Saturday, May 10, 2014

Catching up

I wrote only 2 days ago  but that was only to report on new spots. Now I'll do a quick review of a bunch of regulars so you don't get the idea that we have only ventured out 3 times in the last 30 days.
Here in some order are a list, plus a few comments covering many regular haunts.

"Seasons 52" 3819 Edwards Road, Norwood ( Rookwood Commons). This chain, started in Florida, specializes in light( under 500 calorie) items. When people tell us they want to eat light this is one of the spots we suggest. Some of the tempting and tasty dishes are scallops, entree sized salads, flat breads( very thin crusts) and stuffed mushrooms. It's easy to control you intake if you stay away from much alcohol. Service is good and accommodating and prices are mid-range. Reservations recommended.

"Oakley Pub and Grill" 3924 Isabella Ave. 45209 (513)531-2500. Just what the name implies a watering hole, filled with young( 20's and 30''s) but nice to the much older generation with good bar food especially the grilled grouper sandwich and the crispy Cole slaw. Also burgers, wraps etc. A great place to drop in if you want a relaxed lunch or a quick dinner.

"Orchid's" at the Netherlands Plaza. The other end of the food chain with elegant food and service. Both Brunch and dinner are a treat and are terrific, not just for special occasions but also if ones budget allows upgrade from the usual fair and surrounding. The room is the most elegant in the city and the food, also, in my opinion is the most special.

"Enoteca Emilia" 2038 Madison Road 45208  (513) 834-5773. Open for about 2 years this Hyde Park (Obrianville) Norther Italian seems to have hit the right spot with locals and followers throughout the city. Reservations highly recommended as most nights the fill up by 6:30 or the latest 7. An active bar and a busy restaurant full of a mixed age crowd including a few children. Good food from interesting starters through pizza, pastas and on to main courses. Attentive service from the management on down. Nice wine list and full bar.

"Zula" 1400 Race St. ( OTR) 513-744-9852. Very popular, Over the Rhine, spot open about 18 months and a hit not only in the neighborhood but throughout the area. Reservations almost a necessity. The "cold plates", read salads, are outstanding as are the flat breads and to many the mussels, in which they specialize.
We gravitate, after a shared "cold plate", to the fish items of which Walleye, done to perfection, is our favorite. Very reasonable prices on wine and also a full bar to handle other requests.

"Salazar Restaurant" 1401 Republic St. (OTR) 513-621-7000. Just down the street from Zula, actually behind, is a much smaller restaurant run by Jose Salazar. It has a small, different menu and produces excellent items from the kitchen and pantry. Some of the offerings are not seen too often on menus around town. The menu changes as items and the chefs desires dictate. No reservations so go early in the evening and in the week. One of the few OTR spots open on Monday nights.

"Abigail Street" 1214 Vine St  (OTR) 513-421-4040. In case anyone doesn't know OTR is Over the Rhine in the "Gateway" district North of Central Parkway. Getting back to "Abigail St" they serve a selection of "small plates" running from stuffed dates to Bouillabaisse. We doat on the Gnocchi served with mushrooms and asparagus slivers. No reservations so you take your chances but most times the staff will find a place for you to sit and enjoy a glass of wine and a fun dinner.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


When I pulled up the screen to write this entree I found just how tardy I have really been. It's been a month since my last effort. I said that I was going to cut back, as I thought things were getting too repetitive, but I shouldn't let that much time elapse, especially if there is anything new, for me, about which to write.

Here, starting with some of my new experiences are places we have "eaten out":
 "The Eagle", 1342 Vine St. OTR.
If you like spice and fried chicken this is your spot. No reservations but earlier in the week and the lunch and dinner times the wait is very manageable. There is a wide variety of dishes besides the chicken, but that is their specialty, with a really HOT (spicy) honey on the side. Be for-warned.
The first time I went I had had chicken 4 days in a row and so I opted for the grilled cheese sandwich, 4 cheeses, Granny Smith apple slices and apricot preserves., with extra preserves served "on the side", excellent combination. My companion and I shared a crock of mashed sweet potato's topped with marshmallows, extremely sweet and full of spices and also more that the two of us could finish.
My second outing was with a larger group. We shared several dishes. An artichoke and kale( current "hot" item everywhere) dip with chips. Cheese grits, Mac and Cheese, Collards and a salad were also table items. I tried the pulled pork sandwich, on the recommendation of the server, and found it good, filling and again well seasoned( read spicy). Next visit I I'll go which the chicken and Mac and Cheese, nothing healthy but it appears inviting.

"Bistro Grace" North side. This 6 month old spot occupies the space with was formerly "Boca" ( the first one) and "Honey".  It is run by a women, and the night we were there seemed occupied by "regulars, and not to many at that. The food was very good and the service, including the owner was attentive. There is a small regular menu and one or two specials. We chose the special, I believe that night it was walleye, and it came attractively plated and tasted  really excellent. We were the guests of two couple and so I don't have a copy of the bill, which is usually my reminder. I know we enjoyed the place enough that we want to return, although I'm not sure how long they will be around. Sorry I can't give more info, but maybe the next time.

"Joe's Crab Shack" 25 Fairfield Ave. Bellevue KY. Across from "The Party Source"
I don't know what to say. The food was better than decent, at this large chain seafood restaurant. The noise level high, the population very mixed and the service and accommodation of staff just fine. I truly hope that I, personally, am not so spoiled that a place has to be exceptional before I get enthusiastic
My Bombay was extremely reasonable, the Crab cake sandwich was all any one could expect, at the price point, and the side Caesar was good sized portion, again at a reasonable price. The place was full of large graduation partied and we had a 45 minute wait, as there are no reservations.

I have a half dozen or more, usual suspects on which to report and I promise it wont take another month to get to them.