Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cincinnati Eats: Jean-Robert's Table

I just got back from a working weekend in Cincinnati.
These weekends can be tough, because they include a long drive, early mornings, physically and mentally being "on," and then I go two weeks without a weekend break in between. I've had several of these lately, but I finally made it through our spring events. Cincinnati was the last. Luckily, we did get a little "down" time too, and were able to enjoy two nice meals and a boat tour while we were visiting the city.

The first amazing meal that we had was on Friday night after we arrived in Cincinnati. We dined at Jean-Robert's Table in Downtown.
I loved the eclectic atmosphere of the restaurant. Charming, interesting, comfortable with class, and touches of France. Our server was attentive, with the exception of a huge gap in time after our entrees had been cleared, and he had a dry sense of humor that led to some funny one-liners.

This restaurant is not for the faint of heart. You'll find snails, liver, tartar, frog legs, and more. It was right up our alley! The menu sounded very appealing, but then our server hit us with the laundry list of specials that evening. Frankly, it was too long, and a printed menu of the specials would have been helpful. Too much to remember! 

"R" and I decided to share the Foie Gras special.
He deemed this the "best foie gras" he'd ever had. That sauce was delectable.

We also shared the Surf and Turf Tartar ($14) from the regular menu.
It was very good and I would recommend it, but the version at Luca in Cleveland still stands out in my mind.

I had the Halibut special.
It had a hazelnut crust, mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, fennel, pea shoots, and a light sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly, and everything had nice flavor. So much so, that I kind of wanted the flavor of the sauce to be stronger. They certainly know how to create great sauces there.

"R" had the server surprise him for his entree, and he ended up with the Veal Strip ($36). He liked, but didn't love, this dish.

We truly enjoyed our meal, and the food was so beautifully plated that it was a work of art. Even the salads our two dining companions had looked almost too good to eat. This French-Contemporary chef has quite the list of awards and accolades, and is best known for his role as chef de cuisine at the legendary 5-Star Maisonette in Cincinnati.

Thanks to a recommendation from a fellow Clevelander, we had stumbled right into one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati. I'd head back to Jean-Robert's in a heartbeat for a nice, fancy meal.

Jean-Robert's Table
713 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH