The Cincinnati Bailliage hosted its quarterly Winter Dinner at the Metropole Restaurant which is located in the avantgarde 21C Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. The building was converted ten years ago from the100-year-old Metropole Hotel into a 21C Hotel property, masterfully transformed into a modern art museum, restaurant/bar, and boutique hotel. The restaurant was named the Metropole to honor the building’s history. The 21C Hotel portfolio trademark is a yellow penguin. These delightful four-foot tall plastic creatures were artfully placed throughout the venue.
Executive Chef Vanessa Miller grew up in Cincinnati and honed her skills in Boston, Cape Cod, and New York before returning home to take the helm at the Metropole. The city has been most welcoming, locals and visitors alike applauding her commanding culinary skills. Her style is to put a modern spin on Classic French and Italian cooking using local seasonal offerings.
Stopping briefly to absorb the visual impact of a thought-provoking ground-floor gallery of modern art, Mondiale members and guests escaped the clamor of Cincinnati’s bustling downtown traffic scene into an oasis of Palmer & Co Brut Reserve Champagne served with passed hors d’oeuvres. News of the upcoming Bengals trip to the Super Bowl dominated lively conversation.
Our five-course seated extravaganza showcased a wonderful array of California white wines chosen by Echanson Provincial Mary Horn’s wine committee, a real treat to brighten up a gray winter day. The menu highlighting Executive Chef Miller’s range of culinary skills included Brown Butter Poached Shrimp served with Brendel “Everbloom” Napa Sauvignon Blanc (2019); Hand-Cut Rigatoni sauced with Meyer lemon and paired with crisp La Marea Kristy Vineyard Albariño from Monterey, CA (2020); Seared Scallop with Black Garlic served with Maritana Vineyards “La Rivière” Chardonnay from Russian River Valley (2018); Roasted Duck Breast paired with Senses Terra de Promissio Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast (2018); and for dessert, a unique version of White Chocolate Opera Cream Cake dotted with bits of truffle, served with this writer’s favorite of the evening: Blandy’s 10-Year Old Rich Malmsey, Madeira.
At the end of the evening, heaps of praise were lavished upon Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Chuck Horn, Bailli George Elliott, Echanson Provincial Mary Horn, Executive Chef Miller, and the hard-working staff of the Metropole for creating an unforgettable evening. Many members were overheard making plans for a return visit in the Spring including dinner, an overnight stay, perhaps a spa visit, and drinks at the rooftop bar overlooking a breathtaking view of the downtown Cincinnati skyline.
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse