our first sojourn into the greater cincinnati independent restaurants’ restaurant week (in spring ’09) was at chalk food + wine. just across the ohio river in covington, chalk is a few steps away from greenup cafe, another eatery in the relish group of restaurants. the dinner that night was memorable, and their level of service became our benchmark when visiting similar-type restaurants. it was time to return and also share this experience with family.
the staff was cool about us wandering around and even allowed us into the wine room, which was vacant that night. we learned the story of why the restaurant was called chalk – the idea that the menu changes with the season; therefore, constantly being edited, like a chalkboard.
they were out of a lot of the entrees by the time we were ready to order, but what was left, were still very enjoyable.
(above L: duckfat fries; above R: thistlehair Farms yukon potato soup)
(above L: fig and caramelized onion tart; above R: martin farm’s prime black angus)
(above L: ricotta ravioli; above R: dark chocolate tart)
(above: green tomato pie)
chalk also offers a Farmers Feast, described as a “3 course chef tasting menu centered around local seasonal ingredients” for $30.75. if you are open to anything when you go, you should try this. we trust chef mark bodenstein’s creations, so we were game! in case you have specific allergies, or are a vegetarian, no worries, they can make substitutes for you.
another treat of wandering the restaurant: the different artwork – some are found in unusual places! a series of chalkboard illustrations caught our attention and we were told that the bartender across the street at keystone bar & grill created these fun pieces!
there has been buzz lately about the relish group disbanding and the wades putting their restaurants up for sale. that means that chalk food + wine, lavomatic cafe, greenup cafe, local 127, tonic on 4th and jeanro bistro will be getting new owners soon. read the latest news from polly cambell here.