If you think that this is some sort of fluff piece from one of Jean-Robert's blind followers, then you're right. There is a reason for this following. Jean-Robert is a complete genius with food and people appreciate that. I really loved the interior of the restaurant. It's beautifully decorated with hard wood floors and tables. There's a European feel to the larger tables that can be shared of 2 parties of 2 persons.
We had Chris as our server who I had met previously when we had dinner with The Lion's Rampant at Nada. He's an excellent server, but I'm sure the same can be said for anyone you encounter that works for Jean-Robert.
I ran into Alex who also works at "the table". She was on the staff at Pigall's and I saw her a lot. Like many people, I felt sadness when Pigall's closed. It wasn't necessarily for the location, but more for the people. I grew to know these people over the course of attending nearly every "Final Friday" luncheon and a few regular priced dinners and over past year I have often wondered where they all ended up. Alex told me there were several like her from Pigall's that joined her to work at "the table". I'm sure she is teaching the new staff the military precision that she learned at Pigall's which made it a world class dining experience.
I also ran into Richard Brown, who was the maitre d' at Pigall's. He is such a sweet man, I'm so glad I got a chance to know him. He is a visible presence at the table and told me he's probably been every night since it opened almost 2 weeks ago.
Chris was able to give great details on the house drink specials and recommended a great wine for us. Alex brought our bread. Simple French bread and butter. Some restaurants like to serve French bread that is so crusty and sharp you could perform surgery with it. This is a simple soft French bread.
“MISTER B” HANG TOWN OYSTERS - with Roasted Asparagus and Bacon
It was tasty. They described it as a little omelet. It was spicy and light.
ROASTED QUAIL - with Dried Fruit and Pistachio on a Caramelized Onion Tart
It was cold, it reminded me of my childhood. I grew up eating quail, pheasant and rabbit.
with White and Green Beans, Cherry Tomato and Tomato Banyuls Vinaigrette
Christine really liked this - it was vinegar-y without being overpowering.
Mains:TRIO COCHON: BELLY, RIBS and CHOP - with Medley of Beans, Country Potatoes with Maytag Bleu Cheese
Mon Dieu! This thing was huge! Ann couldn't finish it. It looked all sad. Wanting to be eaten - but alas we could not.
DUCK BREAST - with Blackberry Pepper Sauce, Soft Grits with Chevre, Asparagus, and Caramelized Onion Mushroom
I have become a sucker for duck breast. I love it! This was a generous sized duck breast. The grits just floated into the sauce and made a delicious combo with the asparagus and mushrooms.
SEA SCALLOP - with a light Thyme and Lemongrass Sauce, Bell Pepper Provencale, Potatoes and Onion Rings
This looked so delicious. Christine really loved it.
Desserts:MILK CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT TART
with Whipped Macadamia Cream, Milk Chocolate and Caramel Sauce
This is exactly the same as the one they used to serve at Pigall's! It was dense and fulfilling. It was heaven.
VANILLA BEAN CRÈME BRULEE with Fresh Fruit
I am not a creme brulee person much, but this was good. Decadent and simple at the same time.
POACHED PEACHES with Almond Cake and Madisono Red Raspberry Gelato
I did not sample this but it looked great. The others enjoyed it highly.
ASSORTMENT OF IMPORTED AND DOMESTIC CHEESES (picture below)
This is my kind of dessert. I could have used more of the fruity compote but cheese for all! Whatever on earth that Bleu cheese on the end is - it was the best!
So the best part, the most exciting part of this visit was this: they have the same champagne that they used to serve at Pigall's. When you go, top your meal off with the JR Cremant de Jura Tissot. I love this wine, I have missed it as much as Pigall's. To add some sparkle to your next evening you can pick up some of this wine at Party Source. It's quite affordable.
Mostly I was enjoying myself far too much to take a lot of pictures. Next time I will. I am certain I will be back.
Jean-Robert stopped out to talk to us as he always used to. It's just what he does. I tried to convey how much we've missed him in Cincinnati. I think he knows, I think this is why he stayed in Cincinnati. It's one of the great love affairs: Cincinnati and Jean-Robert de Cavel.