HAPPY MOUTH — January 2003

Last night, the Happy Mouth Supper Club met for our January outing. This time, it was Kristy’s turn to pick, and she selected Encore Cafe’, one of Paul & Pam Sturkey’s restaurants.

Despite the snowy weather, it was warm and cozy inside the spacious restaurant. Our large party of 10 was seated in the large back dining room. Colleen was our server, and she did a very nice job with us. 

As we all arrived, bottles of wine were ordered, including Hill of Content Benjamin’s Blend, Australia; Villa Del Re, Pinot Grigio, Italy; and Andretti, Merlot, California. And, one of our bottles of white was actually corked — the first time ever that server Colleen had smelled a corked bottle — so it was a learning experience for us all, as well. An average of one bottle in ten is corked. The corked bottle was whisked away and replaced very quickly.

Appetizers were ordered — an excellent Mediterranean Feta Cheese Dip along with Cultured Mussels with Sweet Pepper Chile Sauce, and a Bleu Cheese and Wild Mushroom Bruchetta. All the appetizers were large and tasty.

I dined on their Cashew Crusted Salmon with a Hoisin Reduction Sauce and Crisp Risotto Cakes. I found the Hoisin to be a bit overpowering of the salmon, but once the correct proportion of sauce to bite of fish, I was able to enjoy the sweetness of the cashews and the savory of the sauce together with the firm fish.

Wendy ordered a “Big Bowl of Seafood Gumbo”, and it was truly a BIG bowl, chock full of scallops, shrimp, mussels, sausage, rice, and more. She enjoyed it very much — just the warming meal for a cold Cincinnati night!

A variety of other dishes were enjoyed by other members of the club. Some standouts included Pasta Encore, Diver Sea Scallops, Imported Rotini Pasta, and Chicken Napoleon.

No visit to either of Sturkey’s restaurants is complete without tasting Pam’s award-winning desserts. We saved room (“shoe-horned it in” is more like it!) for several desserts: Peach Pecan Tart, White Chocolate Praline Creme Brulee, Apple Cobbler, Bailey’s Roulade, and Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake. All were excellent, and we left feeling very satisfied!

Another successful Happy Mouth. Next month is the club’s one year anniversary!

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