What I Learned This Week: #195

Monday, May 10 – Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Week in Health Order Mayhem: First, the Governor of Ohio gave us June 2 as the day the vaccinated people could go maskless. That gave us time to make some changes. Then the CDC and the White House butted in and said it was time for vaccinated people to stop wearing masks. Like, immediately! This came as a complete surprise. Stores and restaurants were not ready. People were confused. As I’ve said, getting out of the pandemic is going to be as weird as getting into it. I was out and less cautious this week and but I am still wrapping my head around being shoulder to shoulder with the unvaccinated. I’m gonna do it, I just need a minute.

Still, the lure of restaurants was strong this week, and I got to sit inside a few places I’ve missed:

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 1…Lucius Q: Taco Tuesday at the bar. Lucius Q has a great taco Tuesday deal…three tacos for $7. If you’re there during Happy Hour, take a buck off your beer, too. They change tacos each week and the element of surprise is part of the fun. This week was turkey adobo with some kind of cream sauce, corn, and pickled onions. Loved it. I couldn’t finish all three so I had a bonus taco breakfast the next morning.

Taco Tuesday

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 2…Abigail St.: Small plate, upscale food was NOT what I wanted when I went out to see what I could find for dinner on Thursday, but as I walked past the open door, I could not, not stop. Abigail is one of my treats and I missed their food. Also, if you believe in the connectiveness of everyday living, I will note that I had planned to make gnocchi for dinner that night, but the little downtown Kroger didn’t have the gnocchi I wanted. You know who did have the gnocchi I wanted? Yes. Abigail street. Gnocchi and oyster mushroom with peas and asparagus on a pea puree. A pea puree, I tell ya!

I came for the gnocchi, but stayed for the pea puree!

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 3…Nicolas: Nicolas is an award winning, fancy Italian restaurant located smack in “the hood” where it’s been for years. serving up delicious upscale food. I’ve gotten take out from there a few times over the past year, but this weekend I ventured inside with a group to celebrate the upcoming marriage of a friend. For the 10 of us, over half were dining inside for the first time in over a year. It’s a little rocky remembering how to use the wine list and how to order. But it all came together.

I had the Taglioline Neri Al Frutti Di Mare (Fruit of the Sea) with acqua pazza sauce (squid ink), littleneck clams, calamari and scallops. I want to eat the food that I’ve been skipping all COVID Era because I didn’t think it would translate well to take out. The Fruit of the Sea was stellar. Oh, and we all split gnocchi appetizers, so it was a surprisingly gnocchi-filled week!

The Week in Restaurant Dining – Part 4…Classic, Cincinnati…Skyline: I’ve had takeout Skyline but nothing is better than eating it fresh inside the dining room. I crave Skyline, but put off going back until my Mom could join me. She’s vaccinated, but eye surgery left her a little vulnerable, and she was waiting to get more stable eye sight back. This was the week! Skyline is a great choice because, as a classic, we eat there a lot. She didn’t need to see a menu and we would be in and out quickly, a great end of pandemic bonus. Loved it, as always.

The Week in Restaurant, make that Bar, Dining, make that Drinking – Part 5…Bar Saeso: Bar Saeso opened during the pandemic. I went the first day they opened, but it’s a small bar, and it was always too crowded for my COVID sensibilities whenever I wanted a cocktail and I hadn’t been back. This Sunday I decided I wanted a night cap where someone else would make my drink. Bar Saeso isn’t really my kind of bar. It has a generic upscale vibe that doesn’t interest me. But, their drinks are good and the service is friendly. I will go back every now and then to support my neighbors.

The Week in Slumming it, Foodwise: And just to keep it real, running late to work one morning I grabbed a $1 frozen Monteray Egg Burrito from Kroger…and I loved that for what it was!

The Week in Filling a Craving, Foodwise: On Thursday evening I wanted a brownie. My thought is if I want a brownie, I should make one. Of course, you can’t make one. I made a batch, ate my craving’s worth and brought the rest to work. It was the first time I brought in food that wasn’t individually wrapped. I told me co-workers to eat them if they were comfortable doing so, and skip them if they weren’t. The batch was gone by lunch. Masks off/Brownies down.

I just wanted ONE brownie!

The Week in Sports: I did more than eat this week. On Sunday, FC Cincinnati had their first game in their new stadium in the West End. I met friends at Northern Row Brewery and we marched to the park and then to the stadium. I didn’t even have tickets to the game, but it didn’t matter. The excitement was pretty spectacular. Our team is not great, but they are ours. It’s going to be a fun season.

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