Enoteca Emilia

Say what you want about Ohio (I certainly have for the last few years), but I’m here to shout it from the roof, this state has got it going on when it comes to food. I thought my birthday meal in Cleveland was a fluke last year, but after sampling a handful of other restaurants and bistros throughout the state I can’t help but be impressed.

While I’m completely smitten with A Tavola, Senate and Abigail Street, am dying to try Bakersfield (despite H’s mediocre review), I still can’t help but wonder why Cincinnati makes such a big deal about Nada. More on all this to come, first let’s talk about Enoteca Emilia, a cozy little Italian wine bar located near Hyde Park.

Unfortunately the decision to dine at EE came late in the day, so reservations were out of the question. Another unfortunate thing was the fact my visit was smack dab in the middle of lent, therefore I had to forgo the insanely amazing collection of wine they had to offer.

The menu serving as a placemat made it very tempting to continue ordering little bites. Despite not being able to indulge in wine, I loved how the red and whites were separated and listed on either side of the menu.

  

No wine means getting to try house cocktails. The one of the left was reminiscent of a grape jam kool-aid while the drink on the right was more like cough syrup. Oh how I wished I scribbled the names of them down so I know which to indulge and avoid next time (in case there is ever a next time I can’t drink wine).

  

A meat and cheese combination of Prosciutto Rosso, Robiola Bosina and Pecorino Ginepro was the perfect starter (on the left) and words can’t describe how amazing the Whipped Ricotta was (on the right). No seriously, when our bread was gone I found myself wondering if it was acceptable to spoon out the remains and eat them.

Certainly not the most exciting thing on the menu, I opted for the Caesar  salad. The whipped parmigiano crostini made my selection worth it, however I can’t wait to go back and try a selection that includes meat.

The only unsatisfactory portion of our entire meal was trying to wait patiently for hot coffee to accompany the Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. After the first lukewarm cup arrived at the table I kindly asked for a fresh glass. When the waiter reappeared and said “I warmed it in the microwave” my head must have spun on its access, as he promptly returned for the third time with a fresh brewed cup. I mean seriously, how hard is it to keep coffee warm?

If you want a more calm and relaxed atmosphere, be sure to make reservations well in advance. We sat in the bar and although the experience wasn’t terrible, next time I would prefer to sit in the main dining room, which has a more cozy and relaxed feel. All in all, I can’t wait to go back, this time taking H who often urges me to get out of my food comfort zone, and indulge in all the wine and meat I missed on the first visit.

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