I’m one of those persons who believes that less is more when it comes to gourmet dining, but because we had such exquisite meals at Jean-Robert’s former restaurants during our infrequent trips to Cincinnati, I decided to overlook the lengthy list of ingredients provided in the menu descriptions and in the waiters’ description of the evening specials. I knew we were in the hands of a creative Master Chef here. Every ingredient mentioned is used with discretion, and it all works superbly well together. My spouse was very pleased with his Sweetbreads entrée and his main course of duck breast with cabbage, figs and red wine reduction. His only complaint was that some of the pieces of duck were very tender, while others were rather tough & chewy. I opted for a daily special of shrimp salad. This molded salad was served atop a foundation of celeriac puree. The molded mini-tower had shredded red carrots & red cabbage on the bottom, topped with a few shrimp and some radish sprouts and served with citrus vinaigrette. It was as beautiful as it was tasty. My main course included three tender sea scallops around a bit of creamy risotto, topped with diced, roasted root vegetables and a little Swiss chard. A sauceboat of cider cream sauce was poured over the plate at the table. We don’t usually eat dessert, but we couldn’t resist it here and opted for the Chocolate Budino with chestnut mousse. It was just the way I like my desserts – not sweet & rich and in a civilized-sized serving. I was also delighted to see that they even had a glass of Banyuls on the wine list to go with this lovely chocolate dessert. The wine list was small, but extremely well chosen. There was also a nice choice of bourbons, Scotch, cognac & dessert wines by the glass. Food was exquisite and service was excellent and not rushed even though we had to vacate the table in two hours. We had plenty of time for cocktails, three courses and after dinner drinks. Our tab was close to $150, including tip, 2 cocktails, 2 glasses of wine, 2 after dinner drinks.
This is a busy, popular place, so make reservations a week or more in advance. The restaurant has 2-hour seatings, starting at 5:30 pm.