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May 29, 2008 12:45 PM

Help choose - Cincinnati area

We are visiting friends the first weekend in June who live in Mason, just north of Cincinnati. The women would prefer a French resto and the men a steak place, or at least a French place that has beef or a hearty portion. Here are some of the suggestions our friends gave, any thoughts on which stand out? The choices are an eclectic group, some north of Cincinnati and some in northern KY. Quality of food is more a consideration than price. Thoughts? Thanks!

NuVo - Florence, KY recently reviewed in Cincy Enquirer
Jean-Robert @ Pigall's
La Petite France
Rue Dumaine (this is in Centerville outside Dayton)
The Precinct (nostalgia, haven't been here in 20 years - still good??)
Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse (DH's 1st choice)

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  1. That's a tall order. The Precinct is still decent, but a bit downscale from what it used to be, and there's no way it fits the sort-of-French requirement. Jeff Ruby's remains upscale, but it's a steakhouse. Nothing French about it.

    When I ate at Daveed's a few years back, the waiter described the dishes as "appropriately portioned." That would apply to Rue Dumaine as well, and you might not get a steak there, but they'll have something like short ribs on the menu. If money is no object, Pigall's usually has a beef dish on the menu and it will be excellent, but it won't be large and it might be buffalo.

    Haven't been to Nuvo or La Petite France (is it still there?). Embers in Madeira is a steakhouse that also does sushi and a lot of fish, so that might work. Nicola's isn't French, but it's high Italian and I had a roasted lamb shank there last year about as big as my head and really good. I don't see how any meat eater would be disappointed.

    Maybe the Celestial in Mount Adams? Haven't been there in a long time, but I know they do steaks.

    1. La Petite France is flat-out excellent, and they do a steak frites.

      Absolutely make sure you have a french onion soup and the salad with the dried cherries....

      Very under-rated place.

        1. Jean Roberts used to be great (by used to be I just mean I haven't been there in a while so I don't know now, not that it's not anymore!) so it might be a good choice. I have never loved Jeff Ruby's places. Haven't been to the Precinct in forever either or La Petite France for that matter. Liked my meal at Boca - but it's definitely not french.

          Pricey, but had a fabulous meal at Orchids at the Palm Court. It's elegant and might appeal to everyone. Beautiful surroundings. We did the tasting menu - yummy.