I was unable to make it to the Krohn Conservatory Ohio Wine event on Friday night due to visiting relatives. I hear it was a sold-out event.
In fact, word is that if the feedback is good enough, this may become a regular thing for the Cincinnati Park Board. That means bigger venues and more options.
So let’s provide them with that feedback. Post your comments on this post or email them to me. I’ll try to get it all together in one big post and we’ll make sure it also gets to the Park Board.
I look forward to hearing from all of you!
Photo from Bill @ Harmony Hill Vineyards
In an earlier review, I established that I’m pretty much a fan of Chalk Food + Wine. It’s safe to say that I could live on Summer’s pastries and some alcohol and be perfectly content. Fat, but happy.
Kevin & I decided to try the St Patrick’s Day Menu last night. It was incredibly creative! I think I’ve mentioned before that despite my love of fine wine, I’m a notoriously picky eater and I’m truly attempting to expand my horizons. That horizon-widening includes occasionally eating what were once cute, fluffy animals. Yeah, I know.
So last night, I dived into lamb. Now, I know I had lamb growing up. Somewhere in the past, lamb and veal sort of became off-limits for me because of the cute fluffiness. I’m past it – at least with lamb. I was incredibly impressed with last night’s Shepherd’s Pie duo. Yes, there was a big piece of lamb on the plate and that was fine, but the tart, filled with ground lamb, covered with amazing mashed potatoes, and covered in cheese? That was fantastic. It was all happily sitting on a bed of pureed peas and corn. If all Shepherd’s pie was like that, I’d eat it more often. It also paired with an O’Hara’s Irish Red (I believe).
While all the courses were tasty last night, the other standout item was the Carbomb Cake. It was an amazingly rich chocolate layer cake, with strips of whiskey-infused cream and topped off with Guinness ice cream. It paired nicely with the Young’s Chocolate Stout, which is normally too heavy for me.
I love dessert. And there are always nut-free desserts at Chalk I can eat. I love that.
Now let me focus in on drinks for a minute. In my initial review of Chalk, the only thing I was not overly thrilled with was a Mimosa Royale I had at the end of the meal.
Brandon, a bartender who seems too young to make and enjoy the classy drinks he appreciates, made sure that I had a properly created and mixed Mimosa Royale last week, when Jen & I dropped by for Restaurant Week.
Go ahead and order this drink if you’re in the mood for something light and fun. I believe it’s champagne, orange juice, chambord, and a pinch of orange bitters. It looks rather nifty unblended, but it tastes better, I think, when properly mixed together. So, Brandon with the spiky hair, you’ve redeemed your drink.
Always a restaurant to jump on the latest holiday, Chalk has a particularly fun menu for St. Patrick’s Day. Fun enough that I’ll be there tonight, eschewing green beer for a beer flight paired with my food.
Menu: 4 course meal, $32/pp
Guinness Cheddar Ale Soup
Fish n Chips
Lamb Sheppard’s Pie
Beer pairing supplmental, $16/pp
See you there!
I should have mentioned this weeks ago. I’ve been distracted, so my apologies.
The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is March 28 & 29. They have three Grand Tastings, so I’m going to recommend you attend the Friday evening or Saturday afternoon.
In my experience, Friday evening is crowded, but not uncomfortably so. Saturday afternoon is never as crowded as the two evening events. Plus, you can have a nice post-tasting dinner downtown to sober up if you didn’t spit/dump and just drank it all down.
I have found Saturday night to just be a madhouse, with too many people and not enough wine. Seriously. Everything is running low.
This year, there is also a "Special Tasting Room." One hour before each event, you can attend the Special Tasting of High-End Wines. It’s an extra $35 for each 7 pours. I’m kind of irked about this. I liked it when it was all mixed in together – equal opportunity and all. But, the money goes to charity so I can’t complain too much. (I just need to figure out how to make my charity a beneficiary.)
There are also wine maker dinners. They are selling out quickly, but are well worth your time. Those run $125/ticket and all start promptly at 6:30.
Times and prices of all the wine maker dinners, as well as the Grand Tasting event information/prices, are after the jump. Tickets to both the wine maker dinners and the Grand Tastings are available online.
For the latest and greatest issue of Taste Magazine Cincinnati, I wrote an article called Tapping Designer Waters. It was an eye-opener, believe me.
I had no idea that there were so many waters out there that claim to do so much. From aligning your chakras with the earth to substituting for champagne as "Bling," I learned a lot. I’m not going to re-cap. Go pick up an issue and read it for yourself.
Writing that article has made me pay attention to water. I still have a carbon footprint a mile wide, all to myself. But I’m trying to buy water made by Nestle, when I want bottled water in the house, because they’re bottles are better for the environment. I’ve stopped ordering bottled water (like San P or Perrier) in restaurants, when tap is just fine.
Now tap is better than fine.
The Tap Project is a campaign that celebrates the clean and accessible tap water
available as an every day privilege to millions, while helping UNICEF
provide safe drinking water to children around the world.
Sunday, March 16 through Saturday, March 22, restaurants will invite
their customers to donate a minimum of $1 for the tap water they would
normally get for free. For every dollar raised, a child will have clean
drinking water for 40 days.
(This brings to mind Ethos, the water I like to purchase from Starbuck’s because it shares the same goal.)
Guess what? The Tap Project is happening in Cincinnati! A full list of restaurants appears after the jump.
Restaurant week may be ending, but World Water Week is just beginning. Help others by donating $1 for your tap water when you head out to eat.
Thanks to Julie for the tip!
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