of all items on the menu. I began with one beautifully prepared shrimp fritter served with a fresh peach salsa and a streak of spicy sauce. Next came a bowel of "sweet corn" soup,( room temperature) very reminiscent of Vichyssoise but containing kernels of steamed sweet corn, finely chopped red onions and a few bits of chopped Italian parsley. It was light, sweet and refreshing and more filling than I imagined.
Luckily Marilyn shared the "summer salad". Chunked Heirloom tomato's, marinated onion pieces, celery and a few corn chips for crispness. My "main" was a starter sized Ahi Tuna Tarter covered with, again, chopped Tomatillos which accompanied the Tomatillos salsa and Wasabi creme fraiche. The platter had a few house made corn chips, with some salt topping which "pawned off" on others. I accompanied the food with a "Torrantes", light, crisp, Chilean wine, perfect drink with perfect food. The table shared 2 desserts, Panna Cotta and a fresh peach tart tatin and I concentrated on the latter which had an accompaniment of Pistachio Gelato( I'm pretty sure that this wasn't on my diet, but virtue and health have to stop somewhere).

Last night, I really did behave. At "Trio's Bistro" in Kenwood, 7565 Kenwood Road 513-984-1905 I started with a house chopped salad, dressed with nothing but olive oil and balsamic vinegar and followed with a pan seared wonderful, fresh piece of Salmon, sauce( yogurt and cucumber) on the side. The salmon was perched on a bed of orzo which contained fresh mushrooms, spinach and cooked red onion slivers. There was a very small amout of cheese, but not of any consequence or saltiness( what virtue). I had a glass of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, just to make my table mates, who had ordered a bottle, fell right at home. Of course the wine did not diminish the dinner in any way. Not stuffed, but happy, I went off to the movie, down the street. Marilyn had the Cesar salad and Lemon chicken, an attractive dish in it own right. She, of course, join the group for the movie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


After "Cafe Mediterranean" at 5 mile and Beechmont closed I wondered why and would there be a place, as good for Turkish and Mid-Easter food? Then I heard that some of the people and owners had moved and opened a new restaurant, "Sultans Mediterranean Cuisine" 7305 Tyler Corners Place, West Chester( or beyond) 513-847-1535. We went Friday evening and I was not disappointed, although as I have said many times("if I want to go to Columbus for a meal I'll do that"). The last statement is unfair and only implies that it is a long haul for us inner city folk. Northern inhabitants will find the location much more convenient.
The new location is near a mid-east shopping center and just beyond a US Bank branch. Use exit 22 from I-75 North. The decor is a little more upscale that the former but the food and service are just as good and the portions are plentiful.
Marilyn and I split the Shish Kebab, each receiving 3 good sized pieces of well marinated, and beautifully grilled lamb; and an order of what is billed as "chicken steak", de-boned chicken thighs also marinated and well grilled( 1/1/2 each) this is served with rice pilaf and small salad of crisp lettuce, carrots, onions and celery. Earlier we had shared a full portion of Shepherd Salad, lots of cucumber, tomato, sweet onion. and Italian parsley, with an oil and lemon juice marinade. I added a dark Turkish beer while Marilyn had her usual de-cafe.
The dinner was great, filling and came at just the right tempo.

Earlier in the week we had returned to "Enoteca Emilia" 2038 Madison Road 45208 (513) 834-5773. This was our second visit and and we enjoyed the "Italian wine bar", just as much as the first. The food, service and wines( all Italian) remain first class. That evening there were 5 and so we split most items.
We started with "Cheesy Bread( Formaggio) which couldn't have been better. A warm loaf of crisp, outside, Italian Bread, while soft and cheese covered on the inside of each slice( I could make a meal of the loaf and some wine); deviled eggs( 3 different toppings), stuffed figs( wrapped in pancetta) in a spicy tomato sauce. excellent grilled cauliflower, overly salted and spiced clams( a substitiue that evening for Cockles) and wonderful mushroom and cheese filled ravioli. The finish, for the table, was an order of Ricotta Fritters and a ramekin of Peach and Strawberry cobbler. Once again I had wine and Marilyn de-cafe. The place is a joy.

Before the Ensemble Theatre a return visit to "A Tavola Pizza" 1220 Vine St. 513-246-0192. To me it is very noisy and not a place to linger. Food comes out as it is prepared and the check is presented promptly.
There 3 of us enjoyed bacon wrapped dates( stuffed with sausage) Eggplant sliders( small soft buns with deep fried eggplant slices and fresh tomato with an ample pesto sauce). A cold cauliflower salad, Margarita Pizza( cheese, sliced fresh tomato's and basil) and a larger sweeter peach cobbler than Emilia. My drink of the evening was Bell's Oberon as wonderful Michigan beer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Too much

I have been eating out too much. Too much good food, too much good wine and possibly too much Bombay. They company is great but we have to find another way to get together with friends and family.

Starting Friday August 26 it was "Barresi's Italian Restaurant" 4111 Webster Ave. Deer Park, Ohio (513) 793-2540. Deer Park is out of our orbit and so we hardly ever go in that direction. That evening we were with a new couple, for us, the husband of which loves this place, and since we are happy to have others suggest where to eat, a job that usually falls to us, we readily agreed.
I think it has been at least 15 years since we have eaten at "Barresi's" and I am in no rush to return.
Since our last visit they have added several rooms, but a week ago Friday they hardly filled the small room, in which they were serving. The decor is fairly dark and the food is decent, old time Italian. I chose a Torrentes( white, crisp Chilean) to go with my Linguine and Clams. The clams were sliced into flat pieces the size of a quarter. The dish was plenty but nothing to rave about. Marilyn had a large serving of Veal Marsala with a hugh amount of sliced mushrooms. She brought home plenty for her lunch for the next day. Prices seem to run in the $25 to $35 range for a main courses and side salad. Good company, but as the wife commented 'we'll try some place else the next time'.

The next outing was a week ago( 8/28) when the whole family, 7 of us, went to "Bella Luna" 4632 Eastern Ave 45226 (513) 871-5862. We had as many dishes as there were people, and maybe more. I tasted most. Among the favorites were a beef short rib Cannelloni( shredded short ribs wrapped in the dough and given the full Cannelloni treatment), Lobster and Crab Ravioli in a Lobster sauce, several pastas with different sauces, several wedges of iceberg split and dressed with all the trimmings( cheese, bacon, tomato and dressing), Calamari in a spicy tomato sauce plus a real winner, Chocolate Chip-Blueberry bread pudding with a warm vanilla sauce. The bar was given business as were the coffee and tea machines. Now you see what I mean by "too much food". Fun evening with Granddaughters, family and good food. "Bella Luna" is perfectly fine Italian and we certainly don't have to drive to Deer Park.

Monday, with our art instructor( he teaches a course in contemporary art at OLLI) and his wife, was a place I have been wanting to try while meeting some resistance from my loving wife. "Dancing Wasabi" 3520 Edwards Rd 45208 (513) 533-4444. "Dancing Wasabi" originated in Mt. Lookout Square and moved a couple of months ago to the vacated "Beluga" space on Edwards Rd. just off of Hyde Park Square. It is fairly large, very noisy and full of young(20/30) people, and why not, since they are the originators of 1/2 price sushi, a much copied idea, all over Cincinnati. There sushi is decent and plentiful, but not being fools, it is heavy on the rice and light on the fillings. We had a very good time, even as we raised the average age by at least 20 years. My two "rolls" were Spider( soft shelled crab) and Spicy Lobster. With Sushi my drink of choice is "Kirin Ichiban"and I tackled the 22 oz bottle. Marilyn had Yakisoba Chicken which was noodles, which she likes, with strips of chicken and vegetables. Hers' was full price($13) while my two 1/2 price rolls( 15 pieces) added up to the exact same amount. Unfortunately the restaurant is not handicapped accessible.

Lunch Wednesday, with our two Granddaughters, was at "La Poste" 3410 Teleford, Clifton (513)-281-3663. Knowing we were also going out that evening I ordered only the crab cake, but shared some pom frites and some chocolate, cherry bread pudding( just a taste). Marilyn had an imported(French) cheese sandwich, grilled, and a salad while the Granddaughters had roasted pear salad, as the main course for one and sliced pork tenderloin sandwich( the best item of the four) for the other.
That evening, again with another couple, we climbed Price Hill to "Primavista" 810 Matson Place (513)251-6467. Beautiful view of the city as the lights came on, great service from an intelligent server and good Italian( 3rd time in a week). After my Bombay it was salad and then Scampi Rigano( the scampi have shrunk to mid-sized shrimp) accompanied by a glass of "Benton Lane Pinot Noir" one of my favorite Pinot's. Marilyn stuck with a veal dish, the nights special, with two of her favorites, mushrooms and artichokes. Not cheap, but a meal never is with both whiskey and wine, especially if they are good.

Thursday night we were guests at Losantiville Country Club(LCC). Thursday is "big Bob's Burger night" and so after drinks, and nosh, we all ordered burgers, large, grilled perfectly, as ordered. They are accompanied by and array of toppings of which Marilyn and I chose sauteed onions and fresh sliced sauteed mushrooms. Marilyn, being smarter than I, passed on the bun. A salad bar is provided and I had a cup of excellent chili( loose hamburger etc) a small Cesar salad and to end the meal fresh pineapple and chocolate chip cookies.
Friday, with the whole 7 family members we celebrated our daughters' and son-in-laws' anniversary and a Granddaughter's September Birthday at "Orchids" 35 W 5th St.( in the Netherland Plaza Hotel) 513-421-9100. There are 3 postings about "Orchids' written in August and it is not necessary to, therefore, go into detail. They did not let us down and 3 bottles of wine later we left well content and as well feed and served and as any place we go in Cincinnati.

Last night, we went with a couple, for their first visit to "Otto's" 521 Main St, Covington KY
(859) 491-6678. The lady has really major problems with steps and since there are two, one must negotiate before entering, it took a maximum effort. Luckily the draw of "Fired Green Tomato's" was strong enough to help her summons the energy, with help, to gain entry. She assured us it was worth the effort.
After that build up we had to begin the meal with an order of Fried Green Tomato's. No one had any alcoholic beverage( I needed to dry out from the night before) and while the others had "soft drinks" and juices I started on my first, of several, glasses of water. Again I have written many time about "Otto's", sort of a home away from home, and last night was no exception. Wonderful assistance from Doug( with the entry and exit), fine service from attractive and attentive Meghan and fine food from Molly and the kitchen staff. Marilyn had her regular Tilapia( which they do as well as anyone). I find that fish too mild for my taste. While I had the Shrimp and Grits, a half dozen large shrimp over a grits cake and served with an slightly spicy tomato, onion and spinach broth. The other couple had the justly famous tomato dill soup and the women had her own order of the Fried Green Tomato's, since the table had shared the first. Her husband selected the Sea Scallops over a spinach risotto( I couldn't come up with that name at dinner last night). They both raved appropriately and I'll be interested to see if they summons up the courage to try it on there own, or with another couple. Great evening for us all.