Mini-Reviews: The Precinct, Blackfinn and Cue

Friday night, instead of going downtown, Terry and I toured the East side. Though he’s lived here for a few years, he’s still learning his way around, and he discovered how close he lived to both Mt. Lookout (“I live that close to Zip’s?”) and Columbia Tusculum, which lead us to The Precinct. Yeah, it’s the same Jeff Ruby’s food, so I’m not going to go too much into it, but I do have a funny story:

I have never, ever been congratulated for finishing a meal. I ordered Steak Colinsworth (there weren’t any appealing seafood choices on the menu), which is a petite filet. I hadn’t eaten anything since noon, so I was hungry. Terry ordered the Jewel, which he was about halfway through when the Maître d’ stopped by to check on our meal. “You’re finished? Wow! Give me five!” I high fived him. That was a first. Now, given, the Precinct is pretty much a boy’s club (not a lot of women there, a very locker room feeling, with an air of familiarity you might not find at his other locations), known for its clients being Cincinnati movers-and-shakers (noticed Joe Deters while I was there, for example) and sports stars, this didn’t surprise me. I think he must’ve been surprised that a girl… ate. On the way out, he congratulated me again, giving me a firm handshake and saying, “I LOVE you! I love this girl!” I wonder if I go back if I’ll be known as “the woman who beat her boyfriend at eating steak”. It wasn’t even a big steak, guys! Jeez.

I’d go back just for the environment, over the flagship location. I liked the familiarity and the feeling I was intruding on a boys’ club. And I’m all about that.


I went there with some friends for a bachelorette party. I think Blackfinn is really concentrating on being a bar/club, and less on the food– no one was eating except for us and another bachelorette party. The food was mediocre– very TGI Friday’s. I might go back there for drinks again, but the food was really unimpressive.


I am too old for Cue. I am 27. I am still too old for Cue. It’s a 21-and-up bar in the old Have a Nice Day space. 99% of the people there were 21 and not a minute older. Give me Twist any day.

Hopefully, I’ll have more exciting reviews in the coming week.

ETA: Apparently, it’s really rare for women to order steak! Check out this NYT article as well as this link from local blogger Rachel from The F Word.

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10 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: The Precinct, Blackfinn and Cue”

  • Hilarous story about the steak….I have been to a couple of JR’s restaurants but never to The Precinct. My hubby’s birthday is coming up and The Precinct and Boi Na Braza keeps coming up as options. I want to go vegetarian for a month, so I plant to OD on meat to make the transition easier. Glad to read the other reviews as well. Cue doesn’t really seem like my scene either. I might stop by Blackfinn for a beer or something, but will not get my hopes up about the food.

  • Vudutu: That’s why it’s so strange! I think that 99% of bars cater to my age group– say, 18-35. Cue is 21+, but I swear that there wasn’t anyone in there a day over 21, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a lot of 18-19 year olds with fake IDs. In order for there to be a resurgence in Main Street, we have to get people who aren’t just fresh out of high school down to bars and entertainment venues, too.

  • I, on the other hand, was made to feel inadequate because I allowed a woman to eat more steak than I. Oh, I saw that subtle down-the-nose look that the maitre d’ gave me because I was the one asking for the doggy bag. “Looks like the little lady out-ate ya’ there, Big Guy.” Boys’ club, indeed.

  • I still think you ate more steak than I did.

    Someone actually did a study on steak-eating and its societal perceptions. Apparently, Red meat sent a message that she was “unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic,” she said, “that I’m not obsessed with my weight even though I’m thin, and I don’t have any food issues.” She added, “In terms of the burgers, it said I’m a cheap date, low maintenance.”

    Little do they know.

  • The husband had food and drinks at Blackfinn one of the first nights they opened. He said the staff was friendly, food appetizing and drinks strong. I guess that has changed since their opening 3 weeks ago?

  • Liberal Foodie– Yeah. I was there around opening and agreed. The waitress seemed daunted by our group of 10, and the food was just so-so. Ah, well.

  • Yeah – I wasn’t impressed with Black Finn either. My God, I asked for SOY SAUCE and they didn’t have any! My sashimi was good, but the condiments sucked.

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