My significant other and I decided to take a quick trip to Cincinnati to celebrate the July 4th Weekend. I was able to make a reservation at Carlo & Johnny from my iPhone during the car trip. I logged onto Open Table and was able to secure a 7:45pm reservation at 1:00pm on that Saturday/day of the reservation… Needless to say I was shocked but pleased to be able to take my girlfriend to the spot I had been raving about in the car for over an hour! :)
First Impression/Bar: The restaurant is setback off of Montgomery Rd and has a lovely driveway that winds you back towards the place. The restaurant itself is a more of a mansion than a place you would consider a fancy restaurant. We opted not valet park (offered for $3.00 + tip), as the main parking lot was fairly empty and not that far of a walk from the front door. We both knew we would be having large steaks so we planned to “walk some of it off” by not valet parking haha. We should up at 7:30pm for the 7:45pm reservation and the hostess was immediately able to seat us, but we opted to head to the bar area where live music was playing. The hostess was not pushy and acted as if the timing on our reservation did not matter, saying: “simply come back up when you wish to have dinner.” The bar area provided live music (6pm - 8pm and then again at 9pm - 1am) and full menu for both diners and those cocktailing. The bar was crowded but not overly so, and was a nice mix of those on “date night”, business men/women, large groups, etc. I highly recommend having a drink in the bar area and catching some music either before or after your meal!
Service: We sat in ‘Dons’ and he was extremely attentive but not overly so. He was there when we needed him to be and never more. He was able to make recommendations from the menu and was extremely well versed on the daily specials (he even knew all the oysters for sale that day). The service was as expected: AMAZING. Everything from offering my girlfriend a dark napkin to avoid white lint on her clothing, to the manager made it a point to come by the table not once, but twice which was nice. He cracked a few jokes and made some small talk to ensure we were having a lovely evening. We notice him approaching all the tables at one point or another in the evening which was a nice touch to see.
Food: We started the meal by ordering a bottle of champagne; after all it was a holiday! $99.00 for a bottle of Moët & Chandon is going-rate at any bar, so we splurged. We started the meal by ordered a dozen mixed (East & West) oysters which we served with fresh horseradish, lemon slices, cocktail sauce, and a balsamic sauce. The oysters we fantastic! I ended up ordering the Barrel Cut 12oz Filet and my girlfriend had the Anthony Muñoz. We both split the large baked potato which was MASSIVE and could be shared 4 ways. Don was more than happy to grill our asparagus order (not much a fan of steamed asparagus). Both steaks we cooked Medium Rare and came out perfect! We have both order steaks at some amazing places (Jags – Cincinnati, St. Elmo’s – Indianapolis, Maestros Ocean Club – Vegas) and these were right up there with the best! The potato was melt in your mouth and the asparagus was great. We skipped dessert, only so we could have Graeters on the way home!
Atmosphere: The décor is dated. From the tufted leather booth seating to the green velvet walls (at least this was in the dining room we sat in). I personally think the old-school décor ads to the character of the place and give it an extremely warm feeling. We were sat in a GIANT booth for just the two of us that was slightly lifted off the dining room floor allowing us to “people watch” during our meal (one of our favorite things to do!)
Overall Impression: 10/10. Carlo & Johnny’s now have two new customers for life and provided me an amazing evening with my girlfriend that we will not forget anytime soon!
If you own or manage Carlo & Johnny, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.