Monday, September 5, 2011

For the most beautiful view in Cincinnati, visit The Terrace Café

Terrace Café Overlooking the Alice Bimel Courtyard
      In the tri-state region, we’re fortunate to not only have the Cincinnati Art Museum with its comprehensive collection of the major historical periods, but also to visit the Terrace Café that looks out on the Alice Bimel Courtyard of the building.  Over the last few years, we’ve eaten in the airy, sleek interior dining room as well as outside on the terrace with its Lucite overhead covering.  The sinuous, 19th century nude statues set
within the restrained almost Classical architecture, though this was built during the height of the Gothic Revival, are an indicator that the dining will be beautiful.

      We visited for Sunday lunch with Thomas and Rolland when they were in town.  I hadn’t been in a while and I was a little taken aback that they’d reworked the menu.  However, the prices seemed to have dropped a little so I wondered if the quality would decline as well.  There are sandwiches, salads, and soups developed by master chef David Cook of Daveeds at 934.  All of us chose the half and half with the cup of soup because it was a seafood bisque.  It was a version that any chef would be proud to serve.  It was a classic bisque preparation with a cream and tomato base and a note of either dry white wine or sherry.  The fish consisted of diced crab, shrimp, and ahi tuna.  

Cobb Salad and Seafood Bisque
BLAT Sandwich

      Thomas had the Cobb Salad, while Rolland chose the Club Sandwich, and Neil ordered the Country Salad.  All of these were generously portioned.  In fact, they looked like they might have been full servings in some other establishments.  I had the BLAT (BLT with avocado).  Thomas and I questioned avocado.  It’s an ingredient that’s about buttery texture and a pale lemon emerald color, but there isn’t much flavor to it unless it’s utilized in guacamole and then it’s the chili and other spices that actually give it character.  That aside, the BLAT was large and the bread was toasted perfectly – firm, golden, but still moist when I bit into it.  
Club Sandwich
Country Chicken Salad

Chocolate Layer Cake
Berry Charlotte
      Our server was sort of laissez faire about the desserts.  He rattled them off, probably expecting that we’d turn him down, then pleasantly surprised when we took him up on the Chocolate Layer Cake and the Berry Charlotte.

These were both lovely desserts.  There were three or four other interesting choices as well.  The cake had a silky ganache icing and a tender, moist consistency.  The Charlotte, described as a short cake with fruit, was actually an individual sponge ring – practically a mini Bundt – with a wild berry mousse in the center and fresh berries on top and beside it.  Neither choice was too sweet and both were made for sharing.

      A great ending to a meal in the Terrace Café is a walk through the Art Museum.  Right now, a number of galleries are changing over their contents, but the Cincinnati Wing is pristine and still a fascinating look at the historical background of this region.

Terrace Cafe on Urbanspoon

We all enjoyed having Thomas and Rolland visit for the weekend.  I had to stay out of their room but I didn't mind.

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