What do you do when visitors come to town? Our son and his wife from Mendocino came for a weekend to see us, visit his sister and see what Cincinnati had to offer on one of the coldest weekends of the winter. Since this Blog is about "Eating Out" that what I'll review; you can go elsewhere to see what the Art Museum, Dead Sea Scrolls and the Cincinnati Symphony have to offer.
The first night 6 of us were off to "Nectar Restaurant" 1000 Delta Ave. 45208. I have written many times about Julie Francis and her wonderful touch with flavors and local grown items. It's always a pleasure to taste what she prepares. That evening the emphasis was on Lamb, which three of the party had for their main course. It was slices from the roasted lamb shoulder and served with a natural juice, slightly flavored, on a bed of polenta and leaf spinach. Another, of our group, chose the sweet potato filled Gnocchi in a vegetable reduction with Italian spices. Marilyn satisfied herself with pan fried chicken thighs( mashed potato's plus greens) while I had two starters; Shrimp Kim Chi Pancake and a house made Tamale stuffed with Feta and Black Beans and covered with a slightly spicy tomato salsa. I forgot to mention that Julie sent a plate of deep fried cheese risotto balls to go along with our opening drinks.
Dessert was a chocolate pound cake accompanied by Coffee Gelato. Welcome to Mount Lookout Square.
The next day featured Breakfast at home( scrambled eggs and onions, bacon, Shadeau bread Pecan rolls), lunch at Costco( 20 or more samples being offered) where we purchased our Super Bowl dinner, Chicken Pot Pie, and tasted most of the offerings, concentration on Pizza.
Saturday night before the CSO the 6 of us had an early dinner at "Enoteca Emilia" 2038 Madison Road 45208 (eating out in the area) 513-834-5773. The Chef has changed and I found the food more to my liking, as the salt has been modified in most dishes. The six of us had 12 dishes sampling everything from Salads( Caesar), Ferro and Beets and stuffed figs to Ricotta Fritters, for dessert. I had the sole special which I found on the bland side, but that was the direction I pointed myself in for the evening( without much success), and Roasted Cauliflower, which circled the table several times. There were three pasta dishes, Garganelli( with Mushrooms), Black Pepper Noodles with Bolognese and Eggplant Stuffed Ravioli. Proteins were chicken, shrimp and Calamari. Much tasting and enjoyment.
Before the "big game" it was brunch( noon) at "Otto's"521 Main St. Covington, KY 859-491-6678. This time we were seven( our son-in-laws Mother joined) but managed to order 8 main courses. Our Mendocino offspring always thinks he is about to go food less. I'll have his second entree for breakfast tomorrow.
Among the dishes were several "Benedict Otto's", poached egg on smoked salmon laying on a grits cake and covered with Hollandaise, Chicken Salad, Carnitas( pulled, roast pork) Fried green Tomato's( you know how I feel) their breakfast Casserole( eggs, sausage, potato's and cheese) baked with a golden crust. Coffee, conversation and a visit from the kitchen staff completed our "pregame show".