The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

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Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Friday, August 10, 2007


I went to Nectar last night to try the latest in Julie Francis's series of dinner parties featuring multiple uses of one ingredient. This was all about tomatoes. I've been eating an average of about one tomato per meal since the middle of July, most of them in my own recipe of sliced on a plate with salt. Maybe mayonnaise. But there's nothing more versatile than tomatoes, and Francis did a lot with them, all within high-summer Midwest parameters. The tomatoes were all from Sallie Ransohoff, tomato-grower to the stars--or at least to the better restaurants of Cincinnati.
There was a garlicy tomato bisque, with Francis's trademark crab salad garnishing it. There were fried green tomatoes with a spicy aioli, potato gnocchi with lobster and cherry tomatoes and the most delicious lobster reduction pooling around the edges), hangar steak with a pungent tapenade, and Swiss chard --the kind of thing Francis always does so well. My favorite course was a goat cheese cake with tomato sorbet. It was like a savory dish turned into dessert without losing its savory-ness. It was rather hot and loud in Nectar, but I do like the dinner party atmosphere, with everyone eating the same food at the same time, totally into it, applauding the chef, even applauding the grower! And I love to eat a series of small portions, with wine here and there to match.

These parties sell out, but if you'd like to experience the next one (maple syrup with Dan Berger) call Nectar and ask if they can squeeze you in.


at 10:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! Wish I had known about this. I adore Nectar and Julie Francis, and to think that she offered a tomato themed dinner. How does one find out about upcoming events like this? Much as I love the restaurant, their website leaves something to be desired.

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