Sunday, September 25, 2016

Finally made it to the Cincinnati Food and Wine Classic for the Saturday evening "Feast in the Park." The best part definitely was the food quality. If any significant restaurant in the region wasn't represented, I didn't notice. And almost all of the top places made a great effort to showcase their abilities. (Boca underperformed, I thought, but otherwise the big names delivered.)
Jean-Robert de Cavel stole the show and my heart with his seafood stew. He and two or three assistants assembled a lovely dish with a potato base, a seafood-rich broth and a dash of spicy sauce for those who wanted it. (I thought the spice addition was perfect.)
It was a treat to see Suzanne McGarry there -- the owner of Northside's Bistro Grace.  Their dish was an ambitious "shrimp boil on a plate," as she described it.

Another highlight was a duck concoction on an edible, whole-wheat spoon handed out from a truck by a company that supplies duck to local and national restaurants and supermarkets, including Kroger here in Cincinnati.
DeCavel at work
The big disappointment was the lousy wine choices. All the important local distributors were there, in the wine & beer pavilion, and not one brought a really decent bottle of wine with them. The breweries performed much better, and even though I'm not remotely a beer drinker, I quickly switched from the pathetic, cheap wines to beer and even soft drinks.

The dessert pavilion with Summer Genetti and several other excellent sweets vendors made a terrific way to end the evening.

We liked the spaciousness of the venue -- moved from Washington Park to the riverside -- but were frustrated that even though the address was Yeatman's Cove, you could not enter from there. We parked at the Yeatman's garage and had to schlep quite some distance in the heat to the official entrance (and back of course, at the end of the night).

It was fun to see what was going on with this event, but once will probably be enough for me.

Pastry Chef Summer Genetti makes a pie


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