At this time of year media seem to come up with year end reviews or list of there favorites, presented by category. I've never done that but I though it might be fun to list some of the things and people that made an impression during the last year. So here in no particular order are this reporters comments, knowing full well that I will undoubtedly leave out items that rightly should be included.
Outstanding places, out of town ( if your traveling and want to try):
"Babette's Cafe"- Atlanta GA
"B&G Oyster"- Boston, possibly my favorite meal, certainly my favorite Lobster Roll.
"Fore Street" - Portland ME, the epitome of "brick oven cooking"
"Sandro's" - NYC, more wonderful specials than menu items( Of course, Italian)
"Carolina's Restaurant" - Charleston SC, a great food town but their preparation and service of Soft Shell Crabs hit the spot.
New in the Cincinnati Area (again not near all or even all we enjoyed):
"Eli's" Bar-B-Que, Eastern Ave. Limited menu but handy, good, B-B-Q, eat in or carry out.
"Wunderbar", Corner bar in Covington with good beer and terrific German food, the "dive" of the year.
"M", "Cumin's" hot sibling and our own local "Brick Oven" experience.
"Phoenician Taverna", worth the trip to Mason for an outstanding Lamb Shank.
"The Metropole", in the new 21c Hotel, good food prepared in the "Fireplace" and served in an interesting manner.
"Mantra on the Hill", upscale Indian food with service to match.
"Brew River Gastro Pub", a touch of New Orleans food, plenty of interesting "Brews" in a tavern on Riverside Dr.
"Over the Rhine", new places popping up at almost a rate of one per month.
Excellent food items and their location:
Kale Salad - "Nectar" although "Wunderbar" makes a wonderful copy.
Fried Green Tomato's - No one can touch those at "Otto's".
Baked Potato's - Never had a bad one at the "Precinct", always firm, sweet, and roasted perfectly.
Dover Sole - again, the "Precinct" had added this item, done beautifully and reasonable priced.
Red Snapper - "Orchids" preparation, "En Papillote", shows off what a top rate kitchen can do.
Elk - I have only seen and eaten this at the "Precinct" but the memory still lingers.
Desserts - my favorite is still Cherry Pie ala-mode but the best dessert selection, all year, was, again out of town, at the "Sweet Life Patisserie" in Eugene OR
And finally the people( again leaving out many) who have made my "Eating Out" special:
Guy Burgess - Chef at "The Oriental Wok" Hyde Park, eat what he suggests and you can't fail
Paul Weckman - another grandchild( not really) at "Otto's"
Todd Kelly - friend and the "top chef" in many ways, making "Orchids the city's best, in my opinion
Richard Brown - the essence of a mater-de who is helping guide "Mantra on the Hill"
Mung Moy - no better server in the city, or territory, the soul of Cumin, I'm sorry Alex
Julie Francis - inventive an a wonder with local produce always interesting an delightful at "Nectar"
Patti Brochure - owner and consummate "front of the house" presence at "The Pelican's Reef"
And thus ends my first attempt. All have more detailed comments somewhere in my posting of 2012. Let's all Eat Out and support local restaurants in 2013.
So till then have a Happy, Safe, Healthy New Year.