Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cincinnati Magazine's Top Ten Restaurants

Oh, boy, do I have issue with this list. Thanks to @ChasingPolly for so kindly typing this out in 140 characters or less.
1.Orchids
2.Nicola’s
3.Boca
4.Via Vite
5.Daveed’s
6.Nectar
7.Cumin
8.Slims
9.Hugo
10.Riverside Korean

Let’s compare to last year, shall we?

New to the list: Riverside Korean, Via Vite and Hugo.

Off the list: Pigall’s (I assume because it’s closing, I guess they got that detail in right before going to print), Jo An and JeanRo Bistro.

Though JR Bistro is still open, I wholeheartedly agree that it’s not one of the top ten restaurants– and wasn’t last year. The meals I’ve had there in the past few years were mediocre at best.

I am so glad to see some real ethnic food– not just fusion– on the list. Though Cumin is good, it’s not “authentic”, and I think that very well prepared, authentic cusine that isn’t Italian, French or American should be included, and Riverside would be my choice. I like Jo An, but I like Riverside better. It’s an old favorite. I’ve actually eaten at all of these restaurants except for Nectar. Friends have recently gone to Nectar and enjoyed it as well.

I’ve never quite figured out how these top ten lists work. I confess that Terry and my Top Ten Barbecue is completely and utterly subjective; and this top ten list is too. How is Orchids better than Nicola’s (Nicola’s would be my top, if anyone’s asking). How did Boca fall to 3 from the top spot last year?

And, most importantly, how in the WORLD is there no Jeff Ruby restaurant on the list? The Jeff Ruby’s Jewel was rated the top steak in the country, better than all of those top Chicago and New York steakhouses, and it doesn’t even get a mention in the Cincinnati Magazine top ten? I just don’t get it. The food is always great, the service is always stellar. It’s not delicate food, and it’s not chef-owned, but it’s a place I know I could take friends or clients and they’d be equally happy. I’d be poor, but everyone would come away happy. Someone suggested that it was because it was a "chain", but it is no more a chain than Jean-Robert's restaurants were (and, I suppose, Wade's restaurants are).

What would be #1 on your list?

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