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Feb 12

The Napa Grille: Cincinnati

Note: This review is from February, 2006. We also returned in April of 2007. That review is found here.

UPDATE, 9/10/2007: We just learned that The Napa Grille suddenly
closed. The employees have all gone elsewhere and the restaurant is no
more. I can’t tell you how sad we are that this happened. We’ll miss
The Napa Grille.

Last night Kevin took me out for a very tasty Valentine’s Day dinner. We went to a new restaurant called The Napa Grille. It’s in the Hyde Park Regency, where J’s Seafood was once located.

They have an extensive wine selection, and you can even order flights of wine. We tried a flight of Pinot Noirs (California, Oregon, and Burgundy) and a flight of Napa Valley Whites. Of the flights, I was particularly taken by the St. Clement Chardonnay (2004) and the Trefethen Gewurtzraminer (2004). We also had a Cakebread  Sauv. Blanc, but it just didn’t resonate like the other two.  The Pinot Noir that really jumped out was the Willamette Valley Hangtime (2004). I ordered a glass of it to go with my meal. Kevin had a New Zealand Matua Sauv. Blanc (2005) with his meal, recommended by the waiter, that was also really good.

Dessert was heavenly. A trio of creme brulee, and a decadent flourless
chocolate cake. For me, always, the entreee is just a way of getting to
dessert. I rarely enjoy my entrees, but I always enjoy my dessert.
Really, I just need the dessert and wine and I could skip the entree
entirely.

The entrees were excellent, even if I did prefer the wine and dessert. Kevin had the Grouper special and I had Mongolian Pork. I am reading a book by chef Anthony Bourdain
that is a riot, but it is also changing the way I order food. I tend to
order things well done. It’s not because of taste – I never get that
far. It’s because of texture. There are some textures in food that
cause a gag reflex in me. (For instance, I enjoy the flavor of bananas
but can’t handle the texture. I know I’m strange.) Last night, I
ordered my pork medium well. It was incredibly yummy around the edges,
but the middle was too, I don’t know, gummy? in texture for me. The gag
reflex kicked in. Is there something between medium well and well done?
Medium well is just a little too meaty for me, I guess. But I tried,
right? Because Anthony Bourdain is cruel to "well-doners" when he is
the chef. It’s all good though, as we brought it home and Kevin will
eat it for lunch.

Anyway, if you’re in Cincinnati and want a
California Cuisine experience, definintely try The Napa Grille. We’ll
definitely go back.

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Posted by Michelle at 4:01 pm in Cincinnati, Food and Wine Pairings, Local, Restaurants, Tastings | Permalink | Comments (4)

4 Responses to “The Napa Grille: Cincinnati”

  1. James Makos says:

    Unfortunately my wife and I had a terrible dining experience at the NAPA Grille on June 21, 2006.
    We sat for 20 minutes before seeing any “server”. Then we were told “will be back in a few minutes”.The fish entre of sea bass that I had was cold and the accompaning shrimp was cold(supposed to be hot. The halibut my wife had was under cooked and cold. The server told (argued)with me about how cold the bottle of Grigh chardonnay should be.They have a kitchen problem and are understaffed. They need to figure out how Boca or Pho-Paris or other fine restaurants do so well in providing excellent food and a dining experience.

  2. Colleen says:

    I dined at the Napa Grille on June 21,2006 with my daughter. We had a woderful time. We started with the 1/2 price flights of wine and then a crab cake appetizer, followed by a goat cheese salad and I had the sea bass which was prepared perfectly along with 4 shrimp,and my daughter had the 7oz. fillet medium rare. The service was great and the servers were pleasant even though the they had they were very busy. I would suggest everyone should try Napa Grille.

  3. Patty says:

    My husband I were seated in the booth adjacent to the complaining “Gentleman” above. We had a wonderful meal, and two fabulous flights of wine. Perhaps the Gentleman and his wife would have enjoyed their meal if been arguing throughout the entire meal. Frankly, the restaurant was wonderful, they just have marital issues.

  4. JJ says:

    I ate at The Napa Grille over the weekend and it was fabulous. The best part though was that the prices were very reasonable.
    Cheers!

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