Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Salad Days

We have had a lot of interesting meals in the last 10 days and one of the things, that stands out, have been the wonderful and different salads that accompanied several. In no particular order here are a few.

"Nectar Restaurant" 1000 Delta Ave (Mt. Lookout Square). A fresh chopped local Kale Salad consisted of the leafy green plus Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts tossed with a delightful lemon vinaigrette. The contrasting flavors and textures were outstanding.( "Wunderbar" in Covington copied this salad, for lunch one day, under my direction) The rest of my meal was grilled salmon and an unusual pineapple upside down cake with a pumpkin custard. Marilyn had roast chicken.

"The Summit" at Cincinnati State. The room is large and quiet. The night we were there our party of 5 were join by only one other table of 3. There is no trouble in holding conversations. The food, that evening was only ordinary, although we have had some very good meals there, and the service was too relaxed considering the number in attendance. However, my Watercress salad was terrific. The crisp watercress was served over a poached pear and sprinkled with spiced pecans and crumbled blue cheese. The combination was made a delightful first course. My main course was Pasta Florentine, noodles with fresh, English peas and spinach, in a very heavy cream sauce. Others had Lamb Chops, over done, Pork Shank, the best main course, that evening, and beef Tournedoes.

The Fried Green Tomato's at "Otto's" 521 Main St. Covington KY, have only improved, if that is possible. I'm not sure if they count as a salad but it is a super way to start a meal. The Pasta that evening, which both Marilyn and I ate, consisted short Fusilli with shrimp, sun dried tomato's, artichokes and mushrooms, all in a light oil based sauce. Some combination. I know I'm prejudice.

Another prejudice is Todd Kelly, the Executive chef at "Orchids" the dining room of the Hilton Netherlands Plaza. Still, in my opinion the finest dining in the area. Starting with a fresh Maine Lobster salad, which could easily be the lobster stuffing in a good sized lobster roll, Todd tops it with a coddled egg and fried parsnip shreds. If that dish wasn't enough I moved on to a main course of Red Snapper "En Papillote"( paper thin potato dough) served with very small, roasted, Vidalia onions all surrounded by a wonderful warm Madras Curry Vinaigrette, which actually had a light orange flavor. The whole dinner called for wine and the table shared a bottle of light red. Marilyn had a perfectly prepared and sliced Duck breast.

"M" next to "Cumin"( 3520) on Erie Avenue opened this past weekend( Friday night) they are working out the kinks and so there is still some tweaking necessary until it is up and running smoothly. It is an attractive room with a large open kitchen that concentrates on "brick oven" cooking. One excellent feature is that the restaurant is engineered to be sound absorbent and so it is easy to have a conversation no matter how crowded.

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