Grande Vino

Spending some time at our home on Marco Island, Florida, I found a great pinot noir. Foodies was created for culinary-minded wine lover seeking delicious, balanced wines to complement any number of inspired dishes. According to the label, Foodies California pinot noir is a medium-bodied wine loaded with black cherry and raspberry flavors. Best served with lamb or pork chops. I enjoyed this wine on our lanai as an evening nightcap. Hope you enjoy as much a I did.

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An evening out…

My youngest daughter and I had a night out last week with dinner and a play.  I am a season ticket subscriber to Broadway Across America Cincinnati.

Each month I have dinner prior to play and have really made an effort to explore the restaurant scene in Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine (OTR).  It has been fun exploring the food in OTR.  My daughter and I decided to try Quan Hapa, an Asian fusion joint, with a really cool vibe.  We were pretty excited to try this place and explore the culinary offerings.  We ordered the Hapa Ramen (Tonkotsu style) and the chicken Banh Mi.  The ramen included homemade noodles, poached egg, pork belly, green onions, sunflower shoots, shiso and burnt garlic chili oil.  The chicken dish included adobo sauce, broccoli rabe and pickled cucumbers. Unfortunately, we were really disappointed with the dishes.  The chicken dish was bland ( not what I was expecting with an adobo sauce) and the ramen were just so so.  We didn’t even finish half of either dish. Maybe it was a bad night for the chef.  Here is the link in case you want to check it out for yourself.

http://www.quanhapa.com/

We were still hungry leaving Quan Hapa, so much so we decided to grab a donut at Holtmans Donuts. http://www.holtmansdonutshop.com/  These are by far the best donuts in Cincinnati.  Very cool place with a warm inviting atmosphere.  A must-try if you are visiting downtown.

After a quick carryout at Holtmans we headed over to the Senate.  Senate is a trendy American restaurant in the heart of OTR.  They serve gourmet hot dogs with creative toppings and feature local beers.  We loved it!  We started with a crispy potsticker made with housemade ginger-pork, sweet chili, miso cream cheese and sesame seeds.  It was fantastic.

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We then moved on to the star of the show, the gourmet hot dog. We ordered the “Trailer Park” which consists of bacon wrapped beef hotdog, american cheese, coleslaw, crushed grippos on a brioche bun.

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Very yummy. Overall, I would recommend Senate. The menu is interesting, the service was great and the place was hip. Here is the link to check it out for yourself.  http://senatepub.com/

After the Senate, it was off to the play. We saw Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Wonderful show and evening with my girl.

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Hiking in 2015

One of my new years resolutions is to do more hiking.  I have always loved to hike and have gotten away from it over the years.  I rounded up a group of friends and we went for a three-mile hike at Miami Whitewater Forest.  It was pretty cold here in Cincinnati that day but very sunny.  We really enjoyed our time on the trail.  So much so we collectively decided to do a hike-a-month this year.  We are busy planning next months hike already. IMG_4524

 

 

What a great way to start the year with wonderful friends. The remainder of the day was spent with family. Cooking and celebrating the new year. Each and every year I make pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes on new years day. Growing up my mom made this meal quite often and for sure on every January 1st. My understanding is it is good luck to eat pork and sauerkraut to begin the new year. The symbolism and story of these foods lucky nature are as follows; green cabbage(life) and pork/ham (pigs root forward as they eat, embracing challenges). I have kept this tradition alive in our family, so we enjoyed the meal below.

 

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2015 is off to a great start!