*

*
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.

Powered by Blogger

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pigall's does it again


So Pigall's is mentioned in AOL's list of America's top 11 restaurants (a nice round number, no?!). I can't comment on any of the other spots as I haven't tried them...


I've only ever tried Pigall's once, for lunch, and can't say I was overwhelmed. The service was fabulous, the food was good, the decor beautiful, but I don't remember having my socks knocked off. Or maybe it was all just too frou frou for me. Or too over the top for lunch. (Is that sacrilegous? Perhaps. But it's honest.)


But I will try it again... for dinner. Hopefully soon. Trying to get in for one of the four-course for $40 meals that start Feb. 19 (on Tues, Wed, Thurs only), to celebrate it's Mobil four-star rating.


29 Comments:

at 12:31 PM Anonymous Chad Edward said...

No The French Laundry? No Alinea? No Le Bernardin? The list seems to have a focus on value, in which case I may agree with Pigall's inclusion. I've never really thought of value fine dining.

 
at 12:35 PM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

I am surprised you weren't impressed. My hubbie and I went to Pigalls for the first time during restaurant week, and we were blown away. We had high expectations but after being disapointed at another "fancy" retaurant in Mt. Adams (I won't name names) we were pleasantly surprised by the service, quality, and presentation at Pigalls. They won us over during restaurant week. I have already made reservations there before we see the One Night of Queen show at the Aronoff in March.

 
at 2:44 PM Anonymous Anastacsia said...

The $40 special is rather shocking when you look at it. This means that the business at Pigall's has dropped off on certain nights during the week so much that they are forced to run 1/2 price specials. Just like the Maisonette had to do during the week for so many years. When Jean-Robert left the Maisonette, he swore that he would never serve Lobster Bisque again. He has had hundreds of former Maisonette customers request it from him at Pigall's, but he refused to serve it. And now what do we find on his 1/2 price menu; Lobster Bisque!

I think that there are several factors that have forced JR to offer the 1/2 price menu at Pigall's;

-First and foremost, the economic downturn has left many people with disposable dollars to spend on Fine Dining.

-The proliferation of new restaurants, as well as the challenge from existing restaurants, has made for much tougher competition for customers. And there is a somewhat limited pool of customers for high dollar restaurants in this market to begin with.

-Frankly, the growth of JR's restaurants is hurting Pigall's for several reasons. 1) The quality of the other restaurants that JR has opened is less than stellar, and have hurt JR's image as a top quality Chef, especially amongst the fine dining crowd (many of whom travel and have dined at some of the great restaurants in the nation and even world). 2) Amongst those who are not experienced ‘fine dining’ patrons, many feel that they don't have to go to the 'expense' of eating at Pigall's, because they can experience some of JR's cooking at one of his other restaurants, at a lower price. 3) The general cheapening of the JR name due to overexposure. 4) JR's attention is spread too thin and the overall quality of his products has suffered as a result.

I offer these points as constructive criticism; I want Pigall's to thrive as well as JR's other restaurants (while hoping to stem the tide of a new JR-brand restaurant every 6 months). I believe that JR can, and has, offered better than we are currently getting at Jeanro, Greenup & Chalk. I would suggest to JR that he look to Jean Joho in Chicago for inspiration, if he needs it.

I think that there are several factors that have forced JR to offer the 1/2 price menu at Pigall's;

-The economic downturn has left many people with disposable dollars to spend on Fine Dining.

-The proliferation of new restaurants as well as competition from exsisting restaurants has made for tougher competition for diners. And there is a somewhat limited pool of customers for high dollar restaurants to begin with.

-Frankly, the growth of JR's restaurants is hurting Pigall's for several reasons. 1) The quality of the other restaurants that JR has opened is tess than stellar, and have huirt JR's image as a top quality Chef, especially amongst the fine dining crowd (most of whom travel and have dined at some of the great restaurants in the nation and even world. 2) Amongst those who are not experienced fine dining patrons, many feel that they don't have to go to the 'expense' of eating at Pigall's, because they can experience some of JR's cooking at one of his other restaurants, at a lower price. 3)The general cheapening of the JR name due to overexposure. 4) JR's attention is spread too thin and the overall quality of his products has sufered as a result.

I offer these points as constructive criticism, because I want Pigall's to thrive as well as JR's other restaurants (while hoping to stem the tide of a new JR-brand restuarant every 6 months). I believe that JR can, and has, offered better than we are currently getting at Jeanro, Greenup & Chalk. I would suggest that JR look to Jean joho for inspiration, if he needs it.

 
at 2:47 PM Anonymous Anastasia said...

"-First and foremost, the economic downturn has left many people with disposable dollars to spend on Fine Dining."

Should have read:

"-First and foremost, the economic downturn has left many people with FEWER disposable dollars to spend on Fine Dining."

Sorry, blogging while trying to work!

 
at 2:55 PM Anonymous Anastasia said...

Sorry for the double post. Don't know what happened?

 
at 5:32 PM Blogger Polly Campbell said...

I would point out here that the AOL list was based on a Zagat survey, which is basically a measure of how much the people in the different cities like their best restaurants. There's no standard rating across all the Zagat guides--no one is comparing Jean-Robert to French laundry.
and they say Cincinnatians have low self-esteem!

 
at 3:44 PM Anonymous Chad Edward said...

I don't concern myself with Chef de Cavel's books; but, I appreciate his effort to expand access to fine dining among Cincinnatians. It'll only result in a more diverse and discriminate Cincinnati palat.

 
at 6:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chad, you should care about his books. He's not running a non-profit business, and if his establishments aren't making money they will go the way of the Maisonette, La Normandie, Chester's Road House, etc....

 
at 9:25 PM Blogger RadioCarla said...

Okay, I have to point out that "to celebrate it's Mobil four-star rating" should be "to celebrate its Mobil four-star rating". The "it's/its" and "your/"you're" confusion is one of those things that I'm trying to erase in the world. ;)

(Yes, I'm a big ole nerd.)

 
at 10:13 AM Blogger Mary said...

Thank you Radio Carla. I'm glad I'm not the only one who notices grammatical errors.

 
at 10:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Anastacisia's analysis is dead-on. I've been to many of JR's restaurants, and wasn't impressed with any of them. Pigall's was good, but the food was certainly not anything to write home about. I expected fantastic service, and got it. Greenup Street: meh is all I can say. Chalk: boo!! I'd hafta compare it to Frisch's, yes, Frisch's is what comes to mind, and well, that's not exactly a compliment. Nothing about it stood out, was unique, or would incite me to return.

 
at 2:20 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

The grammar police can take a hike, frankly. We are here to talk about food-related subjects. Go find a grammar board and pester each other over less than nothing to your/yur/ur/you're hearts/heart's/hartz content. Oh, and good riddance.

now....back to the subject....

I have always found the AOL\Yahoo lists to be severely flawed, not just for the reasons already stated above, but because the editors seem to feel the need to "spread the love" to attract readership. Said another way, let us say that all the best restaurants are in New York City. Not true, but just for this hypothetical, let's say that is the case. In this case, the top 11 or top 25 should all come from NYC, but then the AOL/Yahoo editors know that this will only attract readership in NYC, and they will receive negative attention from other cities/regions. So....they have an ulterior motive in constructing the lists that has more to do with publishing than in providing the truth.

Sad but true, and you'll see this in virtually any national publication.

 
at 10:36 AM Blogger Mary said...

TJ Jackson-There are still those of us in this world who love and appreciate the English language and do not want to see its standards diminished. You can write as badly as you want to, but I don't think it's asking too much for the posts written by an editor to be grammatically correct. Radio Carla's comments were appropriate and incredibly polite. This is more than I can say for yours.

 
at 11:01 AM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Polite.....sure.

Appropriate....not at all. Not remotely.

This is a blog. It's informal. It's about food and food-related topics.

It's not about grammar, and we aren't grading papers here....well, at least, the vast majority of us aren't doing so.

My advice to radiocarla and all the grammar police is to find (or create - radiocarla has created several blogs of her own, for example) a space specifically for railing against and/or bemoaning the fate of the english language. Anyone who wants to read this blather can go there.

Here, we're talking food.

Not punctuation, paragraphing, spelling, or diction.

Food.

It's the Foodie Blog.

Imagine that.

 
at 11:11 AM Blogger Mary said...

TJ Jackson, yes this blog is about food primarily, but a simple comment about proper grammar does not detract from the primary purpose of the blog. There are numerous posts on here that have nothing to do with food. Bad writing is distracting and if Radio Carla felt it necessary to make a comment about it then what business is it of yours? Should we now be compelled to filter our posts through you to make certain that they meet the criteria of the foodie blog? Are you the final arbiter of all that is good and foodie?

 
at 11:16 AM Blogger Nicci King said...

Geez. It is apparent that we all need a few drinks. And, fyi, no boxing at happy hour tonight...

 
at 11:19 AM Blogger Mary said...

No Nicci, I don't need a few drinks. I just need to stop reading the foodie blog.

 
at 11:29 AM Blogger Nicci King said...

So much for levity...

 
at 11:34 AM Blogger Mary said...

Nicci, I appreciate your efforts, but thanks to the negative energy of both TJ Jackson and Westender this blog has become a bummer. Have a nice Happy Hour!

 
at 12:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree....blog bullies ruin everything....especially westender....ugh.

 
at 1:27 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

so let me get this straight - me you hate, but the grammar police, you like?

Seriously?

 
at 4:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their comments were innocuous. Radio Carla was trying to be nice and her comments even included a smiley face to let people know she wasn't being all that serious. Neither one of them was being unkind, just truthful. Your comments on the other hand reveal your true character: a control freak with a mean streak. Nice going.

 
at 4:44 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Got it.

Grammar police preferred.

Enjoy.

 
at 6:30 PM Anonymous Petey said...

TJ, Nobody likes a pedantic, obsessive-compulsive grammer cop, even when cloaked in do-gooder clothing. Nobody. Unfortunately, some people just can't help themselves.

 
at 6:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody was criticizing the writing of the readers of this blog, Radio Carla just pointed out an obvious error and I thank her for it. Besides, I remember a post by the Foodie Report editors several months ago that complained about bad writing and spelling mistakes on restaurant menus. As writers it bother them too. Oh and Petey, it's (notice I didn't write its) grammar cop, not grammer cop.

 
at 7:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Grammer's is about to reopen, both kinds of police fit, don't they?

 
at 10:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

One last point; I often post via Blackberry during downtime I'm out working around town, as do many of my friends and associates. This leads to abbreviations and at times misspellings. We posters aren't journalists, we aren't restaurateurs, we're just average Joe's posting our thoughts on a blog we enjoy, sometimes via little tiny keyboards that are too small for our fingers to properly use. So please lighten up, forgive the occasional typo and we'll try to lay off the snarky retorts. OK?

 
at 11:22 AM Blogger Mary said...

Yes, this post got out of hand and my apologies if I contributed to the frenzy. It's been a rough week for me and TJ Jackson's comments really just rubbed me the wrong way when I was in an already foul mood. I understood what Radio Carla was trying to say and I know that her intentions were meant as gentle chiding. The tone of his post just really angered me. I hope that your happy hour was great, and Stepf I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I believe I would have wet my pants if something like that happened to me.

 
at 11:40 AM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Well, I too regret the way this discussion has gone. I did not take the grammar post as mild chiding, and my response was therefore harsher than it should have been.

I still don't think grammar lessons have any place in an informal medium like this, but if I encounter it again, my response will be more diplomatic.

 
Post a Comment*

Links to this post:

Create a Link

* Our online blogs currently are hosted and operated by a third party, namely, Blogger.com. You are now leaving the Cincinnati.Com website and will be linked to Blogger.com's registration page. The Blogger.com site and its associated services are not controlled by Cincinnati.Com and different terms of use and privacy policy will apply to your use of the Blogger.com site and services.

By proceeding and/or registering with Blogger.com you agree and understand that Cincinnati.Com is not responsible for the Blogger.com site you are about to access or for any service you may use while on the Blogger.com site. << Home


Blogs
Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Cincytainment
Who's News
Television
Roller Derby Diva
Art
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
cincyMOMS
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
Bengals
High school sports
NCAA
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff
Soundcheck

Advertisement