Friday, September 20, 2013

Pleasant surprises

Last night we went to an opening at the Taft Museum. Since we were in the neighborhood we had decided to stop by the "Residence Inn" (Marriott) 506 East 4th St. for a drink and some "bar food", after viewing the art. The young women at the hotel desk told us that they had "opened to the public" their cocktail lounge on the roof and that we could get a drink there and, tonight,( Thursday) free hors d'oeuvers. We took the elevator to the 12th floor and we greeted by a selection running from bite sized crab cakes to chocolate chip cookies. In between were egg rolls, pulled pork sliders, humus and veggies, cold cuts, cheese, house made chips, etc. It was a wonderful assortment and made the evening, on the roof , outstanding. Oh, yes, there is a full bar with "Bombay".
Jason Druso told us that this was an experiment and that they, presently, plan to be open to the public on only Tuesday and Thursday nights. Enough said.

Another "Pleasant Surprise" was our visit, last Sunday, to "Enoteca Emilia" 2038 Madison Road 45208. There has been a change of Chef's and the current kitchen head cooks much more to my liking (read: less salt and more subtle flavors). I delighted in the Trofie ( tubed Pasta) in a Pistachio-Arugula Pesto, mild but enough flavor and crunch to carry the dish. Also one of my favorite "sides" is the oven browned cauliflower with a anchovy-lemon butter sauce. The prior chef was heavy on the anchovies while the current one stresses the citrus flavor and lets the browned cauliflower stand on it's own.
Not consumed by us were a wonderful salad with greens, fennel and fresh peaches and a beautiful looking ravioli topped with dark button mushrooms.

We eat out a lot and I hesitate to post unless there is something to reported, in either direction. A few comment on one or two other spots:
"The National Exemplar" in the Mariemont Inn remains a middle of the road dinning experience. They are adding a few new items but still carry most of the "old favorites". The other night I had the Bison Burger topped with crisp fried onion and a red pepper aoli. The lean meat allows the fat from the onions and sauce to even out.
Marilyn stuck with the Veal Susannah, a egg battered slice of veal sauteed and served on "angle hair pasta".

Our only disappointment was how a service problem was handled at "Abigail Street 1214 Vine St, OTR.
"Abigail Street" is one of our favorites in OTR and we often go there before theater. Tuesday night following our routine we arrived at 6 PM and placed our order, for food, by 6:15. Marilyn's came promptly ( Gnocchi and a beet salad), mine( Bouillabaisse ) somewhat slower and our other party (lamb sliders), after several discussions, did not arrive until 7:00, a rush to finish as we try to leave by 7:15. There was never a satisfactory explanation and although we are all well aware that things happen; orders get lost, not put in at all, items are picked up by other serves, etc, it is poor handling when the guest in not informed of what actually happened. Now I've vented.