Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Crave Cincinnati at the Banks

Recently I was invited with a few other Cincinnati media folks down to Crave Cincinnati at the Banks. We were treated to an 8-course sampling of their menu from the Head Chef of Crave, David Miller! He happens to be from Cincinnati and was in town for a while and wanted to show off his seasonal favorites to us. Yes please! 

Jumbo Shrimp - Middle Eastern spice marinade, flash fried, tzatziki sauce ($16.95)

I think this was my favorite dish of the night - even though it was first. I ate mine & my buddy Nate's! I'm a sucker for Greek food - so all that delicious tzatziki was amazing!! It had a strong Lebanese flavoring that paired perfectly. Made me want a shrimp gyro! 

I should also note - these are not the normal menu size portions that the prices listed match up to. We had 7 more courses on the way! 

Roasted Beet Starter Salad - red & golden beets, citrus vinaigrette, candied cashews, orange segments, arugula ($8.95)

The salad was fine - the flavors were all fine but I like toppings more than arugula. Nothing that special here. 

Bamboo Bite & Mexican Roll - tuna, escolar, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, spicy mayo, soy citrus sauce ($17.95)

Crave is known for their sushi and this was a big hit. I'll talk about the one on the right first. The Mexican roll was delicious! It had the right amount of spice and then squeeze the lime over it - yumbo!

Bamboo Bite - crunchy tempura shrimp, cream cheese topped with avocado, thin slices of jalapeno, with hibachi & unagi sauces ($14.95)

I haven't had sushi in quite a while and this was another bite of deliciousness. Nate was a bit obsessed with the sushi and ate his and a couple other girls!  

Chef's Signature: Pumpkin Ravioli - bourbon maple cream, butternut squash relish, bacon ($19.95)

Chef David has a few signature dishes and this is one of them. I am not typically a fan of pumpkin ravioli. I had it from Panera and it was down right disgusting. I was shocked at how good this was. I didn't love it - but I found it better than edible - and in my world - that's pretty good for pumpkin ravioli. It was a good mix of sweet & savory - too many times it's too sweet. If you at all like pumpkin ravioli - be sure to catch this special before the season is over. 

Crab Topped Filet - hand cut, blue crab, lobster cream sauce, chive potato puree, pan roasted asparagus ($39.95)

It's hard to go wrong here - crab topped filet. The filet was cooked perfectly. I'm not as a big a fan of blue crap as King - it's just not as sweet - but it was nice. All in all - a very nice steak. 

Scallops - butternut squash risotto, bacon, citrus beurre blanc, crispy leeks ($28.95)

Another favorite for me - really because of the scallops. Nate and I split our dishes up here - he gave me his scallop and I gave him my risotto. I am just not a big fan - I always want it softer and cheesier than restaurants serve it. Really - I'm wanting cheesy rice - and it's just not - so I'm always a little disappointed. Nate isn't a scallop fan - so I was more than happy to have his. It was cooked perfectly!

Creamy Chicken Fettucini - mushroom medley, caramelized onions, spinach ($19.95)

This was another favorite - and a bit surprising. It was a VERY light version of a fettucini alfredo - with pulled chicken and mushrooms. I could have eaten 3-4 more portions of this! It was so delicious! 

Rum Butterscotch Pudding, clove, whipped cream, maple cinnamon oatmeal cookie ($3.25)

This is one of their individual shot glass desserts. I didn't care for it. I'm not a fan of butterscotch or oatmeal cookies. Nate practically licked his glass but I just didn't care for it. It's very thick also - more thick than pudding. 

S’more Brownie smoked sea salt, marshmallow ice cream ($7.95)

Not much of a way to go wrong here. I actually skipped out on the marshmallow - I was beyond full and don't love marshmallows but the brownie & ice cream were decadent. So delicious. It was a wonderful way to end our tasting!

Why Should You Go? I definitely think this showed me a new side of Crave. Overall the food was excellent - the Shrimp and Chicken Fettucini were my favorites - along with the sushi.

Because I enjoyed it so much - and because the folks at Crave are so generous - I'm giving you a $50 gift card giveaway!

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