December 3, 2011

Best of the City


I nearly ate my weight in food last night at the Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the City Party".  The food and the view from the 29th floor of the Great American Tower were amazing.  The party was $20 and included 3 drink tickets, unlimited food and goodwill towards women/men since proceeds benefited both the Barrett Cancer center and the Lindner Center of Hope.


One of the party sponsors was Barefoot Bubbly so I started with a glass of the pink moscata and did a quick loop see check out the prospects.  I went with a shrimp salad from Cilantro.  This dish did not agree with me mostly because I'm not a fan of cilantro in general, but I'd love to a different dish from Cilantro.
Next was the chicken nachos from Taqueria Mercado.  Delicious.  Their homemade flour tortilla chips were covered with re fried beans, shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and a few jalapenos. Probably one of my favorite tastes of the night.
I followed this with one salmon and one spicy tuna sushi piece from Fusian.  Fusian gets the award for friendliest workers at the event.
When I noticed one of my friends eating the glazed donut grilled cheese from Tom + Chee I made a beeline.  I enjoyed a small slice of the grilled cheese with their tomato basil soup.  I don't think the tomato basil and the glazed donut were the best pair but separately, each dish held its own and warrant a trip to the restaurant very very soon.
I followed this with cheddar cheese and corn grits with lobster cream sauce from New Orleans To Go and then a couple bites of a Philly from Cafe de Wheels.  The Philly was one of my least favorite dishes, too much bread and not enough flavor of any kind.  I don't want to judge any of the restaurants too harshly, though, since this event was outside of the normal environment for preparing their dishes.  Some things just don't translate well when they're in warmers or dry ice for hours on end.


I have never been to Oriental Wok so I was pleased to see their table; the General Wong's Chicken was quite tasty.  Oriental Wok was voted "best place to celebrate a birthday" by Cincinnati Magazine.
For dessert I enjoyed one of Donna's Gourmet Cookies- chocolate chip with an Oreo baked inside. Aglamesis was serving up Neapolitan sundaes, one small scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with the topping of your choice and whipped cream and nuts.  I concluded my selection with a small bite of the Orchid's Buckeye Whoopee Pie with raspberry infusion.
I missed a trip to Smoq my friends took a few months back but I had a chance to try their ribs tonight.  I loved the sweet brine and the fact that it was crispy on the outside, I felt like I was biting through a layer of sugared barbecue sauce to get to the meat, it was delightful. 

When I had almost reached the point of being sickeningly full I remembered the corn bread covered with jambalaya from Anna Ree's Andouille and had to try a couple bites.  I wish I'd had this dish earlier in the evening so I could have eaten the entire thing.  I love me some sweet/savory foods, not to mention all the texture going on.

And just when I knew I couldn't handle anymore one of my friends walks up to me with a Streetpop.  Anyone who know me knows there is always room for a popsicle or 2 or 3 or 6.  I enjoyed the white chocolate raspberry and the chocolate with sea salt was a major crowd-pleaser.

Cincinnati Magazine puts on one hell of a party.  Now I know what heaven is like...and I've scratched several places off my "restaurants I need to try or I'm not really a foodie" list.

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