Friday, October 1, 2010

The Rookwood: Eats and Cocktails

Located in the old Rookwood Pottery Co. building in Mt. Adams, the Rookwood Bar & Restaurant has been open for about two years now. The building is one of those fantastic locations that can't seem to keep anyone for too long. It also one of those places that most everyone in Cincinnati has been to, in some reincarnation or another. Except me! I've been in Mt. Adams a handful of times, and usually every time I'm there I don't stay long. It's just not my cup of tea, but I've always wanted to see inside the old Rookwood building. But like anything else, it got lost in the long list of things you want to do and see. Until now...

This past Sunday Antoine and I made a dinner date with my sister (Michelle) and her husband (Christian of SOLAST) to check out the Rookwood. Neither of them had been to this current reincarnation, so we figured it'd be fun!

It's just as I imagined, beautiful etched glass as you enter the building, rich dark wood framing the doorways and, as you go in further, gigantic brick kilns. It seems slightly foreign to see these massive kilns surrounded by an extensive brick and metal bar, but I guess that's kind of the allure of the whole place. I desperately wanted to sit in a kiln, but I had read somewhere that you had to have a party of at least 6 to sit in a maybe someday.

I did sneak this picture of the kiln that's in the bar area. It's kind of like the "lounging" kiln, very swanky! (FYI: it's VERY dark in there, so I apologize for any crappy pictures ahead of time!)

The Rookwood has this raven theme going on...not sure why, but it makes for some pretty decor!

A couple weeks ago I had read a review of the Rookwood and there was one thing in particular that stood out to me...fried bacon. I immediately mentioned it to everyone in attendance and it was a given that that's what we would be getting for our appetizer. Drizzled with a jalapeno honey glaze (that wasn't overly spicy or sweet, just really nice) these crispy, delicious bites of heaven were worth every single heart clogging bite! My sister kept calling it Kentucky Fried's was super crispy, rich and decadent! I wasn't able to get a picture, because the second that plate landed on our table they were devoured...followed by a throng of slightly orgasmic sounds from everyone at the table. It was un-freaking-believable!

Along with the scrumptious bacon, my sis and I opted to share a couple of their signature cocktails. We chose the Jack Rose, applejack brandy with pomegranate grenadine and fresh lime, and the Dark and Stormy, Gosling's black seal rum, ginger beer, and fresh lime. Both were delicious! I think the Jack Rose was my favorite, but the Dark and Stormy was pretty good...very refreshing!

For dinner Antoine and Christian both got the pork belly sandwich. Braised pork belly on a fresh ciabatta with fontina cheese, watercress, pickled red onions, mayo and a fried egg. They were both very pleased.

Antoine and I actually shared our sandwiches with one another, since we're that kind of couple [insert gagging noise hear]. And I'm glad we did! The ciabatta was delicious, not as chewing and hard as some ciabattas can be, and the pork belly was excellent! I especially enjoyed the watercress in combination with the rich pork belly and fried egg.

Just like the guys, my sister and I ended up getting the same thing, the burger. A beautifully cooked, juicy burger topped with fontina cheese, gorgeous caramelized onions and a thyme aioli on a hearty, but not too hearty, bun. It was delicious and I would definitely get it again! Add some fried bacon on that and I'm in heart-attack heaven!

Again, sorry for the not-so-fantastic pictures! But take my word for it, the burger was delicious and beautiful.

Antoine and I opted to share a basket of their fresh-cut fries. They were good, nothing out of this world...but I felt like I didn't need them with all the fantastic-ness of fried bacon, pork belly and burger going on! Michelle and Christian shared a basket of the fresh-cut Grippo fries...which were basically like our fries but dosed in Grippo seasoning! They were tasty! If you love Grippos, you'll love these fries!

All in all, it was a pretty great meal, delicious food, tasty drinks, and good company (if a little strange). Service was good...a little snarky, but in a good way. If it hadn't been for the small children walking around and around and around and around and around the kiln right next to us, thus making everyone at the table very dizzy, I would even say it was perfect!

If you haven't been to the Rookwood, I'd definitely give it a try sometime! It was delightful and trendy. It'd be a great place for a romantic date night out. Or to meet up with a big group of people for drinks and fried a kiln!

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