On July 12, the Cincinnati Bailliage celebrated its first dine-around event in 16 months at Chef/Owner Brad Bernstein’s Red Feather Kitchen in the quaint Cincinnati neighborhood of Oakley. Red Feather Kitchen is a highly successful contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant which uses classic culinary techniques and slow, meticulous preparation.
Until 2008, Chef Bernstein’s family members were the long-time owners of Mike Fink’s Restaurant which was housed in a riverboat docked on the Ohio River. The restaurant was named for Mike Fink, an 18th century riverboat character (“keelboater”) who always wore a red feather in his hat. Brad got his start in the culinary world washing dishes and working as a line cook for his family business. He went on to perfect his culinary skills at Lavomatic and Zula restaurants in downtown Cincinnati before establishing Red Feather Kitchen in 2013.
Walking into the eatery is an inviting experience warmed by exposed brick walls, burnished woodwork, and a 100-year-old bar made of white oak. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a large, wood-burning oven which was custom-built for Boca, the previous restaurant in this space. Members brought one bottle of fine wine per person which were all displayed along the gorgeous bar. Passed hors d’oeuvres included a cucumber cup with pressed melon and feta, whipped goat cheese crostini, and pork belly stuffed dates. These appetizers paired especially well with an array of sparkling, white, and rosé wines, perfect sippers on a hot July day.
Not to ignore the great red cellar selections highlighting the dine-around, our four-course meal offered plenty of tasting opportunities. Starting with Panzanella Salad with Peaches and Burrata Cheese, followed by White Gazpacho garnished with a Rye Crouton and Green Tomato, the entrée was Short Rib plated with Polenta, Onion Confit, Summer Squash, Blistered Tomato, and Chimichurri. Panna Cotta with Summer Berries was the sweet finale, accented with Toasted Coconut and Shaved White Chocolate.
Bailli George Elliott thanked Vice Chargée de Mission Carmen Parks for arranging the event. After Bailli Elliot introduced Chef Bernstein and his staff, members shared a hearty round of applause for both the terrific wines and fantastic meal. At a time when restaurants remain challenged to deal with supply chain and staff shortages, Red Feather Kitchen pulled out all the stops to restart the Cincinnati Chaîne’s popular dine-around program.
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse