Hi, I’m Jay Erisman, writing as a guest for My Wine
Education. I work at The Party Source, where I met Michelle and Kevin at our
My wife Angie and I finally made it to Honey. It’s a shame it took us so
long, as Honey is just down the road from our home in Clifton, and we are
acquainted with chef and owner Shoshanna Hafner’s outstanding cooking from
various wine tasting events (including an incredible weekend with a group of
Cincinnati chefs at Murphin Ridge Inn last January; more on that later).
Honey was just the thing for a drizzly Saturday evening.
Angie staved off the chilly night with a pot of way-intense mint tea. We started with Honey’s House Fries, which
are three potato varieties cut quite thin and fried to tenderness. These lacked
the crunch of classic pommes frites, but the tossing of garlic and parsley and
chile-honey dipping sauce made them total winners. We loved these fries!
Angie was taken with the Smoky, Spicy Tomato Soup, which
went great with her crispy polenta plate. The polenta came in two slabs, fried
to a toothsome bite, with smoked mozzarella and cloves of roasted garlic
sandwiched between the polenta pieces. Oven dried tomatoes crowned it all in a
very autumnal take on polenta.
I was attracted to the walleye special for the Vietnamese
crepe that lay under the fish. I fell in love with the crepe served at Pho
Paris, and wanted to try Shoshanna’s version. The crepe is lightly eggy and
scattered with shellfish through out. It was an inspired counterpoint to the
walleye, which was generously large and perfectly tender, although the skin was
tough and hard to eat.
Honey’s wine list is well-chosen and filled with
food-friendly wines. There are a lot of bottles under $60, many from small
producers. I had a glass of the Bolée Tokai from Friuli, Italy, which went
great with the walleye. My wish list for the wines includes a less expensive
rosé ($30 is too much for a Vin de Pays) and some grower Champagne. Also, where
is the Bee’s Knees? Honey ought to feature a version of this classic gin and
Angie sipped a glass of Fonseca Bin 27 Porto (for my money,
the best vintage character Port on the market). We were a bit full for the
dessert menu, which was deep and wide with superb dishes—but Shoshanna treated
us to some three little tastes of her outstanding ice creams, a chocolate chip,
coriander, and a surprisingly tangy apple and cinnamon ice cream. The service at Honey was laid back, and our server impressed us as the long list of specials and desserts traipsed off her tongue from memory. The only beat they missed was forgetting the outstanding bread, a hearty whole grain from Shadeau served with honey-whipped butter.
One of the best things about Honey comes when you get the
bill, because this place is a bargain. Rent must be low in Northside, since I
can think of no place on the East side of town that delivers such superb food
at reasonable prices. Only two entrees were over $20. Plus, you get the
unmistakable personality and vibe of an independent restaurant. There is a lot
of sweet love oozing out of Honey. We will be back, and soon.
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