Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cincinnati Eats: Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar

Okay, well, not really "Cincinnati," but just across the river in Covington, Kentucky. When I travel to Cincinnati for work, I like to stay in Kentucky. It's just minutes from Downtown Cincinnati, but the hotel prices are cheaper and typically include complimentary parking. We've traditionally headed into Cincinnati for dinner, but during this last trip we stayed on the other side of the river and discovered a cute little area in Covington. This strip of restaurants and bars on Main Street was begging to be explored, and I'd love to poke around more.

However, we were headed straight for Bouquet Restaurant and Bar. We didn't have a reservation, which I do recommend, but we were able to grab the last patio table.
It was a perfect evening for street-watching, sipping on a glass of wine, and munching on some small plates. We had a late lunch that day, so some small plates were just what we needed. The menu isn't large, but several items sounded tempting and there were four daily specials to choose from.

The first daily special that caught my eye was the Stuffed Squash Blossoms. They have a very short season each spring, and I like to have them when I can.
These were not the best that I've had, but I did enjoy the delicate flower blossoms stuffed with crab and cheese.

I also ordered the Farm Greens Salad ($7) from the regular menu.
Beautifully plated, it included Greensleeves Farm greens, brussels chips, carrots, spring onions, almonds, and a citrus sumac dressing. It was small, but so good.

Still a tad hungry, "R" and I decided to share the Artisanal Cheese Plate ($15).
It included pistachio relish, seasonal jam and a daily selection of four cheeses. Diners also have the option of adding charcuterie. You can add two cured meats, house mustard, and pickled vegetables for $6, or four cured meats, house mustard, house pickles, and olives for $12. We added two meats.

Don't you love the little sign that accompanied the spread? I wish every cheese plate did that! By the time the waiter leaves, I generally have forgotten what the cheeses are. I liked all four cheeses, a creamy Brie, a bleu, and two hard cheeses. The accoutrements were unusual, and very good. Apple butter and pistachio relish, yum. While Bruell restaurants' and Edwin's cheese plate in Cleveland still reign supreme, this was one of the better ones I've had. A great end to a very nice meal.

Bouquet has a farm-to-table approach, and have been voted one of the Best Restaurants by Cincinnati Magazine. Their approach to putting a twist on classic favorites is fun, artfully plated, and delicious. We'll be back, both to Bouquet and to the historic Main Street strip in Covington. There is more exploring to do, but again, we landed ourselves at one of the best restaurants in the area that night thanks to the suggestion from a Cleveland-area farmer!

Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar
519 Main Street
Covington, KY 41011