Two reviewers: ts and js
Worth a mention: the green olive tapenade they served with the bread was very, very good.
The dinner rolls were OK. They weren't heated. (Why is nobody warming up bread anymore?!!) One had to use MAN-HANDS force to break the rolls apart. As JS mentioned, the tapenade was good. We also asked for balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the bread.
Of course, in keeping w eatingclub tradition, I had the MOST EXPENSIVE DINNER once again. I opted to order from their a la carte menu (instead of the Dine-Out prix fixe). Reasons to follow.
HEARTS OF ROMAINE SALAD. CRISP PANCETTA, GRANA PADANO, CAESAR VINAIGRETTE
The caesar vinaigrette was very lemon-y, which I liked, because of the tartness. Didn't care much for the crisp pancetta because it wasn't that crispy at all. It was more paper-like, onion-skin paperlike. The cheese, the cheese, the cheese I love. If there's anything I can complain about, it was I felt that my salad was overdressed. I liked it a little dryer and not that drenched. Score: 8.5
I tasted this. I don't think I got to taste all the components of the dish, but I must agree that the dressing was very nice. I really liked the tartness.
SEPPIE ALLA SICILIANA $14.50
GRILLED SQUID ‘SICILIAN LIFEGUARD STYLE’ RICH TOMATO SAUCE WITH CHORIZO, CAPERS, GARLIC, RAISINS CHILLI AND YOUNG LETTUCES
(What I actually ordered.) As you can see, just this appetizer alone was $14.50!!!
Anyway, this was pretty good. Although, when the dish was placed in front of me, it sort of smelled "fishy." But eating it was fine. I'm a fan of chorizo, so I was happy with that. The "young lettuces" were actually also very nice. The squid itself was "ok." (Although, good that it was cooked just right; not tough at all.) 7/10
WOOD OVEN ROASTED STEELHEAD TROUT. CRUSHED POTATO, SPINACH, SAUCE VIERGE
This was an excellent dish: trout was delicate and perfectly cooked, with a little bit of crust on the bottom. The potato and spinach dressing was also good: again, with the combination of soft and crunchy (the potatos were crushed and crusty). The virgin sauce, with tomatoes and parsley, added the bright notes to the dish. Score: 9
FREE RANGE CHICKEN, DIJON RUBBED AND BAKED UNDER CLAY BRICKS, BRAISED RAPINI, MASHED POTATO, DRAGONCELLO SAUCE
The reason I chose items a la carte: a former Bishop's co-worker who used to work at CinCin raved about this chicken. (She was a kitchen person, fyi.) So since it came highly recommended from a "chef" or cook, I thought I should give it a try, seeing as we don't know if we would be back at CinCin... or at least, back anytime soon. When I decided to get the chicken, I was actually WORRIED that the dish may be too much, because I assumed that it was a WHOLE chicken. Why, you ask. Look at the price! Besides, what's so special about a piece of breast being baked under clay bricks that would warrant $30 (if not the size)!?
The chicken was actually quite good. (Although, it wasn't a whole chicken as I thought.) But basically it tasted like fried chicken (the skin was very crisp and tasty). Mashed potato tasted like mashed potatoes. I've never had rapini (broccoli rabe) before, so this was a nice way to try it. My God, it's a little bitter (understatement). But I believe my threshold for bitterness has increased... must be getting old. ;)
All in all, the chicken dish was good, but not spectacular. And charging $32.50 is highway robbery!
6.5/10 (considering VALUE for the price)
PEAR TART. VANILLA ICE CREAM, CARAMEL SAUCE
I'm a sucker for tart or any kind of pastry with fruit and ice cream, so I liked this as well. I probably would have liked the pears to be softer/more cooked and the ice cream creamier. Score: 7.5
HAZELNUT CRÈME BRULEE $12.50
SERVED WITH CHESTNUT GELATO AND HAZELNUT FINANCIER
The dessert = $12.50!!!
(You now understand the horror that was my food bill. I also had pineapple juice too!)
This was nice. You have to make a special effort to ruin creme brulee. 7.5/10
It *was* a nice meal, but nothing spectacular. And for the price (at least, of *my* meal), it's kind of not worth it. (The dine-out prix fixe would be "worth it.")