Karen and I decided to spend the afternoon exploring the shops in the Gateway Quarter. It’s usually not my style to recommend a restaurant before previously dining there, but I felt confident in my suggestion of Taste of Belgium: Belgian Bistro for our lunch. It was fairly new on the scene yet mature enough to have worked out the kinks, and getting some raves from its patrons.
We arrived a little after noon and settled into one of the last remaining tables. The aromas from the open kitchen were tempting…an inviting mix of sugar and savory. I could tell our server would be attentive. He quickly gave us the day’s menu offerings while we focused on the rather extensive list of features and sides, some of which may be a bit unfamiliar to the common Cincinnati diner. My comment to Karen while perusing was that the prices mostly seemed a bit high with everything à la carte. Our decisions, however, were made. Karen would have the Tuna Baguette and I the ‘Nati Crêpe. We decided to share a side of Stoemp, Belgian mashed potatoes with various additions. They change daily and the day’s ingredients were sage and tarragon. I asked to see a dinner menu and many of the featured items from lunch were almost doubled in price for the evening and others were still a bit out of line to me for the market. I was now a little concerned. Have they priced their way out of the neighborhood and can they sustain longevity and build a repeat clientele?
(which was more like a pâté) a 7 out of 10. There were slices of cucumber, hardboiled egg, and shaved carrots on top. No garnish, unless you count the toothpicks holding it together.
|Stoemp with Sage and Tarragon|
The stoemp was creamy, smooth, and mildly flavored with the herbs. We found them to be a hit as an accompaniment.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with the visual environment and authentic dishes of Taste of Belgium. For me, it was just too predictable… and overpriced.