What a treat! Our great friends, Ralph and Mary Ethel treated us to a magnificent dinner at Jag’s, a relatively new restaurant north of Cincinnati and about an hour south of where we live. They had dined there once before and had been raving about how good the food was. We were invited to go with them to celebrate Mac’s and my March birthdays.
Luckily, the weather cooperated and we had a most pleasant drive from their house to the restaurant. No ice, snow, rain, or cold weather, just a clear blue sky that later revealed more stars than I’d seen in a long time. Before leaving their house, we stood in their driveway and watched a deer nibbling on acorns in the backyard. Soon two more ambled out of the woods to join the other. With only a few glances in our direction, they nibbled in peace.
The restaurant has a beautiful, classic and classy club-like atmosphere, dark, rich woods, several well-appointed dining rooms, raw bar, piano lounge, and a menu replete with tasty offerings. The presentation of the food was modern, but not intimidating; no architectural wonders threatening to topple over when touched by a fork. The service was prompt, correct, and not obtrusive. The courses arrived well-timed from the kitchen. It always irritates me to have my salad brought before I’ve had time to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, and then the entree rushed right out before I’ve finished my salad. I do tend to linger over a salad and often enjoy nibbling on it while enjoying the entree, so it must be hard for a server to judge when to remove my salad plate. It was no problem at Jag’s.
My salad was a mixture of greens with some raw vegetables and the house red wine vinaigrette on the side. The dressing was the first indication that the meal to follow would be great. I often gauge a restaurant by it’s salad dressing. (I would miss salads more than desserts if forced to omit one or the other.) This one was perfectly emulsified, slightly creamy but not thick, faintly garlicky, not too much vinegar, just the way I like it. I will be trying to duplicate it in the future. My entree, after much deliberation, was the sea bass with a Thai chili beurre blanc that had just the right amount of heat for my taste. It was served with garlic mashed potatoes, perfectly cooked asparagus spears, and julienned carrots. The generous portion of sea bass was cooked just right and I managed to save some to bring home with some leftover potatoes. Mary Ethel also had the sea bass which she had ordered the first time she ate at Jag’s.
The gentlemen ordered steak. Ralph had the Kobe filet, just to see if it was worth the extraa $$$. The Verdict? Undecided, which I guess means it wasn’t worth the $$$. You would think that upon the first bite, the heavens would open up and choirs of angels would sing if it was significantly better. But it’s hard to decide without a blind tasting. Mac had a New York strip steak. Everyone’s beef was great, prepared and served carefully. The boys had au gratin potatoes, Ralph with fresh steamed green beans, and Mac with a forest of beautiful broccoli.
For dessert our friends shared a sundae, certainly big enough for two to share. Mac ordered the key lime torte which I sampled a few times. It was a light dessert, tart and sweet, not filling. The perfect ending to a perfect meal.
We were wondering where the name “Jag’s” came from. There was a beautiful gold new Jaguar parked in front – a connection? Nice ride.