Monday, December 31, 2012

Best New Year's Eve Dinner 2012: Jean-Robert's Table

2012 was a pretty good year. Especially the second half. For once, I felt like celebrating New Year's Eve rather than ignoring it. After other plans fell by the wayside and I learned Jean-Robert's Table was offering an upscaled version of its budget-friendly Lunch Tray (usually four courses for $14 weekday lunches at the bar) – featuring lobster and truffles for New Year's Eve, it seemed the perfect, last-minute way to cap off my year. (I have a "thing" about lobster that stems from an old inside joke with my sister.)

Maine Lobster Salad with Truffle Dressing, Celery Remoulade, 
Avocado, and Pomegranate Seeds

Lobster Bisque with Wilted Watercress and Truffle Chantilly Cream

Beef Short Rib with Lobster Bernaise, Truffle Sauce, Asparagus,
Dauphinois Potatoes, and Confit Tomatoes

Lobster and Truffle "Tompe l'oeil" 
(with tangerine + coconut bavarian and a chocolate truffle)

The food would have made me happy enough. But, as often happens when I head out to dine alone, I didn't really end up eating solo after all. I was befriended by the couple sitting next to me at the bar. They had great taste in wine, and shared my interest in the Cincinnati food scene. Proving once again that good food attracts good people, and food is a universal language – or at least a darn good conversation starter.

Cheers to all the fabulous people I've met this year through food, and my dear, long-time friends as well. Happy New Year and all best in 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best Pig Tasting Dinner 2012: Bouquet and Napoleon Ridge Farm

Napoleon Ridge pork loin with sorghum drizzle at Bouquet

’Tis the season for reflection on the year gone by. I’ve had some amazing food adventures that I still haven’t blogged about. I’ll try to remedy that in January, but here’s my first installment. With thanks to the chefs and farmers who made these meals possible, the fine folks I’ve had the pleasure to share a table with, and the new friends I’ve met along the way, Happy New Year!

We’re not talking pig roast here. Last March farmer Tricia Houston of Napoleon Ridge Farm asked if I would like to partake of a tasting dinner Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar in Covington was preparing with one of her pigs for a potential customer. There is only one correct answer to an invitation like that: “Yes!” At the last minute, she insisted my meal would be on her, and although I grappled with the blogger ethics of accepting a free meal, I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world.

This herby porchetta followed an appetizer showcasing a sous-vide Napoleon Ridge egg atop quinoa, mushrooms, and sherry cream.
Napoleon Ridge porchetta from Bouquet

The pork loin at the top of this post followed, then a single plate featuring these two pig cuts I'd never had the opportunity to taste before.

Napoleon Ridge pork bicep from Bouquet

Napoleon Ridge pork kidney from Bouquet

While you’re not apt to find pig bicep on the menu at Bouquet on a regular basis, the restaurant's specials are not to be missed. (They are sometimes mentioned on Bouquet's facebook page.) Chef Stephen Williams and his team, including the talented Bhumin Desai, are firmly committed to cooking seasonally and letting their carefully sourced local ingredients shine. One of the coziest rooms in Greater Cincinnati, Bouquet also offers a great wine selection, gracious, unpretentious service, and phenomenal housemade sorbets like this one.

Bouquet's mint sorbet

During 2012, Bouquet expanded its kitchen, and I'm hoping they will open their second floor during 2013.  P.S. The “potential customer” the kitchen was cooking for that night was Jim Cornwell, who sometimes carries Napoleon Ridge products at Dutch’s Larder, which has since opened.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry X-moose!

Santa came early this year. Good thing, as I have to drive home on Christmas Day. My favorite foodie gift: this box of spices from Istanbul!

We pretended Monday was Christmas Day, so even our feast is complete.

Wishing my dear friends--old and new--holidays full of laughter, good cheer, and good food! xoxo, eggy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday

photo©Gina Weathersby/Kiwi Street Studios 2012

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here’s something I can get behind: Giving Tuesday, which celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

The volunteering bug bit me this year, and I’m glad it did. I confess my first foray was not entirely altruistic. When I signed up to be a table leader for Dîner en Blanc, it was partly in the hope my volunteer efforts would secure me a seat. (They did, and what a night it was!) Then Edible Ohio Valley posted a call for volunteers for the Ohio Valley Greenmarket and I thought, why not contribute a couple of hours to an event I already planned to attend? Another call for volunteers went out for Eat.Play.Give (formerly 7 Days for SIDS). Yep, I donated an afternoon of my time to that too. Through these experiences I’ve met some terrific people I might not have crossed paths with otherwise. And sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with them again.

My baby steps in volunteering have yielded a few lessons. 1) There is truth to the adage that you get more of out volunteering than you give. 2) The organizers behind events like these put in a lot of hard work and can always use extra hands. 3) Food people really give back.

Take Eat.Play.Give, the annual fundraiser for the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation, which supports SIDS research, education, and outreach and provides scholarships to the Midwest Culinary Institute in honor of Tatiana de Cavel, the daughter chef Jean-Robert de Cavel and his wife Annette lost to SIDS. The roster of chefs who participate each year is a pretty much a Who’s Who of Cincinnati talent, and they all bring their A game to collectively create the best brunch in town to support this cause.

“Food people” aren’t limited to chefs. For instance, two women I am proud to call friends, photographer Gina Weathersby and food writer Ilene Ross, the talented duo behind online magazine 513{eats}, created the stunning calendar whose cover is at the top of this post as their contribution to Eat.Play.Give. All proceeds go to the de Cavel Foundation, and you can still order yours – for yourself or for holiday gifts. Click on over to the 513{eats} site for a month-by-month glimpse of the local chefs paired with their spectacular dishes and place your order. I received my glorious large-format calendar in the mail last week, and I won't want to part with it even when 2014 rolls in. I'll be keeping the link on my sidebar so you can find the 513{eats} calendar - and purchase it - throughout the holiday season.

For those of you following along about the Golden Lawnchair benefit, we netted more than $3,300 for the Freestore Foodbank! I was happy to pitch in behind the scenes for a fun and creative evening masterminded by bloggers Laura and David Arnold of Cincinnati Nomerati. Josh Campbell and crew at Mayberry had a blast taking Laura's original menu up to 11. Stay tuned for the truffle tater tots or pimento-cheese slathered cheesesteaks to possibly pop back up on the Mayberry menu. And for great photos, check out blogger/documentarian Bob Schwartz's post about the event. The Golden Lawnchair received generous donations from more local restaurants, food trucks, and farmers than I can name, proving once again that food people really give back. Thanks to all!

Whether it's today or in the future, you can make a donation to something you believe in or find your inner volunteer, too. Consider it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Imagine: The Golden Lawnchair Goes Live!

Bloggers can be a wacky bunch. A wacky bunch with big hearts. Like my online pal from Seattle who once hosted a virtual New Year’s Eve party. From across the country, and beyond, a group of us conjured up decorations, games, and sundry contributions on our blogs (the host’s animated .gif of a virtual vodka fountain was one my favorites). We whiled away the evening visiting each other’s “party rooms,” cracking jokes, exchanging comments, and generally having a lot more fun than I’ve ever had at a real-life New Year’s Eve party. Better yet, we each came up with a scheme for welcoming the upcoming year on a karmically good note by making a donation to a local charity. Like many of my friends, I pledged a certain amount of money per comment left on my blog that weekend. My contribution, a virtual morning-after brunch, racked up so many comments that I made a tidy (for me) donation to the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank, a tradition I now look forward to greeting each new year with.

Food bloggers Laura and David Arnold of Cincinnati Nomerati are flipping things around. When her husband David’s former job took him out of town once a month, Laura took advantage of the quiet time by focusing her culinary imagination and considerable artistic talents on preparing themed welcome-home dinners. Laura served up her most recent – with a “trashy to classy” menu featuring dishes like deviled quail eggs, truffled tater tots, and quite possibly the fanciest Philly cheesesteaks ON EARTH – at a “restaurant of the mind” she dubbed The Golden Lawnchair, complete with pink flamingo party favors. Go check out her post about it. I'll wait.

Photo by Cincinnati Nomerati

Photo by Cincinnati Nomerati

After drooling over the photos, as well as the menu, Nomerati readers couldn’t help but exclaim they’d like to eat at The Golden Lawnchair too. With the help of chef/owner Josh Campbell, who is turning over his OTR restaurant Mayberry to the effort, The Golden Lawnchair will become a reality next Sunday night, Nov. 18.

If you thought simply bringing this fantasy to life would be enough for Laura, you’d be wrong. She decided to turn the event into a benefit for the Freestore Foodbank and has been going full throttle to make this one of the most enticing benefits the city has ever seen. Especially for those of us who aren’t in a position to fork over several hundred bucks for a ticket to a gala, and wouldn’t want to dress up in tuxes and gowns if we could.

So how can you get in on this, and what can you look forward to? I’m pitching in behind the scenes and can share these details.

Although the first 48 pairs of dinner tickets (which include After Party admission) sold out in less than 48 hours on the Golden Lawnchair Indiegogo site, there is one last pair being auctioned off here on Ebay! The auction will run until the night before the event.

Miss out on the dinner portion of the evening? No worries. The After Party runs 9:00-? and cover is just $15/person. Weather permitting, there will be a band (or two). And plenty of prizes available.

Oh, the prizes! This is really going to be a “Locals Supporting Locals” event. We’ve received generous and creative contributions, from farmers to food trucks to fine dining establishments, as well as many of the arts organizations and other civic institutions that make Cincinnati great. Available via raffle ($5/ticket), bingo, or silent auction as the evening unfolds, you can come away with gift certificates, one-of-a-kind experiences, and gift baskets from some of Cincy’s best.

A few special perks have already been claimed on the Golden Lawnchair website, including the Nicola’s Limoncello lesson (the lucky winner gets to take a batch home with them) and the fabulous License to Chill package from Dojo Gelato – the winner will work with Dojo founder Michael Christner to create and name their very own gelato flavor, as well as receiving two pans of their custom gelato to take home. If you weren’t the lucky person to claim that perk, Dojo will be featuring the special flavor for a week at their Findlay Market shop. Stop in for a taste, because Dojo will be donating all proceeds to the Freestore Foodbank!

Still up for grabs on the website (as of this writing) are a private pizza lesson for two from A Tavola.

And a private cocktail lesson by the Cincinnati’s reigning mixology maven, Molly Wellman, of Japp's; Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, and a cocktail cookbook coming in 2013.

What else is in store?

Gift certificate plus opportunity to have a “Dog of the Day” named after you at Senate
Two passes to an Taste the World at Findlay Market tour by Daisy Mae’s and Cincinnati Food Tours
Two seats to an upcoming “underground” dinner by Please
Gift basket from Carriage House Farm
Gift basket from Napoleon Ridge Farm
Gift basket from The Party Source
Picnic basket from Local 127

Two Lunch Trays from Jean-Robert’s Table

But wait, there's more. Gift cards and passes from:

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Cincinnati Zoo
The Carnegie
Ensemble Theatre
Know Theatre
1215 Wine and Coffee Bar
Anchor OTR
Bakersfield OTR
Bouquet Restaurant + Wine Bar
City Cellars
Eli’s BBQ
Jimmy G’s
Moerlein Lager House
Park + Vine
Taste of Belgium
Tavern Restaurant Group
The Palace
Tom + Chee
The C’est Cheese food truck
The EAT mobile food truck
New Orleans to Go (gift certificate good at either their food truck or their new bistro at 10921 Reed Hartman)
The Taco Azul food truck
Barrio Tequileria – soon-to-open brick-and-mortar in Northside by the Taco Azul folks

And still more, including a bike to be raffled off at the After Party!

Head on over to Ebay now to bid on that last pair of dinner tickets, or make plans to attend the 9:00 p.m. After Party next Sunday night at Mayberry, because you don't want to just imagine what this night will be like. You'll want to be there!

Stay up to date with the Golden Lawnchair:
Golden Lawnchair indiegogo site
Golden Lawnchair on facebook
Golden Lawnchair on twitter
Ebay auction for the last 2 Golden Lawnchair dinner tickets (includes admission to the After Party)

Spread the word and support the Freestore Foodbank!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Aunt Flora’s Cobbleria and Everything’s D’ Vine Now Open on West 4th St.

Once upon a time West 4th Street was Downtown Cincy’s thriving gallery district. Then came the Over-the-Rhine resurgence and the Pendleton Art Center, luring artists uptown. Local 127 moved around the corner to its current Vine Street location, and it’s gotten pretty quiet on West 4th. But you may want you to check out the area again, thanks to twin storefronts operated by Aunt Flora and a new wine store, Everything’s D’ Vine.

Aunt Flora, aka Katrina Mincy, at one time had a place at Findlay Market, then a restaurant in Silverton. She’s brushed elbows with Martha Stewart and Oprah. On Friday I heard she was doing a soft opening of her newest venture, The Cobbleria, and checked it out at lunch.

Samples of fresh-from-the-oven blackberry and peach cobblers were on offer as Aunt Flora greeted customers. I couldn’t resist buying one of each. The colorful and inviting space at 213 West 4th (that’s the block where the Scientology offices and furniture store Contemporary Galleries used to be) serves up cobblers, tarts, and a case full of sweet deliciousness. Aunt Flora plans to add more Southern treats like sweet potato pie and red velvet cake.

Not open quite yet next door will be another take-out business called What’s in the Skillet, featuring a few soul food specialties on the savory side.

Aunt Flora tells me she plans to offer cooking classes and has an activity room in the back that can be reserved for special events. From the looks of the signage, it appears brunch and tea may be available in that space, too.

About those cobblers. The Cobbleria serves savory versions as well as fruit cobblers, and I picked up a veggie cobbler for my Friday lunch. “Some people might call them potpies, but we’re calling them savory cobblers,” joked the gentleman behind the counter with Aunt Flora. My veggie cobbler was no laughing matter – serious comfort food perfect for a fall day.

I haven’t had a chance yet to check out Everything’s D’ Vine, a new neighborhood wine shop at 320 West 4th (in the next block west from Aunt Flora’s), but they soft-opened last week too and have their Grand Opening scheduled for Friday. Nov. 4. Stay tuned to their facebook page for more info, and check them out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Gonna Be a Great Food Weekend in Cin-tucky!

An inadvertent slip of the finger on the keyboard. A 50-minute call from an unemployed friend who finally got a job interview. Replying to generous responses for a fundraising effort. Some fact- and link-checking. And the next thing I know, the post I'd hoped for isn't gonna happen and my suitcase still isn't packed.

But you can still take advantage of a lot of great food events this weekend, even if I'm not able to link them all. Google it, people. Or find this stuff on facebook. Here are just a few:

The last NOM (Night Owl Market) of the season Friday night, with food trucks and a Halloween costume contest that could net you tickets to some great arts events.

The Dutch's / Oscar Blues "Hops and Heifers" beer and burgers tasting Friday night. And keep your eye out for more events at Dutch's. The Larder can definitely step up to the plate with wine dinners (as I discovered with their inaugural event Monday).

There's also Findlay Market's Fall Festival, complete with Pie-Baking Contest, and Taste the World Tour!

I am sorry to miss my hometown events, but I will be traveling one last weekend this fall, to Lexington for the Incredible Food Show, a first-class food show that costs just $15 and is only a 1.5 hour drive from Cincinnati. The ways in which it inspired me last year are coming full circle, and I wouldn't miss this for the world.

In crazy, unexpected turns of events, I've met OH and KY chefs, farmers, cheesemakers, beekeepers, mushroom cultivarors, and a great bunch of food bloggers from north and south of the Ohio River. I've backed away from my computer and become involved in my local food community. Thanks to new friends, I've also looked southward and explored. I've discovered my inner food geek when it comes to learning from demos. And I somehow have discovered my inner volunteer.

Here's a Save the Date tip: The Golden Lawnchair from Cincinnati Nomerati goes live Nov. 18, and some of Cincy's best are contributing to the raffle!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Traveling Tuesday: The Bloomy Rind and Porter Road Butcher in Nashville

I've been on the road most weekends since Labor Day, and things aren't letting up during October. Lots more to come, but here's one of my favorite finds from last weekend's jaunt to Nashville for the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival and dinner at The Catbird Seat.

The Southern Artisan Cheese Festival was launched last year by the proprietor of a Nashville artisan cheese shop called The Bloomy Rind, which I decided to check out Saturday afternoon before Cheese Fest opened at 3:30. Come to find out, Bloomy Rind isn't much bigger than this cheese case tucked inside a great little butcher shop, Porter Road Butcher (PRB, not PBR).

People are always happy to wait for their order when it's good stuff. And this is clearly good stuff. Even the fellow coming in for his weekly order of house-ground dog food wasn't deterred when there wasn't any available. He just proceeded to order a bunch of people food.

I salivated over the offerings in the butcher case, knowing I'd have to keep them chilled in one of the coolers I'd brought with me and resisting the urge to buy too much since I'd soon be away from home again.

I settled on some jowl bacon, lardo (!), and a single sausage made in the style of that signature Nashville dish, Hot Chicken.

I'll be back to share photos of Cheese Fest, which drew cheese artisans from all over the South and hundreds of attendees – pretty remarkable when you look at that little cheese case inside PRB. But this weekend I'm off to Columbus, OH, for the book launch party of my most recent editing project, Hot Dogs, A Little Marketing, and A Lot of Fun.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Autumn!

There's a nip in the air that undeniably signals fall. I felt it even under the sunny skies of Nashville this weekend. While I work on downloading pics from the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival and my amazing dinner at The Catbird Seat, here is some of the autumnal abundance at the Nashville Farmers Market Saturday morning. Can you help me identify any of these varieties? I'm sure I could have asked the farmers staffing the booths. But I became too transfixed to ask . . .

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dîner en Blanc Cincinnati: We Did It!

I’m still that nerdy kid who actually enjoyed summer school, taking French after my family moved and I switched high schools from Walnut Hills to Mariemont. When I heard that Dîner en Blanc – the white pop-up picnic that originated in Paris 24 years ago – was coming to Cincinnati, I knew I wanted to go. Initial details were sketchy about the process of gaining admittance. But I noticed they were looking for volunteers. So I offered to lend a hand with what I expected would be a big night for my city. .

Even if you aren’t an organizer or volunteer, the occasion requires a good bit of planning and a willingness to adhere to the rules of the event, including wearing white attire (white shoes recommended but not required) and bringing your own 32” or smaller table and white chairs, plus white tablecloth and linen napkins, real wineglasses and cutlery (not plastic), and water, wine, or champagne (no beer or liquor). Each pair of attendees is also responsible for their own picnic fare. While most brought their own, pre-ordered picnics were also available from Orchids and Eat Well Catering for onsite pick-up. Here’s the one offered by Orchids.

I found a kicky white sleeveless dress back in July, and spent way too much time looking for white shoes that would be elegant enough for the occasion yet not kill my feet. (I finally settled on faux lizard-skin sandals with heels that I managed to wear ALMOST all evening, a small personal victory.) When last Monday’s forecast predicted a dip in temperatures – and, worse, the prospect of thunderstorms for this rain-or-shine event – I shifted to plan B (white pants and layers) and started googling places to purchase a white or clear rain poncho and/or umbrella. Thankfully, we ended up with a clear night that couldn't have been more perfect. Overall, attire ranged from “I’ll wear whatever I have in my closet that is white” to some fantastical costumes.

There was the organizing committee, then a handful of Group Leaders, and finally Table Leaders like me, who were each responsible for leading a group of about 50 either on a bus or from the pedestrian departure point to the event site, which would not be revealed – even to us – until shortly before Dîner began. The idea was that each busload would set up their individual tables adjacent to each other and, in my case, connect to the tables of the other two groups of 50 under my Group Leader’s auspices, to form one very long banquet table.

I wasn’t entirely sure how we were going go pull this off when I arrived at my bus departure point, the Frisch’s Mainliner in Fairfax (just down the road from where I’d taken summer school French). I drove around the parking lot looking for my Group Leader, finally spotting a car on the outskirts occupied by a woman wearing white. As we waited for the buses to arrive, she handed off sparklers, three bottles of champagne supplied by event sponsor Mumm’s that I was to raffle off to my bus mates, a sign identifying my bus as #5 that I was to tape to it, and a map of the event site – Lytle Park! – showing the exact location I was to lead my group to for table set-up.

I had a few minutes to consolidate food and gear with my friend and dining partner for the evening, Stephie Boertlein, of Small Girl Adventures. The next thing I knew, some 100 white-clad people descended on the Frisch’s lot bearing picnic baskets, tables, chairs, and flowers! They’d been urged to be punctual, and most showed up before the designated 6:00-6:15 arrival time. A good thing. The other bus leader and I assisted them in figuring out which of the two buses they belonged on, and checked off names to make sure everyone we expected was there. I learned I had groups of 10, 12, and 8 on my bus, that one couple had to cancel last-minute, and that there was some switching between buses I was not informed of earlier. I took a deep breath and went with the flow, suggesting that friends sit with each other on the bus so we could file out in roughly the order in which we would set up our tables, and encouraging everyone to work things out amongst themselves.

Which turned out to be no problem. I had a great group on Bus #5! We were a diverse group of internationals, some Cincy notables, a couple who drove from Lexington to attend, and several food writers. And everyone was ready to have fun! Speaking as loudly as I could over the road noise as our bus drove down Columbia Parkway, I revealed that we were headed to Lytle Park, ran through the rough agenda for the evening, and shared a few more guidelines (like “if you decide not to return on the bus, please let me know”). When people at the rear of the bus couldn’t hear me, a kind gentleman in the middle of the bus took on the role of relaying my info to the rest of the group. Then my friend Ilene Ross of {513}eats assisted by drawing names to raffle off the champagne, which put everyone in an even cheerier mood.

Next thing I knew, we were at Lytle Park, and I navigated us to our designated spot. Many tables were already set up. Although each “couple” was theoretically responsible for their own table and fare, there were some groups who partnered to set up extremely elegant tables.

We mixed, we mingled, and we ate!

None of us knew what to expect this inaugural year of Dîner en Blanc in Cincinnati. But winging it works when you’re with great people and the mood is festive! Although we started planning early, Stephie and I ended up pulling our dinner together somewhat last-minute too. We’d planned to meet at Dutch’s Larder last Wednesday to jointly select items for our first course. When she fell victim to a mean migraine, I went to Dutch’s myself (don’t miss the Larder’s housemade country paté!) and we divvied up duties. She made delicious whole wheat baguettes to accompany our cheese and charcuterie board.

I prepped some pickled veg, a simple Caprese salad, and an Alsatian sausage and gruyere salad for our main.

And Stephie once again turned her considerable baking talents to conjure up our dessert course: two kinds of sablés (vanilla, and chocolate chip and peanut butter) and an awesome apple spice cake with cream cheese quenelle and fruit compote in a Mason jar!

As the sky darkened and we were sated (was there anyone who didn't exuberantly bring too much food?), it was time for Dîner en Blanc to shift gears. The music shifted from jazz combo to high-energy tunes from the DJ. It was time to pull away from the dinner table and light the night with sparklers!

Some people released their white DeB balloons, and lanterns lifted skyward. Quite a sight in the middle of downtown Cincinnati, with the historic Taft Museum at one end of Lytle Park and the new Great American Tower overlooking other. And then there was dancing. Oh, my, was there dancing!
It was indeed a great night for Cincinnati! We may be the smallest of the cities worldwide to hold our inaugural Dîner en Blanc this year (including Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and San Francisco in the U.S., not to mention Mexico City, Barcelona, Sydney and Brisbane, Australia and Kigali, Rwanda). But we seized this opportunity and were filled with pride in what our Queen City continues to become!

11:00 p.m. came all too soon. We gathered our gear and trash (per DeB custom, we are to leave the spot with no trace we've been there), and headed home. I made one last pass to make sure my people were packed up, then got on the bus myself. To an astounding round of applause! Clapping ensued as the last few folks stowed their tables and chairs in the underbelly of the bus and came on board too. Things quieted as we retraced our route in the darkness to Frisch's Mainliner. But I overheard people talking about all the great ideas they gathered from this year's event that they couldn't wait to put into place next year. With this kind of response, I think a second annual Dîner en Blanc Cincinnati is a good bet!

Special thanks to the {513}eats gals, Ilene Ross and Gina Weathersby, and their wonderful husbands, Marc and SB, who were kind enough to carry tables and chairs for Stephie and me, as well as "white chair-cover maven" Natalie Wolf and her husband Scott. A pleasure to share the evening with you!

For great photos that truly capture the spirit of the event, don't miss this {513}eats blog post and this set of photos from Jens Rosenkrantz.And stay tuned to the Diner en Blanc - Cincinnati facebook page for more.