Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jean Robert's Table Is A Hit!

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." --Virginia Woolf

Good morning! It's Sheila, and I am so happy to have Jean Robert back! Okay, I know Jean Robert didn't go anywhere, but for months I have been missing his food. I say this with conviction: I have eaten a lot of food, and I have met a lot of chefs, but I have never known one who is as talented as Jean Robert de Cavel. And here's the really cool thing. He's such a nice person!

I first met Jean Robert when he was the chef at the world famous Maisonette downtown. For me, the Maisonette was intimidating. I had never been to a five-star restaurant before I moved to Cincinnati. It made me nervous to eat there in a booth facing out toward the restaurant. Would I use the wrong fork? God forbid, spill something? The first time I ate dinner there, I didn't know Jean Robert, but his food made an impact, and then I understood just why the Maisonette kept its 5-star rating for the years he was there.

Jean Robert came to Cincinnati to work in the Queen CIty's most famous restaurant, but he made our city his home, and he has worked hard to make it a better place. When downtown was looking a bit bleak after the riots and September 11th attacks, Jean Robert invested in downtown by opening his own place. Rob ate at Pigall's first, and he exclaimed to me afterward, "Jean Robert is a genius!"

It's been about two years since Pigall's closed its doors for the last time. After a legal battle with his former partners, Cincinnati's favorite chef is back with Table at 7th and Vine. And when you taste the food, you'll see for yourself why Jean Robert is a genius.
My husband Ric had a date night Saturday, and we couldn't wait to go back to Table. Jean Robert convinced manager Mary Lou Lind to come home to Cincinnati from Kiawah Island in South Carolina, and she told me business has been just as busy in January as it was during the holiday season. She's not having much fun in the snow, but it's clear she loves being part of the success of Jean Robert's new venture.

One of Chef's specialities in seafood, so Ric and I ordered the sole and halibut, respectively. Ric's sole came with a delicious truffle cream sauce, and the halibut was paired with squash, grapefruit, and a luscious citrus sauce. It really is to die for, and I'm always amazed at the ingredients Jean Robert puts together in his dishes. We topped off our meal with an incredible creme brulee and coffee, always served at Table in a french press. I never drink coffee in the evening, but I indulged in two cups!

The restaurant has a casual, friendly atmosphere, and it's a welcome addition to downtown Cincinnati. One Facebook friend told me he felt like he was in the Village in NYC, and added to my sentiment that Cincinnati really needed something like this. You can read the menu and find out more about Jean Robert's table at http://jrtable.com/

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