Thursday, July 17, 2014

Arnold’s Bar & Grill

A Cincinnati institution 
that keeps a-going and deserves attention

The Courtyard at Arnold's
     Katy and Denny just moved to a spacious, beautiful apartment downtown so we decided on Arnold’s for dinner a couple of weeks ago.  They’d visited earlier in the spring and
said that the menu was inventive.  We hadn’t been in a while.  The last time was when a colleague said, breathing in the air of the courtyard, “This smells like Boston.”  We took that as a compliment.

Arnolds' Bar
     Arnold’s is a landmark because at over 150 years of age, it’s the oldest tavern in Cincinnati.  Though currently changing the menu because of a chef change, we didn’t notice any difference in quality.  That’s a testament to Ronda Breeden’s vision as the proprietor.

Mulligatawny Soup and Salad

Soups are very strong, though they rotate daily.  Katy chose the House Salad and had the Mulligatawny soup and it was sweet and spicy, redolent of its complex origins as a British invention utilizing Indian ingredients.  The fruitiness of the apple and raisins complemented the curry.

Mint Pea Soup

Neil ordered the Mint Pea soup, which we liked more than the version at Kitchen 452.  These were up there with Via Vite’s soups, which are among the best in the region.  There were also vegan options.

Blueberry Chicken
     Denny ordered the House Tossed Salad with a side of pasta and really liked it.  Neil followed Katy’s suggestion of the Blueberry Chicken, which he had with a side of caramelized sweet potatoes that were delicious.  The chicken was tender and very tasty, but the cream based sauce was a little gray colored.  If it had been an oil-based sauce, it might have retained the hue of the berry.

Chicken and Waffles
I had the Chicken with Waffles and it was excellent. The maple syrup on the waffle undercut the heat of the Buffalo sauce.  The French fries were as good as McDonald’s and that’s saying something!  We thought the pricing was fair and the service was friendly and very competent.  I wish the band that night could have turned down the decibels a bit because I felt that many diners were there to visit and hear a band, rather than having to raise their voices at an impromptu blues rock concert.

Berry Cobbler

     We decided to stop by Arnold’s later for dessert.  Though they recovered quickly and professionally, the staff seemed a little confused that we were just there for drinks and dessert at 10:30 p.m.  Katy selected the Madison’s gelato, while Neil and I shared the Berry Cobbler.  Actually, the Cobbler was more like hot compote with a biscuit on top.  It sounds different, but it was delicious.
Arnold's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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