I sometimes get comments, all verbal, that I write about the same restaurants too much. It's hard not to do when we are served outstanding meals. That was the case Tuesday night at the "Oriental Wok-Hyde Park". Four of us arrived on a rainy cool evening and turned Guy Burgess, the chef free to feed us. To say he did not disappoint is an under statement.
After drinks the meal started with a tender sea-scallop placed upon a slice of purple eggplant which had been sauteed to crispen the egg white wash, into which it had been dipped. It was covered by the broiled scallop and a semi sweet sesame sauce. It was a combination of French and Asian all rolled into one wonderful item. This was followed, with a bow to Marilyn, with a half portion of crisp vegetable spring roll and a single "Pot sticker".
The main course was a pound and a half fresh, Maine, Lobster, cut into pieces and wok prepared with a very light Cantonese sauce. The large platter had not only 3 different types of mushroom slices, each one better that the other, but also baby bok-choy and a few scallions. Some dish!!
Guy also prepared "Ants on a Hill" a typical Chinese dish which Lang Lang had enjoyed 3 times on his recent visit to Cincinnati. This dish is seasoned ground pork with a few veggies, bean sprouts, carrot slivers, scallions etc, mixed in and all mounded over very thin gelatinous noodles.
We ended with a mango flan, slightly more firm, but equally pleasing. Some meal and some evening. There wasn't one item below the rave category.
Another interesting evening was our first visit to "Jimmy G's" 435 Elm St. Cincinnati, 45202 (513) 623-8555. This new addition (opened early December 2011) to downtown dining is run by a chef with much experience in the Cincinnati area and a distinctive twist on the items he prepares.
With another couple we decided to mix and match. I had my "Bombay"( $10.50), with house marinated, cocktail onions, almost large enough to count as a vegetable course and then the table split a bottle of fine Oregon Pinot( slightly pricey). The kitchen split two "house" salads, a wonderful combination of fresh greens, thin apple slices, golden raisins and all topped with fried parsnip shavings. It was beautifully presented and dressed. As sides we had an order of 4 Fat Fries, potato's made deadly by twice frying them, at different temperatures, in the above mentioned fat. We'll done both texture and taste and also an interesting Cauliflower Caponeta, cauliflower taking the place of the usual eggplant. The caponeta( their spelling) is described as spicy but don't be turned off it's mid-range and delicious. For main courses there was a "rib eye tenderloin" done medium, but pink throughout, which had fine taste but was a bit chewy, a yellow fin tuna steak, done rare and living up to it's billing and an order of "Gribbles"( their term) which are secured meats, 3 secures That evening pork tenderloin, in it's own distinctive sauce, cherry barbecue, and served with an accompanying item. The sauce and items were slightly disappointing, sauce extremely mild and the apricot kim-chee turned out to be thin strips of apples.
The owned and chef, Jimmy Gibson, was very evident and stoped by several times to chat.
Our split deserts were a dense Chocolate fig pate, heavy and rich, but an interesting combination and a deconstructed key lime pie served as a key lime custard in a cup topped with whipped cream and accompanied by wonderful house made pistachio biscotti. A most interesting dining experience.
A couple comment about "Jimmy G's". It has a very lively bar scene which is separated from the dining area but the noise of the band( loud) carries. Also the handicapped entrance( elevator) is thru the lobby of the building, a fact we were not given when we called to make a reservation.
As older dinners both of these have some importance. "Jimmy G's" is in the space formerly occupied by Wham-Mee and so is below street level.
More to report later as we are back to eating out.