Friday, December 16, 2011

Tough Time

December is a very busy time in the restaurant business. Holiday Parties, time off schedules, busy kitchens and often weather related issues.
Opening a new operation during this period is even tougher than opening always has been.

Last night, the second night of general operations Marilyn and I went to the new bar, "Tavern", at "The Precinct", all prior address and phone info remain the same. Not surprisingly there were "hitches" but we are glad we went and experienced this additional Jeff Ruby enterprise.
One enters thru the main lobby 0f the Precinct and climbs a small flight of stairs. The entrance to the fairly large room is thru a set of swinging doors. The room has a large bar, at the far end, (seating at the bar available) and a group of "high tops" filling the center. The "high tops" are surrounded by booths on three sides. The decorations are the turn of the century ( 1800's to 1900's), noise level are typical bar noises and the crowd Thursday night was full but not packed. One can reserve or just show up.
The wait staff is mostly attractive young women and the "Tavern" food is served from the same kitchen as the main restaurant.
Currently there is a very small, 5 item, bar food menu, which will expand after the first of the year, on the table and the regular Precinct menu is presented for those who want to eat more substantially.
We had reserved and therefore had one of the booths. Our server was young( 21) and also works at "Jeff Ruby Steakhouse", down town. She had a slight problem adjusting to the offerings at the "Tavern" and downtown. She could not have been more friendly and anxious to please.
I had 2 Yuengling Lager's, the new "hot" beer in Cincinnati. It is a very good rich, mellow and satisfying brew. The Manager highly recommended the Alaskan King Crab Brulee, a mixture of crab meat, cheese, sauce and topped with Panko Bread Crumbs. This comes in a ramekin, very hot, and served with lime corn chips. It went well with the beer and was plenty for 2 or 3 to share. We each had a large iceberg wedge salad with all the usual additions. Marilyn then had sourdough toast with mushrooms will I tried the chili, meat beans and spices. I had wanted the, listed, Seafood Chowder but was told it wasn't available.
It was a fine sampling from both menus and gave us plenty till we got home to homemade brownies and Graeter's.

Also this week we returned to "View Cucina" 2200 Victory Parkway 45206. Our daughter, whose birthday we celebrated had chosen this after hearing of our experience the week before.
Tuesday is half priced wine night and we ordered a bottle of "Benton Lane", one of my favorite Pinot's. Marilyn and I split a wedge( it's getting to be a habit) which we followed with a divided order of prime rib Canneloni, in a very rich cheese, Alfredo sauce. Half is enough as it is served in a interesting divided round plate ( ying and yang) and is accompanied by linguine with tomato basil sauce. Have some pasta. Our daughter and others had the eggplant salad, see earlier report, which continues to be one of the best, most interesting items. Coffee, for Marilyn, and a table shared Cookie Dough Pie topped with Graeter's vanilla and chocolate sauce finished the birthday dinner.

For lunch Tuesday I met my friend Paul Weckman ( Otto's) at "Pho Lang Thang" in Finley market. I stuck with a cabbage and chicken salad while Paul had several Vietnamiese dishes. Afterward I did some shopping, for shut In's at both Silverglades, cheese spread and grape, pecan chicken salad, across the street, and "Fresh Table" in the market house. There I picked up cauliflower au gratin, pea pod salad with nuts and dried cranberries and Mediterranean Couscous with chopped marinated veggies. Should have been good lunch items for all.

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