28 March 2008

Dinner in Cincinnati

While on a business trip to Cincinnati, I picked up a bottle of Paul Newman's Cab Sav at Kroger (the wine was not spectacular but definitely drinkable). When I do this, it's not just to have a relaxing beverage in the hotel after work, but I also experience this weird thrill when I walk into a grocery store and see bottles of wine for sale. I chose this for its novelty value and the fact that I genuinely like his balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing and his jars of spaghetti sauce. Yes, I'll admit that sometimes I don't have time to build a good tomato sauce from imported canned organic tomatoes and free-range basil harvested by vegan hippies in the moonlight.

Looking for a good place to eat on the north side of town, I discovered La Petite France. They've got a prix fixe option for three or four courses. Based on the fact that everything on the menu looked good and my server was actually from France, I closed the menu and told her to pick three things for me, either her choice or the chef's. She was a bit confused and tried to wheedle some more details from me, like, "What are you in the mood for tonight?"

"I'm in the mood for a surprise!" She didn't believe me, perhaps concerned that I would send back the dishes. I successfully assured her by saying, "C'est vrai, madame!"

They had a great wine list, but since I was alone I was restricted to their small by-the-glass options. So I got Crevettes Sauce Boursin, shrimp in a cream sauce with corn and sundried tomatoes. I had this with a basic white Burgundy. Next up was Magret de Canard Sauce Figues, duck breast with a Port/fig sauce served over rice and a little warm bacon salad on the side. Little house red Pinot Noir to go with that. Rounding things out, some amazing Mousse au Chocolat that was rich and earthy.

While this style of dining requires an adventurous palate and an accommodating restaurant, I highly recommend it. I got to sit back and read the paper between courses with honest curiosity about what would come out next.

1 comment:

Jake said...

As soon as I first seen the word Cincinnati I immediately thought of of Steve McQueen who starred as the Cincinnati kid along side Edward G Robinson, how uncanny that when I read on you spoke of Paul Newman's Cab S. These were two of my favorite Hollywood actors. Will certainly be trying this wine.