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


It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.


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, December 28, 2007

Speaking of Jean Robert...

This from the de Cavel camp:

December 28, 2007
Pho Paris to become Chalk Food + Wine
Covington, KY – Jean-Robert’s Group welcomes a new food destination on Greenup Street. Pho Paris will close after New Year’s Eve and is planning to reopen to the public on Tuesday, January 15th as Chalk Food + Wine.

Chalks’ menu will be based on our approach to comfort food, with a whimsical touch. “I wanted something a bit more casual and approachable for the guests. I believe this concept will satisfy everyone’s expectations,” de Cavel said. This new venture is a strong collaboration with our existing team, Chef Jared Whalen and his kitchen brigade, Pastry Chef Summer Genetti, Manager/Sommelier Bryant Phillips and his front of the house staff, which have made Pho Paris’s reputation as one of the best destination restaurants in Cincinnati.

Chalk Food:
The food approach will be keeping our philosophy of the group, using the best fresh ingredients from the season and trying to use local products as much as possible, making everything from scratch. The menu will feature Starters (selection for cold and hot appetizers) from $5-11, Hand Food (sandwiches) and Eat Us (selection of main entrée) from $6.5 to $28, Friends (side dishes) from $5-7 and Sweets (selection of desserts) from $5-8.

Chalk Wine:
The wine approach will be a huge part of Chalk. The front side room will be turned into a wine room – cellar style with a selection of international wines concentrating on small production/artisanal wines at retail pricing for every budget, for take-out or to be consumed in the restaurant with a minimal corkage fee. The wine list in the dining room will focus on intense selection of glass pours. The wine room will also be available for wine tastings as well as to be booked as a private room for up to 16 people. The Chalk team will work on wine dinners and pairings to please everyone.

The new look of 318 Greenup Street will have a feel of a neighborhood eclectic, whimsical place where people can gather anytime of the week to share some wonderful dishes or experience an interesting selection of wine. Chalkboard will be placed in the room with some art by local artists focusing on food and wine. The feel will be very comfortable to every one. “Having such a passionate team as Jared, Summer, Bryant and their staff who care about their craft and the dedication to please the guest the best possible, I am so excited to be part of this new concept and wish our Chalk team good luck Having our partners Martin and Marilyn Wade invested in Covington on Greenup Street, we’re so thankful to be able and pleased to bring a new food and wine destination to this neighborhood. We’re waiting to serve you, Cheers, Santé, See you in mid January” says de Cavel.
For reservations or information about Chalk please call 859.643.1234
.


10 Comments:

at 4:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but how do they prepare the chalk?
I like mine medium rare and crispy on the outside...

 
at 5:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

is anyone else sick of these stupid one-word restaurant names? surely this trend will die this year. yeah, if it's clever and descriptive, even ironic & provocative, then great, but most are sadly not...

 
at 11:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Vinyl?
Cold and dead, just like the restaurant now....
Spooky...

 
at 12:20 PM Anonymous Chad Edward said...

Terrible name for a place hoping to please palettes. "You have to try Chalk," just doesn't roll off the tongue

 
at 11:38 AM Anonymous rms said...

Pho Paris was a real chink in the JR armor. Just couldn't get it to work.
Opening and closing restaurants is so fascinating to me. What a shifting ground they exist upon...

 
at 8:46 AM OpenID kjfbw said...

Unfortuate. We were semi-regulars . The last time we were there the service was off ( our favorite server, Maggie , was not there) and the welcome was scant. Hope the new place does better.

 
at 9:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that Chalky aftertaste. Jean Robert is Cincinnati's Emeril butsomeone needs to slap som e sense into him about the name.

I no marketing guru but do u remember the Ford "Probe" , a car geared toward women? The name was a turnoff and probably killed a pretty nice car.

 
at 9:31 AM Blogger Nicci King said...

I love all things marketing. The branding, the consumer research, dissecting what makes people tick, the brainwashing, etc... I find it all positively fascinating.

When it comes to naming restaurants, isn't the point to pique curiosity (to get them in the door) and then pique appetites? Most of us agree de Cavel can do the latter... And, considering the comments on this blog, I would venture to say he has also done the former. Does "Chalk" connote "deliciousness"? Um, heck no. But it does make me envision a place that pairs the consistency for which de Cavel's kitchens are known with the unpredictability of "today's special." I am intrigued that a chef would even attempt to give diners something that is deliciously different at every visit.

I guess I care less about the name of the restaurant and more about the quality of the food and the dining experience (service, atmosphere, etc...).

 
at 10:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mostly negative comments posted here are typical of Cincinnati. I'm not originally from here, but quickly noticed that Cincinnatian's as a whole don't get it! There are many great restaurants in this town and sadly, there are too few customers with the willpower to break away from Frisch's salad bar and Big Boy Burers to appreciate the fine dining available to them in this town. Sadly, many great restaurants close because too many locals are busy blogging while pigging out on Cheese Puffs and beer. They're probably the same people who are always "hating on" their home sports teams.

 
at 12:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:35 p.m. Obviously, you are unable to digest information clearly laid out in Cincy Enquirer articles regarding Chalk Food + Wine.

- First, the name of the new restaurant is Chalk Food + Wine. I count three words there, not one. Oh, and a symbol, too.

- Second, based upon Enquirer articles, the name is descriptive of the decor and the changing seasonal menu (written in chalk). Again, bravo on your ability to process information.

Sadly, the negative contributions to this blog do not surprise me in the slightest. Cincinnati suffers from chain-addiction and, as a whole, this area is highly resistant to any attempt to change the status quo or do anything “interesting,” for that matter. This is evidenced by the fact that sterile and pedestrian suburban dining has replaced a once-proud and interesting downtown dining scene, which is still excellent but has been scattered between two states, and is in need of the Tri-State’s support! Given the commentary in this blog, am not sure that “fine dining” or eclectic restaurants stand much of a chance here. But then why take the time to go to a sophisticated (yes - sophisticated!) restaurant like Pho Paris when you can go to Chili’s?!?

While I would like to agree that Cincinnati “gets” fusion restaurants like Pho Paris, I cannot. The concept of Pho Paris simply escaped Cincinnati, and frankly, this city is not “big” enough to support such a concept. A niche fusion restaurant like Pho Paris needs a large, diverse, open-minded, urban & urbane population to support it (see: Chicago, where a few French-Vietnamese restaurants, one with a comparable menu to Pho, do quite well, although the food at Pho Paris was more interesting). Based upon Anon 5:35 p.m.’s commentary, I do not think that any of those adjectives are applicable to much of Cincinnati (and any argument claiming that this area is diverse, either racially, ethnically, or socially, is laughable).

Fortunately, for the rest of Cincinnati, there are people out there like Anon 10:06 p.m. who appreciate how blessed Cincinnati is to have chefs and restaurants that can claim national, if not worldwide, renown. I applaud Jean Robert, David Faulk, and others for their dedication to Cincinnati (these guys could easily have left for bigger markets long ago) and for their unwavering commitment to keeping Cincinnati on the culinary map, especially it the face of critics, such the “haters” who have “contributed” to blog.

I, for one, am excited about Chalk Food + Wine, and encourage others to be more enthusiastic about and supportive of this addition to the Tri-State restaurant scene (for those afraid of eclectic food, fear not - its sounds like this Chalk place will serve meat, potatoes, and sandwiches!). Although, maybe Cincinnati would be better off without a guy like Jean Robert, and his silly restaurants. Then we could be more like...Indianapolis. Viva Applebee's!

Finally, a quick test: name the top 10 restaurants in the Tri-State area. Now take off all of these that involve Jean Robert or David Faulk, and take a look at what’s left (please exclude restauranteur Jeff Ruby from this list).

Chicago Jim

 
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