Wednesday 29 October
Over the years, we've dined at many of Jean-Robert de Cavel's enterprises. His new-ish Jean-Robert's Table is in the space that belonged to the Bistro on Vine back when we (and he) were new in Cincinnati, and he's turned it into another fine dining experience.
We were hosting our Onassis speaker and his wife, Frank and Linda Holt. So Barbara and Jack were the only non-Holts at the table.
We ordered a Domaine des Clairneaux Sancerre Rosé to start, and our attentive servers brought excellent crusty baguettes and butter.
There was a special four-course menu "All about Apples" for only $45, so one of us got that, while the other ordered off the menu.
Our apple first course was a duck confit salad with apple (of course), endive, and radicchio, with a poached egg in cider dressing on the side. The other was a "duo of rabbit confit," one in a roll with hazelnut and dried cherries, the other a sort of rabbit pancake, with a side of tiny broccoli and cauliflower florets, and a pair of mustard sauces to dip in.
The apple second course was haddock with a cider demiglace, plus a fondue of napa cabbage and apple with bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and an edamame purée so pure that it wasn't even green.
We needed a red for our hearty mains, so ordered a bottle of Chateau Pezat Bordeaux Superior - which it was. The apple main was superb beef tenderloin with apple-onion compote, root vegetable with pecans, and an apple mushroom potato croquette. Our other main was "3 Little Cochons": pork belly, ribs, and tenderloin, with Bourbon sauce, country potatoes, garlic confit, braised cabbage, and mushrooms.
Our ending apple dessert was only called "assortment of sweet apples," or rather, assortment of apple sweets: a semifreddo, a turnover, and some other tiny exquisite thing.
The company and conversation were sparkling, and so was the food and the service. In fact, everything but the wine, which wasn't supposed to be.