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
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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