What more can I say about a dinner at "Orchid's" at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, 5th and Race Sts. in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. As special as it always is, it is even more so when eating with the wife of the chef( Todd Kelly) in this beautifully appointed and served "art deco" dining room.
Thursday night the three of us dined and were later joined by the chef, himself.
After a bottle of Puligny-Montrachet, a wonderful white Burgundy, we decided to let Todd send out a meal of his choosing. The only thing we had to decide was how many courses(3 ) and whether we had any restrictions. Unfortunately Marilyn was not feeling well and so she restricted her dinner to a light clam broth and a chicken breast main course. Emily, Todd's wife, an I let the dishes come as the feeling moved our host.
Before going further I must tell you that our wonderful cousin had given us a gift certificate for "Orchid's" and therefore I felt no bounds, as you can tell from the beginning wine, thanks Nancy.
Dinner was as follows, all accompanied by selected wines, which I couldn't by name or vintage identify, but all, of course, matched the course as served. Our "amuse boche" was a basket of Parmesan stripes, baked and crispy, holding a white gelatin of lamb and drizzled with a sour cherry jelly sweeten to just compliment the balance of the presentation.
The first of the three courses was the incomparable Lobster salad, a medallion of chopped lobster meat, slightly moistened and covered with a poached egg and crisp onion straws.
The 2nd courses, diverged, with Emily having roast duck Brest, fruit compote garnish, accompanying, while I was served sauteed sweetbreads and caramelized Brussels Sprouts, two of my favorites. "Orchid's" either has an excellent computer system of an Executive chef who really knows his customers. I was smiling with every bite. As I recall the wines, all red after the opener were a Zinfandel, a Pinto and a Merlot, but this is subject to a clouded memory from my imbibing.
Our main, and third course, was a beef plate with a 3 oz piece of medium rare sirloin strip, topped with a mixed nut butter and roasted, plus a pulled, beef, short rib molded into a miniature "hockey puck" and roasted or quickly fried again covered and browned to perfection.
The vegetable accompaniment was shaved, marinated, fennel with the consistency of a crisp sauerkraut or inside of a cabbage head, wow.
We added a cheese plate for desert, Maytag Blue with a raspberry jam, french goat with a drip of fresh honey and a cows milk with candied orange peels and a sugar coated pecan half. We killed the last 1/2 bottle of wine as the dinner came to a glorious end.
Thanks to all.