Ah what to say. I love steak, I mean really love it. I grew up eating round steak which can barely be called steak. Into adulthood I grew to love steak that was prepared with obvious care. My husband and I love the Precinct. It's quickly becoming our go-to for any old occasion from birthdays to celebrating our tax refund.
I have tried other steak places, not so many around Cincinnati, but in other cities. I tried Shula's steakhouse in Detroit and was woefully disappointed. I made a vow to seriously consider before going to another a la carte restaurant again. The audacity of these high end steak restaurants to charge you for EVERYTHING! It's obscene. When you are going to throw down that much cash for a steak you should at the very, very least get a side for free. Honestly. At Shula's we didn't get anything for free. Potato - extra. Salad - extra and was not the best cesar salad I ever ate.
Sounds like a scathing review of Shula's right? Well it's not. Just steak restaurants in general. Onto The Precinct after I got down from my soapbox.
At The Precinct you are welcomed to a beautiful space with an antique looking bar. If you have the opportunity stop by the bar and see Joe. He's very friendly and a great bartender. I have the French Martini. Don't let it's sweetness fool you! After 2 of those I may have some problem getting to my table.
When your table is ready you will be escorted to either tables in the main room or in the smaller area with mirror walls. I enjoy eating in the main room. The exposed brick walls look very warm and inviting. When you're seated your server will give you a brief introduction to the restaurant and the method of preparation of the steaks. The steaks are seasoned with Jeff Ruby's own recipe seasoning and then seared to a light char. You are offered an option of your side potato either garlic mashed or baked. I prefer the garlic mashed. Mashed is a misnomer these are delicately whipped potatoes. You are also offered a choice of a Greek salad or their house Freddie salad which is a BLT salad. Honestly delicious.
If you have the room I recommend you get the crab cake ($11.95). It is about the size of a hockey puck and comes with a dressed salad and the remoulade sauce on a beautifully decorated plate. It is cooked to perfection. It could be large enough to share, but I never do. Also worthwhile is the Mixed Mushroom Garlic Toast ($8.25). I did share that. You have a huge piece of Challah bread with a mix of balsamic sauteed exotic mushrooms. Suitable for your vegetarian friend's entree! Why would you bring a vegetarian to the Precinct anyways? It's just mean.
There is a great selection of seafood whether you choose the raw bar which is at market prices or their fish selections. A pescetarian friend enjoyed the Salmon ($25.75) very much.
While waiting to order or waiting to receive your food you have baskets of tasty bread to enjoy. Sourdough bread and a wonderful salted rye. You have regular butter and a mushroom compound butter. So good! I was told once that the sourdough is flown in from San Francisco.
Onto steaks! My husband gets the Ruby's Jewel ($41.50) which is a bone in ribeye. I don't recall the weight but it is massive! He likes it medium and when it is served you receive a generous helping of onion straws.
Here's the Shayne Graham - the smaller filet. I have figured out Steak Math. Crab cake + wine = I need a smaller steak. No Crab Cake + no wine = King's Filet!
I get the king's filet ($42.00). This thing is huge. It's easily an inch thick and 6-8 inches long. I enjoy it medium and always eat it with the onion straws. The steaks are seasoned so well and the char adds so much flavor that if you ARE a steak sauce person, you may find yourself leaving it off.
My friend usually gets the Steak Collinsworth ($37.00) which is a filet with crab and asparagus and a bearnaise sauce. She enjoys the decadence of it very much.
She has also tried the Steak A la Roth ($36.75) which is a peppercorn crusted filet with a peppercorn congnac demi sauce. This has become her favorite steak out of all of them.
My friend recently tried the Brian Kelly - ($32.50)Twin Tournedos, Portabello, Bearnaise. She said it was very good, but may still prefer Steak a la Roth.
You also have the option of sharable sides. We always have the macaroni and cheese. It's a cavatappi pasta with 6 cheeses. It smells wonderful and is such a good addition to your plate of mashed potato and onion straws.
Your other option are the Hussey's Table selections which are table-side prepared and meant to be shared. These are other seafood options for your non-meat eater friends. This is also where your Bananas Foster is prepared if you order it. I don't love Bananas Foster so I can't really judge, it tasted good, just not for me.
If you stop in and are planning to come back, have a chat with Ryan Byrne, one of the managers. He will no doubt stop by your table to see how you are. He's a great guy and really understands the concept of cultivating a repeat clientele. We have been there less than 10 times and not with any kind of regularity and he always remembers our names and greets us by name when we arrive.
The valet service is extremely affordable at $3 and they are always friendly.
After all that it seems stupid to say "in short". But in short the Precinct is a neighborhood gem and will quickly become your favorite if you give it a chance.