The Cincinnati Bailliage made a return visit to an old friend on an unusually warm day in November. China Gourmet Restaurant – located in an elegant yet cozy suburb of the Hyde Park neighborhood – hosted a Dine-Around event. The upscale Asian restaurant opened in 1977 by owners Bing and Jean Moy who left Mainland China for Hong Kong before settling in Cincinnati. The couple elevated China Gourmet to the highest level possible, starting with traditional Chinese cuisine and adding artful gourmet touches.
In 2016, the Moys sold the restaurant to Matthew Loomis. Matthew started working at the restaurant in 1995 by washing dishes and now carries on the culinary torch. In similar creative fashion, Matthew enjoys taking well-known Chinese dishes and blending them with high-end proteins such as filet mignon, beef short ribs, and rack of lamb.
As is Cincinnati’s tradition for Dine-Arounds, each member brought a bottle of exceptional wine from their personal collections to share. The dining room’s dark wood finish and gorgeous hand-carved bar creates a warm, traditional atmosphere, a feeling much like a small step back in time. Hors d’oeuvres including Spring Rolls, Barbecue Shrimp, and Mini Pork Dumplings were passed by attentive, knowledgeable servers. A wide array of sparkling and still white wines were perfect pairs with this convivial start to the evening.
Thanks to event orchestration by Chargé de Mission Jon Powell, we knew in advance that Matthew Loomis aimed to impress our Chaîne members, returning to China Gourmet after a long hiatus, with the array and quality of his food. Mission accomplished!
Steaming plates of Walleyed Pike in Ginger and Scallion Sauce, Tenderloin Medallions with Asparagus in Cantonese Brown Sauce, Szechuan Roasted Barbecued Pork, and Crispy Duck in Five Spice Star Anise Sauce, all served family style, wowed each table. These ample main courses were accompanied by String Beans with Broccoli and Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic. The presentation, variety, and imagination of the dishes paired nicely with a delicious array of German Rieslings and Pinot Noir selections from France and the U.S. A variety of bite-sized desserts and delicious dessert wines (for those who still had room for more food!) topped off the evening.
It is wonderful to know that regardless of what occurs in the local culinary landscape, there are restaurants like China Gourmet that rise to the top of performance year after year.
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse