Showing posts with label Local 127. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Local 127. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cincinnati Eats- Local 127 and Mokka

Work took me to Cincinnati again late last week, so "R" and I decided to make a vacation out of it and extended our stay through the weekend. Good decision--- we had a blast! We finally made it onto the Ride the Ducks boat tour out of Newport. Even though the weather was a little lousy on Saturday, our tour guide more than made up for it with his humor. We also spent a lot of time at the newly opened Horseshoe Casino, the sister property to Cleveland's own casino.
The gaming floor is smaller, but I thought that overall it was much prettier and I loved the lounge area that featured live music every night.

We also had some great eats while we were in town. On Friday night, we went back to Local 127 for a late dinner. With a focus on quality, local products, it's right up our alley. While the meal wasn't as memorable as our first visit, we both agreed that we'd go back. "R's" Porkopolis dish was exceptional.

We shared the Potato Skin with duck confit, soft egg, potato chips, and white cheddar cheese whiz ($12).
The duck confit was lost in this dish, but overall it was decent. They do love playing with soft eggs at this restaurant, and I'm okay with that!

We also spilt a side of the Mac & Cheese with white cheddar foam ($8).
It was a "deconstructed" mac and cheese, which made for an interesting presentation. It was very light, and was missing some of that creamy heartiness of good mac and cheese, but the portion was large for $8 and it was a good side dish to share.

I was leaning towards another entree on the menu, but when I asked our server about it---all she said was "It's earthy." Not a great description, so I changed my mind at the last minute and ordered the Duck Breast with rhubarb, sugar snap peas, carrots, and gastrique ($29).
I was thoroughly disappointed in this dish. Very little flavor, and the duck was just chewy. The vegetables were awesome, but that shouldn't be the best part of any dish.

Our service was also laughable that evening. Poor "R" had a glass of water spilled on him, another server accidentally threw my fork at "R" when clearing the table, and there was over an hour wait in between our first course and the entrees. At least they recognized this, and sent out a complimentary dessert.

So, it wasn't as good as our last meal there, but "R's" dish alone left us with a good impression. It's expensive, and a "splurge" kind of place, so if we do return then the meal better be more like our first visit.

The next morning, we decided to stick to the side of the river that we were staying at, and we checked out brunch at Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill in Newport, KY. This area is the orginal "Sin City", before many of the casinos and strip clubs moved to Vegas. The restaurant was hip and cool, with some tempting daily specials. "R" went with the Breakfast Pizza on pita bread, and I had the Gravy Train.
This version of biscuits and gravy was good, but not compared to Cleveland favorites like Lucky's. I added some maple syrup and hot sauce, and then it was much more flavorful for my personal taste. The interesting piece of this dish? The goetta. A breakfast sausage that is popular in the area, made with ground meat and steel-cut oats. It could be found on many Cincinnati-area restaurants' menus.

More on our trip later this week, as we discovered a new place--- Zula Bistro, featuring a mussels bar. Why don't we have one of these in Cleveland?

Local 127
413 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill
500 Monmouth Street
Newport, KY 41071

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Local 127 in Cincinnati

I don't often write about restaurants that are not in the Cleveland area, but the meal that we had at Local 127 in Cincinnati two weeks ago is worth sharing.

I had to travel to Cincinnati and Indianapolis for work, so "R" and I started poking around online to try and find some local, independently-owned restaurants to check out while in town. A site, similar to our Cleveland Independents group, led us to Local 127. It ended up being only two blocks from our hotel in downtown Cincinnati, and the menu looked like it was right up our alley with their farm-to-table concept and seasonal dishes.Even on a Tuesday night at 8PM, the restaurant was almost full and certainly had a lot of energy. The lime green walls, playful art, and decorative accents were whimsical and hip. We decided to start with two "Smaller Plates"- the Chicken & Potato Dumplings and Cheesy Grits.
The three "dumplings" were actually house-made gnocchi, which were light and creamy. The crunch from the tiny toasted "chips" added a nice texture to the dish. Both starters were very good, but I did slightly prefer the grits. As you can see, they included crispy bacon and a drizzle of hot sauce. The flavors and textures worked so well together. But I would order both again.

I decided to get the Sea Scallops with lentils, bacon, puffed rice, and smoked trout sauce.The scallops were large, and perfectly seared. There was a sweetness to the crust, and they were translucent when I cut into them. The puffed rice was a fun addition to the plate. "R" ordered the Duck, Duck, Duck with wild rice, pistachios, dried cherries, and thyme jus.The medium-rare meat was tender and juicy. I love the combination of cherries and thyme with the duck.

Completely full, and so happy with our meal, we wanted to resist the Dessert Menu. However, the Cheese Plate caught our eye. All of the cheeses came from a local Cincinnati farm, and the items served with them sounded interesting.The cheeses were served with things such as: local honey, candied apricots, dried cherries, pistachios, and fig spread. While I love trying different things with cheeses to see how they play with the flavor of the cheese, these were served directly on the cheese and a lot of the cheese itself was drowned out. I wanted to be able to try them each on their own, but it just wasn't possible.

This was honestly one of the best meals we've had in a while, with each dish being thoughtful and full of flavor. "R" even said- "I don't normally want to meet a chef, but this makes me want to shake his hand." Also, the chef is a master sommelier and he selected a wonderful wine for us. It makes such a difference when a chef is knowledgeable about pairings.

So, if you are ever in Cincinnati for a night and are looking for a place to eat downtown- don't miss Local 127. It will remind you a lot of Cleveland.

Local 127
413 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513)721-1345

Local 127  on Urbanspoon