Monday, September 24, 2012

The Anchor

I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of "The Anchor" 1401 Race St. Cincinnati, OH 45202 (513) 421-8111. This new seafood restaurant, located at the North East corner of, the rebuilt, Washington Park, is only a block away from Music Hall and adds a convenient destination on Symphony nights and and other occasions in that venue. Arriving early, parking and walking both to dinner and the performance has many advantages.

Derek Dos Anjos and his wife moved back to Cincinnati, from NYC, she grew up in Clifton, and opened "The Anchor" in Over the Rhine last week. He worked at both "Mary's Fish Camp" and "Pearl's Oyster Bar" in Manhattan. He has brought some of the ideas from these restaurants here, and unfortunately, in my opinion, some of the prices. Prices range from very reasonable, the large "Trout BLT"( $13) to upper price points "Lobster Roll ( $27), in this season of lobster plentifullness.

All the servers seem to have had experience and the surroundings and service were both very pleasant.
It is unfair to report on a new restaurant, with only one visit but we we're all pleased with the items as presented. The bar prices are fair and based on the competitive Cincinnati range.

The table selections, for the four of us were: Caesar Salad, good sized portion ($8), New England Clam Chowder( $7), Fillet of the Day( $20), Fried Oysters($9), Lobster Roll( $27), and a Trout BLT with Vidalia onion rings, large ($13). All dishes came hot and well prepared and all were satisfying.  There are "raw bar" platters running from $40 to $75, beyond our appetite or desire.

From several comments I have received I feel compelled to once again state that I consider myself neither a food critic nor reviewer but just someone who likes to eat out and reports on where we go and what I feel about the food served. I started this at the urging of some OLLI members who took the course, "Let's Eat Out" at UC. Food is very subjective and each of us has personal tastes and preferences.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Yes, we go out a lot and it seems there is no real geographic boundry. We live East of downtown but since the dividing line is supposedly Vine St. we obviously go both East and West, as well as North and South.

After seeing the "Capitol Steps" one night last week we went to "Parkers" Blue Ash Tavern, 4200 Cooper Road, Blue Ash (513)891-8300 for a late night snack. I have never been impressed with their menu  but I have never been there on this time schedule( 9:30 to 10 PM). The offerings are perfect for a drink and late supper. Our threesome had a Shrimp Bruchetta, Chicken Pot Pie and Caesar Salad with crisp fried Calamari. Each was attractive and very satisfying. It opened my eyes to a North suburban late night spot.

By Eden Park is "View Cucina" 2200 Victory Parkway, owned and operated by the Stevens family who also have "Bella Luna" on Eastern Ave.We were there during restaurant week and their 3 course special ($33) filled the bill with both food and portions being more than adequate.My Venison and Marilyn's Filet were both prepared as ordered and served as a wonderful main course around which we indulged in appetizers and dessert.

A going away dinner for our Granddaughter, in Law school in Seattle, was the reason for an evening at "Jean Robert's Table" on last Monday night. The restaurant was a little over half full which meant the service and attention could not have been better. I started with a "special", Shrimp salad and this was my only disappointment for the evening. It contained one and a half shrimp, sliced and placed on a bed of shredded carrots and cabbage which had been marinated in a vinegar based dressing.
My main course was Skate and it was done to perfection and served with cubed purple potato's and a bed of cauiflower and brussels sprouts. The light sauce also had a tang of vinegar which set off the combination beautifully. My daughter started with the Johnah Crab Salad which was, by far, the best first course of the evening. Drinks, wine and dessert made it a full, festive, family, evenit.

An interesting place for lunch, this week, was "Boswell's", 1586 Blue Rock Street, Northside. A neighborhood bar where the food fits with the surroudings. My lunch was a home made meat loaf sandwich served with French Fries, for which they gladly substituted sliced fresh tomatoes( I was trying to behave). It came on toasted whole wheat and the appropriate condiments were available. Others had, pulled pork, Cheeseburgers, Boursin Burgers and a fried fish sandwhich( you get the idea). The place is a throw back and a fun change of pace.

Today I returned to "Great Scott" on Madison Road in Oakley and "missed the boat" I again ordered the shrimp wrap, which is very good, but when the women at the next table was served the hamburger, probably large enough to share, I knew I should have gone in that direction. be fore warned.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I have been a great booster of Danny Meyer's original book, "Setting the Table". He very clearly draws the distinction between service and hospitality. The later is making the consumer feel highly important and trying to "go the extra mile".
This all came to mind when I had lunch, with my Granddaughter, at "Senate" 1212 Vine Street, OTR( over the Rhine) Cincinnati (513) 421-2020. The two of us had split, and enjoyed, the excellent mussels, a grilled peach salad, more lettuce than peaches, and to my taste rather bland, and a Lindsey Lohan Hot Dog. The latter is a grilled beef sausage to which a goat cheese spread and carmelized onions are added. The whole concocsion is topped with plenty of Arugula. Anyway we wanted to carry-out and order of the mushroom soup but were told they had no carry-out containers. I suggested that they pack it in it's regular serving bowl, and let me give them a deposit until I returned the bowl. This and all other suggestions( an empty jar, etc.) were turned down, although our server, I assume, asked the acting manager. In my mind they missed the oportunity to distinquish themselve on the hospitality front.

Earilier in the week we enjoyed dinner on the patio of "Laszlos Iron Skillet" 6900 Vally Lane, Cincinnati (513) 561-6776. We had not eaten there in several years, I don't know why, and had never eaten outside.The weather was very enjoyable and so was the food. Drinks are very reasonable and the food is all moderatly priced. Tuesday is "second dinner free night" and although that menu is quite small a couple can easily enjoy sufficient, tasty food food about $15 total. Try that at "Skyline".
Marilyn and I both had Schnitzel, she plain and I Ala Holstein, which was very good and a very decent sized portion, our main courses cost $10 and $12 respectivly. We chose the escolliped potato's for our side and were very pleased with our selection.

On the news front "The Anchor" 1401 Race St. OTR (5130 421-8111 begins a few days of "soft openings( friends and families) tonight. I know neither there regular hours or when they will open to the public. My guess is within the next 8 days. There current menu is a small one stressing shell fish, including Lobster , augmented with popular stand-bys, fish and chips and a fish or two of the day. More after we have been.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The most interesting experience since last posting was dinner Saturday night at "The Precinct" Delta and Columbia Parkway (513) 321-5454. One of the specials was Elk and since I am an adventuous eater my dinner thoughts immediatly switched to trying this new item. I'm delighted that I did. As I mentioned, I have never had this meat and any new experienice is something that appeals.
It is not easy to describe the taste but the physical apperance reminded me of an extra large blade lamb or port chop with the meat adhearing to a single bone. It had been grilled, as are most of the steaks, and seasoned, probably with an altered steak seasoning. It was lightly covered with a Bordelaise Sauce. The rib was served medium rare and was prepared perfectly.
As to the taste I have not had a great deal of experience with "game" but the Elk had a flavor of aged beef plus a slight accent of the wilderness. I don't have a vocabulary of meat terms, like wine, but it was strong enough to be different but in no way to strong to override the expected meat flavor. I'm sorry but this is the best I can do. Someone with more experience might help me with future Elk decriptions.
Marilyn had her favorite, Dover Sole, and so it was an emensely pleasant evening for us both.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What's new?

"Great Scott" 3355 Madison Road, Oakley (513)-533-3456, is the first branch of the restaurant that operates on Ohio Pike. It has opened in the last month in the location last occupied by "Nick's Chops and Chasers".
The ambiance would never bring anyone, there, but the food is very plentiful, tastee and well priced. Service is attentive and helpful. It is a good value restaurant. It was also new for us. ( Polly try it)
We went first on a Sunday night. I had the pan seared Walleye while Marilyn ordered the Wiener Schnitzel( pork). Both dishes were sufficient to share and were served with appropriate sides. The Walleye was prepared with some sliced almonds and came with a large helping of fresh mixed vegetables and a mound of seasoned rice. Marilyn's Schnitzel was deep fried, quite crusty and again large enough for two normal eaters. It's accompaniments were a slightly tart German potato salad and bright green steamed broccolli. Sides are interchangeable, upon request.
Later in the week we returned for lunch where I ordered a Shrimp PoBoy wrap and Marilyn had the Veggie Wrap, both came with Cucumber Salad. Half of each were taken home with us.
I don't want to jinks the place or my wallet but the bar drinks are the least expensive of any place we frequent, they must be Ohio Pike prices, not Oakley.

Dinner one night was at "Tano Bistro and Catering" 204 West Loveland Ave, Loveland OH (513)683-8266. The proprietor was a chef for a large seafood chain and the seafood is always a good bet, I mostly stick with that although other items are interesting and well prepared. My entree was a Boston Bib lettuce salad of diced Strawberries, avacado and minced red onions in a aged Balsamic dressing. This was topped with four, grilled, Diver scallops. I have to rave about the fresh Peach Tarte Tartan which is one of the best pastries I have ever enjoyed. The crust was flaky and absorbed the peach juice and sugar forming, when baked, a golden chewy layer of absolute delight.

Back to our "hangout", "Otto's" Main St. Covington, for Fried Green Tomato's, perfect, as always. Salmon, medium rare( towards rare), served with asparagus and sauteed, sliced mushrooms, and an accompaning glass of Wahington State dry Reisling. We probably go too often but as the song says, "it's too hard to forget"( or resist).