From dinner Friday night, thru dinner last night, was a good 24 hours of a sort of eating and wine drinking frenzy. It included, in part, the big Cincinnati "Wine Festival" lunch and auction. I am not a regular participant but this year I gave it another "shoot" both literally and figuratively.
We started Friday night at "Otto's, in Covington. Do I need to say more?
After the Bombay and shared Fried Green Tomato's I had as my main dish "Golden Tilefish". This species, as you probably know, is firm, flaky and slightly sweet. It was roasted and placed on a seasoned polenta cake and surrounded by beautifully caramelized Brussels Sprouts. Certainly enough to satisfy anyone; but then how could I resist the apricot bread pudding that came to the table, unordered. The fresh whipped cream on top was wonderful excess.
Saturday, I arrived at the Wine Festival even at approx. 10:30 to view the selections offered in the silent auction. While making the rounds a very small piece of Cinnamon coffee cake was called for. I bid on only one of the items with a high enough price to be in the running.
The "open" auction started at 11:30 and lasted almost 2 hours, prices were much above my range, as I neither drink, nor pay for excellent old vintage wine.
Lunch of three courses, prepared by Todd Kelley and the staff of "Orchid's" started with a helping of shrimp ravioli on a bed of steamed spinach and covered with a lobster sauce containing some pieces of the lobster meat. With this we were served a Foxglove Chardonnay, remember it's a wine festival even ( no restriction on the size or quantities of the pour). Our vintner host was James Varner and all the wines were his "Foxglove" label, from his winery. Next came Todd's brazed short ribs both in pieces and shredded and made into a crispy beef cake. This had small gnocchi and small amounts or root vegetables floating in the sauce. The wine was a Pinto Noir. Lastly a individual cheese plate with a very nice Zinfandel as it's accompaniment. I rose from the table around 3 PM loaded with both food and wine and dreading our diner date set fro 6:30. I picked up my winning bid, 6 bottles of Oregon Pinot Noir. I have no idea if I paid a reasonable price as there is always a frenzy of bidding around these events.
I dragged myself to "Meritage" in Glendale, 1140 Congress Ave Cincinnati, OH 45246 (513) 376-8134 determined to have nothing more that a light salad with lemon juice or vinegar. I can hear you laughing, I I would have been if I were self-honest. When we left around 8 PM I had consumed a beautiful wedge of crisp iceberg with all the trimmings and several dressings( blue cheese and a topping of Balsamic). Marilyn and i split a full slab of ribs with a sweet and slightly peppery sauce as well as a side of excellent "Mac & Cheese". The only stab at less than deviant behavior was passing on anything alcoholic that evening.