I had a big birthday this past week, of course, at our age all birthdays are big. In celebration we we're treated to several meals and nights out.
On the exact day, last Tuesday, our daughter and son-in law took us to the "Oriental Wok" Hyde Park for a birthday dinner prepared by the Chef, our friend, Guy Burgess.
The meal started with an excellent seafood soup, very much along the taste range of "egg drop" but with more vegetables ( peas, asparagus, corn and water chestnuts) plus large amounts of lobster, crab and scallops, all cut into bite sized chunks. This was followed by perfectly done, extremely tender, New Zealand, rack of lamb basted with a Chinese sauce whose roots go back to the sweet sauce served with Mo Shoo, plus a little wine and herbs. Exceptional. Also accompanying the lamb was a bowl of Chinese greens in a light butter sauce. For desert it was Key Lime Pie. How could a meal be more special.
The next night we were guests of our cousins at "The Red Feather" 3200 Madison Road (513) 407-3631. The food was great and the service horrible. I had a beet salad and a scallop dish consisting of 3 large "diver" scallops on a bed of Polenta. The light citrus sauce brought the flavors together perfectly. Because of a mix up on some of the other orders the management sent orders of Creme Brulee and a large Chocolate torte to the table for our "dolci". It's a shame the service was not up to the food.
Another evening we were hosts at "Alfio's" 2724 Erie Ave (513) 321-0555. We had been there many months ago but found the food and service greatly improved, on this visit. I would recommend this convenient spot on Hyde Park Square. I had 3 starters, all very tasty; their take on Cioppino, which I found thin but well seasoned and plenty of seafood, a pear, fig and green salad and Argentine sausage sliders. Marilyn stuck with the wild mushroom Ravioli which she said was some of the best she has had. Everyone seemed well satisfied. If there was any negative it was the noise level on a very full Friday night.
Three other spot, "Pelican's Reef", always a favorite , Monday night for beer and a Grouper Ruben Sandwich, "Otto's", need I say more, for lunch B.F.T, E, Bacon, Fried Green tomatoes, Fried egg and cheese sandwich and their terrific tomato soup and Eli's Bar-B-Que on Eastern Ave. Lot's of good vitals to get me started on another year.