Sunday, September 27, 2009

Local 127 Restaurant--"Farm to table dining" -- Meet the chefs

I just returned from the first annual Farmers Fair on Greenup Street in Covington, where I met the chefs from downtown Cincinnati's newest--and most exciting--restaurant. Chefs Steven Geddes (in photograph at left) and Kyle Johnson (far right) were passing out copies of Local 127's menu amid the booths staffed by Kentucky farmers, artisan food producers, Elk Creek winery, Dojo Gelato, and more. They found no better place to schmooze with likely customers than at this locavore event. In fact, several of the restaurant's food sources were represented at the fair.

Local 127 (127 W. 4th St., formerly Jean-Robert at Pigall's), calls itself a "New American eatery" that "provides only the freshest ingredients, prepared with a respect for tradition using the innovative tools of today."

The menu, divided into SMALL and LARGE plates, looks like a healthy foodie's dream: plenty of vegetable based dishes, and much of the meat is healthy too because it comes from farmers who treat and feed their animals humanely and healthfully. The result is lean, high protein, low fat meat full of minerals and "good" fats.

Some menu items to whet your appetite: Squash soup with garlic chips, pumpkin seeds and parsley; "risotto style" rice with mushrooms, herbs and preserved lemons; Waldorf salad with apples, walnuts and Riesling soaked raisins; chicken two ways with red bliss potatoes, eggplant and shallot puree; Atlantic halibut with wild rice, wilted spinach and lemon. (Note that the menu changes daily based on what the farmer-sources have to sell.)

I chatted with the chefs (pictured with friends Brent Balika, second from left, and Ike Like) and learned that they plan to open a wine bar in the coming weeks or months and also will expand to include lunch service. As of now, Local 127 serves dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays.

We have not gotten there yet, but will do so ASAP and report in detail about what these foodies are dishing up that night.

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