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Fuji Steakhouse - Dinner Event With Cincinnati Dining Group PDF Print E-mail

Altro Editor is working on a foodie project and you can see her diary entries into her current 'RESTAURANT CHRONICLES' series of articles being made into a book that is currently a work in progress...Reports Kaitlyn, "Having fun with this project, enjoying every tasty bite at the end of all kinds of forks!"

Restaurants are interesting on many levels - sure, they offer a necessity, but beyond food being part of our daily survival, running a restaurant where food and food culture is 'showcased' as an art form is something we need not take too lightly - partly because as patrons, our wallets are just as involved as our tummies! Some restaurants can do it well and we show our love and appreciation by returning as 'regulars'; others do it with such panache that it amazes us to the point of disbelief as they show us their craft and art in ways that others dare dream of; still, others are mediocre and cannot make top 20 lists, let alone a top 10 in their chosen cuisine field and geographical location.

Many of the mediocre ones either pretend they are 'food artists' or stay stuck in effort mode, constantly trying to catch up and then keep up with the most talented chefs' and management teams' skills and trends. It is our duty as foodies and citizens in general, to speak up and point out where they could stand some improvement. It is not cruel, uncool or unprofessional to speak up about important issues (if we do it right that is) and food is a hugely important topic to take on - it's a life-sustainer so let's treat our 'eat treats' as such!

Here is a wide variety of restaurants all over our great city - from casual to fine dining and in the diary entries, we share with the reader what we really think of them - but with one major difference - we are NOT like Yelp. Online sites like that tend to do more harm than good when offering any so-called 'constructive criticism'. We here at Altro, are doing our best to inspire and encourage folks to review things with an open mind instead of jumping to bias/ irrational thinking. Sure, you may have had bad service or a steak not well done enough to your liking, but using victim mentality and political correctness to form an opinion is not the way to share our perceptions or improve the 'food art' of our culture.

We here at Altro, like to offer diplomatic tact in our careful observations and honest feedback instead of over-emotional PC responses. One grand rule here in 'the DT policy' over the PC one - we do not use ad hominems in 'attacking' anyone, but rather prefer to keep the focus on the selected object of feedback - food, ambiance, service, etc. These eatery-establishments offer us food, but if unsatisfied, we can't return it like it's a pair of shoes at a retail outlet as our stomachs are the holding tanks (haha), nor can we get our money back for it (unless we're food poisoned in rare situations, God-forbid!) but we can return to them our FEEDback. Let's do it right though, as feeding and fooding are art forms  - and in the process, we'll see how we can help not only refer others to these wonderful restaurants but also try to work with the restaurants' owners to see if our insightful 'suggestions' and careful critique can inspire them to improve their unique and important artistry.

Hail to the food queens and kings, to the master creators behind the scenes in the kitchens and of course, to the food lovers among us who help keep them all in business! Enjoy and let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or places you'd like us to cover on this growing list along the culinary highways of our foodie journey, and we may just add your entries as well. Bon Appetit!

First diary entry is Fuji's Japanese Steakhouse - Flo, Ky.

This dinner was spent with' Cincinnati Dinner WIth Friends' - Organized by Tom B - This group is a large and interesting dining group that many attend once a month (usu 30-40 or more) by getting together and trying out new cuisines at all kinds of Greater Cincinnati restaurants (which includes Northern Ky). This is a diary entry being included in my new "Restaurant Chronicles' Guide for Foodies...

More info and photo coming soon for this event...

Diary entry: August 12, 2018
By: Kaitlyn Karol
Restaurant: Jeff Ruby's in downtown Cincinnati
Food/ Cuisine: Famous for their steaks and other American dishes (such as salmon and chicken)
Ambiance: Fancy/ upscale, chandeliers all throughout restaurant. Rich red provocative color scheme. Very comfortable chairs and many windows all around for great views of downtown and to offer in plenty of light. Tables complete with umbrella candles for added romantic effect.

Dined with one of my other dining groups here - CLEO - 'Cincinnati Let's Eat Out'. (See Meet for this info if interested). This meet up dining group is a bit more intimate as only 4-6 people sign up to be included for smaller dinners. It's a first-come, first-serve wait list so when you receive a notice, as a guest, you are required to be respectful and RSVP and then if you need to cancel, to have the courtesy to cancel ahead so someone else may take your spot on the list. It's a great group of people that you get to meet from all over the city at large and from all walks of life.

Sia Nikolaou hosted this event for "Restaurant Week in downtown Cincy' and it was lovely. With this being a special event, they offered the special discount at $45 for a three-course meal. The decor is amazing there, so right away, you realize the price point (a bit steep if you're not visiting with a discount like this) is covering the ambiance as well. But for my taste and pricing matrix, I will say, Ruby's other dynamic dining den, The Precinct, eclipses this place. Plus, the Precinct's decor is even lovelier, cozier, (deeper, richer reds and golds, with even classier lighting) and as for the commute, it is more convenient to get to in the Tusculum area. Driving and parking downtown can be a headache and extra expense so though I adore downtown Cincy, I am not a fan of driving down there often.

Food for thought: Bar 'tenders' or bar servers? You decide...

Ruby is famous for his signature steaks, however, so no surprise on how delicious my filet mignon was. I also ordered a green apple martini, ($12!) and honestly, I've had better at smaller restaurants for half the price. This 'tini' was a bit strong and had less flavor. A well-mixed cocktail like this demands a balance of just the right amount of flavor and enough alcohol to give it some punch but even in higher-end restaurants, it is usually my experience that it is true what they say about the bartender being a total artist! Not many bartenders have the Midas touch and do less tending of bar and more basic serving. So - in my opinion, these particular folks should be referred to as 'bar servers'.

No offense to them, but this area of 'restaurant art' needs special attention - especially if you are a higher-end place and charge $12 for a small mixed drink. A bit pretentious here. (Comparison relevance: This is no different than having a pastry chef make homemade original handcrafted desserts versus serving generic frozen over-sugary treats that come from a local bakery. Quality is essential in these areas esp. when you are a high-end 4-star swanky place that insists on higher standards).

Service was great as our servers were helpful in bringing more warm bread when the first basket became empty and also in answering questions about the menu. They were good at attending to our table as well - not too much attention to the point of being intrusive and not too little where we were ever ignored. Good news there, as it should be in a finer establishment. Granted, this was a weekend night, so that is worth noting on a busier night like this!

jeff_rubys_menu_logo_1.jpg - 54.73 Kb

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