Nectar is in our neighborhood, but we hadn't been there in about three years. We consider it a special-occasion place, and it just hadn't made the rotation lately among similar finer-dining places in town. Now we can say Nectar needs to step up its game to compete with similar chef-owned restaurants in Cincinnati such as DaVeed's, Boca and Nada.
I'd made a reservation about two weeks in advance -- just in case. On the afternoon of our dinner, the restaurant called, confused, about a note left to call me. Huh? I confirmed that I'd made a reservation weeks ago. Apparently the time was missing from the restaurant's notes.
On a Wednesday night, there were only about five tables occupied, however, there was a large party of all men that swelled to 10. Our visit lasted about 1.5-2 hours, a nice leisurely dinner that dragged on a little too long. There were two servers for the first hour, then just one the rest of the night. Huh? Only the executive chef and a sous chef were in the kitchen. The staff did its best with keeping pace.
But I'm disappointed that my best dish was my green salad. Shrimp fritters, an appetizer, tasted too much like cheap Chinese fare from the mall food court and needed a stronger condiment on the plate. My chicken dish was warm-to-cold and too salty, while my spouse was advised that his plate of braised beef was very hot. I got the impression that my dish was ready some time before his. Dessert, a mousse, was not all that special. A second serving of bread was not available until we were nearly done with our entrees because the kitchen was overwhelmed with the party of 10 and there was no one available to cut the loaves. (?)
I'll assume the big party was the main thing hurting the experience; otherwise, the restaurant wasn't busy that night and should have been able to present a better meal. I want to support a local business, especially one that is woman-owned, but Nectar is not among the best in the city anymore.
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