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January 22, 2009 | Taste: Dayton food and restaurants

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mobil Guide: Only one 4-star restaurant in Ohio

The Mobil Guide announced its 51st Annual List of Mobil Four- and Five-Star Award Winners today, and Ohio is represented by exactly one restaurant: Jean-Robert at Pigall’s in Cincinnati.

There are no five-star restaurants in Ohio, and Jean-Robert is the only Mobil four-star in the state — at least, according to Mobil.


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Chain Wars: Red Lobster, Captain D’s bare their claws

My my MY, restaurant folks are getting a bit sensitive during these difficult times, it appears.

That’s based on the big ol’ spat going on between Red Lobster and Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen.

Captain D’s has landed the latest blow in the form of a press release that mocks Red Lobster and its cease-and-desist letter that Red Lobster sent complaining of Captain D’s rather, um, aggressive ad campaign.

Oh well, there are always other fish in the sea …


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‘Sneak peek’ suggests a rousing Restaurant Week

Last night’s “Sneak Peek of Restaurant Week” at which 20 Dayton-area restaurants previewed some of their offerings for next week’s six-night charity event was certainly well-attended and an all-around success. Click here to see photos from the Sneak Peek of Restaurant Week event.

The Restaurant Week menus on the Miami Valley Restaurant Association web site and the record participation level — at least 57 restaurants have joined the Restaurant Week promotion this winter — suggests next week is going to be a fun week indeed.

The promotion — in which diners pay $20.09 for a three-course meal with the restaurants donating $1 per meal to local charities — runs from Jan. 25-30.

Last night’s preview party at the White Allen European Auto Group attracted 10 restaurants: Bahn Mai Thai Cafe, Brixx Ice Company, Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro, The Caroline, Coco’s Bistro, El Meson, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, La Piazza, Rue Dumaine, and Sweeney’s Seafood Restaurant. As varied as their offerings were, it might have been the puppies brought in by SICSA (one of the beneficiary charities, along with Hannah’s Treasure Closet) that stole the show.

Some highlights from the food items offered:

— Bullwinkle’s Chipotle-and-Pecan-Stuffed Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Andouille Sausage Gravy was decadently rich, with a sneaky heat that built nicely.

— Bahn Mai Thai Cafe’s Laotian Chicken Salad with Sticky Rice available in either a spicy or no-heat version: The spicy version struck the right balance of salty, spicy and sour, with the peppers and lime juice combining for a blast of flavors.

— Sweeney’s Seafood’s Lobster Ravioli in Shrimp Cream Sauce: hmm, I’ve already used “decadently rich” as a descriptor, but this dish is, well, decadently rich. And they smoke their own salmon for their Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad.

— El Meson’s Asopao is described as a Cuban Chicken & Rice Stew, chock full of ham, chicken, tomatoes, peppers and capers. It’s a satisfying wintertime dish.

Nicely done, and a great kickoff to what is shaping up as a busy week ahead. Consider making your reservations quickly, because some restaurants reported last night that some nights are filling up already.


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