Review: Local 127 (First Impressions)

The much-ballyhooed replacement restaurant for Jean-Robert at Pigall’s opened this past Tuesday.  I had intended on going on Wednesday (the opening night was booked), but ended up pushing my reservations out until Friday.  I figured that this was for the best– I really don’t tend to like to go to restaurants on opening night, but with all of the hype and build-up, I wanted to try it.

I have to preface this by stating a few things that regular readers of my blog know: I’m a big fan of Jean-Robert.  I loved Pigall’s.  I was last in the building (when it was Pigall’s) on closing night.  I tried very hard as I walked in to try to forget that this used to be Pigall’s, and look at it as something new.  I had hope that the experience at Local 127 would win me over, especially since 5chw4r7z liked his drink experience on opening night.

So on Friday evening, after a pretty bad day, I was looking for a little escape.  We walked to 4th street, and being familiar with the restaurant, walked in towards where the old reception area had been.  I was stopped– rather brusquely– by a man in a suit.  “May I help you?” he asked, in a very unfriendly way– as if I were invading his space and somehow offending him.  “I, uh, was looking for the hostess.  The stand used to be here.”  He pointed towards the door, where we discovered the station  was wedged in an unseen corner.  “It’s over there.  She’ll help you.”  He spun on his heel and walked off.

That was my first impression.

It wasn’t a very good one.

It turns out that the guy in the suit was a Jamie Smith, an adjunct at UNLV and Master Sommelier brought in for the week from Las Vegas.  He later blocked the hostess’ path in leading us to the table with his wine preparation, glanced at us, and continued blocking.  Though the hostess was nice, this first impression of condescension was disturbing.  Cincinnati is not Las Vegas, and Cincinnatians don’t take very well to anything pretentious, and aren’t so fond of rudeness, either.  A friend who was there on Wednesday told me on Sunday that she chatted with him, and he was very brusque, standoffish, and unfriendly when she was asking him about wine and being a sommelier– and she was drinking wine.  This is really not a good practice.  I didn’t order wine.

Our reservation was at 8 PM– and we were one of four tables filled at this point in the evening, which shocked me.  There aren’t a lot of tables– maybe 15-20– and the space isn’t used very well, and hasn’t been modified much since its Pigall’s days. The chandeliers are wrapped in white cloth and string, which makes the space look incomplete or unfinished.  The surroundings are very fine-dining– but the servers are all in Levi’s, Chuck Taylors, and button-down shirts.  It’s a very odd vibe– I don’t think I liked it.

Our server, Chris, was very knowledgeable and friendly, and paced the meal to fit with the restaurant’s standards– which are supposed to be leisurely, but end up feeling slow.  They want you to linger over small plates, socialize– but it doesn’t come off as lingering, but instead as if you’re forgotten.  I like to take my time with a meal, but this pace felt uncomfortable.

They purify the water on premises and offer still or sparkling, which is presented before they take your drink order, which comes before you get your menu.  If drink orders and menus came earlier, the pacing would have felt more leisurely, but instead, Terry and I felt as if we were staring at each other with nothing to do except make doe-eyes at each other.

Chris explained the concept of the restaurant, touted both at the restaurant and in their press materials as “revolutionary” in that it is “farm to table”.  This is where that word “condescension” comes in again.  The idea that “farm to table” cooking is new to Cincinnati, and that the Relish Group brought a chef in from Vegas to enlighten Cincinnati is laughable.  Farm to table has been done here quite well by Slim’s, Honey, Nectar, and many other restaurants and chefs in Cincinnati for years.  Many chefs have their own gardens, shop at farmer’s markets, or have relationships with farmers.  This is nothing new.  There were several dishes that were described to use as “_____ like you’ve never had before”, but in reality, were terribly pedestrian.  Do they think that diners in Cincinnati have never had local foods before?  More on this later.

As far as the menu, it is separated into several sections– charcuterie and other cured products, including pickles; small plates, small or large plates, large plates and sweets.  It also lists the farms they use (including favorites like Neltner’s, and Snowville Creamery), local purveyors (Colonel DeRay’s and Coffee Break), and their inspirations (James Beard and Grandma).  We decided to skip the large plates, and instead try a bunch of their smaller plates. We started out with a charcuterie sampler.  The sampler, all of which is house-made, was easily the best part of the meal.  I particularly liked the Smoked Trout with Pickled Corn– the corn was sweet, the trout deliciously smokey, with just a hint of vinegar.  The other selections on the plate were Hot Copa and spiced pears (the Copa was not hot, but the spiced pears were delicious), 127 Terrine with Pickled Green Beans (a perfect terrine, unctuous with a hint of nutmeg, tricking the tongue into thinking it was sweet.  It could have used more than just a tiny bit of the vinegar-y green beans– and I told the server this, as he said “the chef wants feedback– that’s why the kitchen is open to the public!”  I declined a tour and instead suggested more green beans) and Aged Mt. Ham with Watermelon Pickles, which were also delicious.  This is obviously the kitchen’s specialty and passion– all four were superb.  They were served with two slices of nicely toasted foccacia.


Our next round of dishes came out shortly thereafter.  We ordered three dishes off of the “Small” and “Small/Large” sections.  First, a small order of the “creamy rice”– since everything in the restaurant is supposed to be American (no mind that Levi’s and Chucks are now made off of American soil), they can’t call risotto what it is.  Creamy rice just sounds off to me– particularly since they referred to another dish as “Prosciutto-style”.  America is a melting pot, right?  It would be nice to reflect that, or at least accurately describe dishes.  This was a classic risotto, with shiitake and cremini Rainbow Oyster mushrooms.  It was creamy and very nice, but not spectacular.


We also had the much-touted potato skins, described as containing crispy pork, green onions and sour cream.  Polly Campbell, on her blog, hoped that they were “something different than the descrip”, and Chris insisted that they were “out of this world” and “unlike any potato skin you’d ever had”. I’m wondering if that was something management told him to say– assuming that everyone around here had only had potato skins at TGI Friday’s.  They were certainly good– small new potatoes, hollowed out and crispy, but otherwise exactly as described.  I’m not sure what I expected– I mean, they’re potato skins– but I had certainly hoped they’d be more creative.  “Crispy pork” was just bacon.  Good, yes, but not amazing.

The third and final savory dish was a plate of roasted beets, goat cheese, some of the same ham from the charcuterie plate before, and a wine syrup, which tasted mostly of honey.  I love beets, so I enjoyed the dish– and I think its success is due to its simplicity.


We saved room for dessert, passing up the “Kentucky Bourbon Sunday [sic]” and going for the “out of this world” chocolate cake, described as being made with Scharffen Berger The cake was not nearly as rich and dense as I expected– I loved that it had crispy edges, but was disappointed with the chocolate content.  The fortified wine was a nice touch– but it needed something to take it to the next level of “amazing” or even “I’d order it again”.


The chef, Steven Geddes, walked around to each table and inquired as to the food– except for ours.  I don’t think he knew that we were waiting for our check, and not just arrived at the restaurant.  He did, once he saw us signing our checks, drop off two tiny chocolate chip cookies– crispy on the outside, warm and melty on the inside– which was a very nice touch and should be on the menu as a dessert in a larger form.  What’s more American than chocolate chip cookies and some sort of play on milk? It was far more chocolatey than our dessert.


Overall, the food ranged from really good (charcuterie) to disappointing (potato skins), with the rest being just average.  The service ranged from great (our server, Chris) to abysmal (the sommelier).  The sum of the experience is awkward, self-congratulating (we’re educating these know-nothing Midwesterners!), but with potential.  It’s like it skipped from restaurant infancy right to the awkward teenage years, where they know everything and are always right.

I will revisit– again, I don’t think it’s fair to write the restaurant off on one visit so early in its existence.  I do hope that, since they say they really care about what their customers think,  they will take the feedback they get into consideration and make improvements.

And skip the Chucks.  Cute idea, but those shoes have no arch support.  Can you imagine that people actually played basketball in them?  I’m sure your servers are suffering!

Local 127  on Urbanspoon

143 thoughts on “Review: Local 127 (First Impressions)”

  • WOW!
    I have to preface this by saying I haven’t eaten there yet.
    Sitting at the bar, the bartenders are friendly and chatty, reading your review it seems like we were in two different places.
    The Nomerati is chomping at the bit to eat here so we’ll see how far past the bar the good vibes extend.
    .-= 5chw4r7z´s last blog tweeps rock the hardest =-.

  • Was opening night really sold out? A friend of mine dined there and said there were only 17 people in the restaurant and that included the owners.

  • Thanks for sharing your first impressions, Julie. I didn’t feel particularly inspired to try this place upon hearing about the name, concept, chef/sommelier, & menu, and feel even less so now.

    That said, I feel that you have an inherent conflict of interest in posting this, working for Bootsy’s/Jeff Ruby, which is also downtown and potential competition (not likely, given this place seems poorly envisioned & executed). While feigning even-handedness in sharing your opinions, it’s quite easy to manipulate the overall tone.

    Some minor points:
    ~You seem to have a culinary self-esteem issue with being from the midwest; I don’t think everyone from larger cities thinks we’re a bunch of bumpkins, despite seeing the word “condescension” appear frequently in your blog.
    ~Throwing around the word “pedestrian” doesn’t lend credence to your opinions, nor does it hide the fact that you’ve no culinary experience.
    ~Accusing others of being pretentious is the ultimate irony, since you pretend to know more about food than you do.
    ~Those aren’t shiitake mushrooms in the risotto picture. At least you got the cremini part right.

    • Thank you for your comment, Jeff. Though I do have a business relationship with JRCE, that is a very small part of what I do. I want downtown to succeed– whether it’s because of Jeff Ruby, the Relish Group, or any other restauranteur– it doesn’t matter to me. If I truly were only interested in the success of JRCE restaurants, I’d never post a good word about any other restaurant that might be “competition”, right?

      I’ve never claimed to have culinary experience outside of being a well-educated consumer. I also don’t think everyone from larger cities has a negative view of midwesterners, nor do I have a culinary self-esteem issue about being from the Midwest, though it’s often an overlooked region (if you take out Chicago). I think that’s slowly changing, which is fantastic.

      That said, the server and my notes mentioned shiitake. My mistake. I make plenty of them.

  • Good review Julie, thanks. I’m with Tina. Interesting, sounds like a corporate Slims wannabe, Pigall’s is a tough act to follow and it sounds like the Relish group is not up to it. I had to book a birthday dinner for tonight and thought about L127 but chose Cumin instead.

    The positioning of an ahole jerk sommelier from Lost Wages in a suit next to servers in Chucks cracked me up; his attitude really does not fit the local food theme does it! Also seems the Wades are catching the localvore train a little late with L127, the positive food changes at Chalk and sponsorship of the Farmers Fair scheduled for September 26 and 27 in Covington, but then that is so Cincinnati, I am very glad to see any support of our local farmers though.

    Your description of the interior is not surprising, I am afraid the owner fancies herself a designer but is not. Reminds me of something an art gallery owner once said to me. “Every night I go to bed praying people with money get taste and people with taste get money”

  • At first, I was surprised to hear about your dislike of Local 127 – until I realized that it was mostly based on the service, rather than the food.

    I went with my father early last Thursday before the CSO opener. For us, the food was very well done and reasonably priced. We particularly enjoyed the end-of-season tomatoes & the steak. And the cheesecake served in a mason jar was just wonderful. Oh, and i loved the complimentary cocktail starter (a bubbling rose of sorts).

    Yes – the service was a bit awkward. When I arrived, I spoke with both the bartender (and later with my waitress) – both said that since it’s a new team, they’re still hammering out the kinks of working together. Aside from the sommelier (who was definitely cocky – i was very happy to hear he’s not a permanent fixture), I found everyone else very sweet and polite – though definitely a bit clueless and in the learning stages of a new place. However, they did a great job ensuring we were out by 7 and arranged a taxi to take us to Music Hall without any problems.

    On another note, it’s definitely not fair to compare it to Pigall’s. The experience, cuisine, everything is different. And I loved Pigall’s, but not the $350 price tag afterwards. The $175 is certainly more manageable (for 2 people incl. pre-dinner drinks, 2 small plates, 2 large plates, 1 dessert, small pressed coffee for 2, a very nice bottle of wine, plus tip). I always found the interior of Pigall’s overly stuffy and I was happy with the warmth and openness of Local 127. Amazingly beautiful or conceptual? No, but definitely comfortable. Plus, I’m happy to see they’re not packing tables in to just get a high turnover.

    I’ll happily give this place another try because the food was great, though I do hope the service takes a step up – I really can only forgive cluelessness once.

    • I realize I didn’t write about the price– you’re right, the prices are fairly reasonable. It’s interesting that you call the interior “comfortable”– I thought it felt like Pigall’s with different chairs, and no banquettes!

      I’m still not blown away by the food– but I might stop in for a cocktail and charcuterie. Or maybe just ask for a whole jar of the pickled pears!

  • I am going to give it a try since they are the new dog in town but I hope they can do something that makes me want to come back again. The grand finale is one of my favorite restarants and they are not especially fancy but they keep making good food consistantly. They always make me feel welcomed the minute I walk in the door. They are doing something right since they have been around for I believe 20 years or more now.

  • @ Jeff Daniel: I feel as though your response is extremely condescending. Ah, the irony. A review is based on one’s personal likes and dislikes that is grounded in their life experiences – regardless of their “qualifications.” Take it or leave it…. (And you do not know your mushrooms as well as you think you do.)
    .-= Erin Swing´s last blog ..August in Greece =-.

  • Julie,

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this review. It’s refreshing to read a review that is thoughtful, balanced, and cogent. While the outcome is disappointing on some levels, you wrote with high credibility. Thanks for the info, and really nicely done!

  • Listen, Missy…I DID play basketball in Chuck Taylors. Back in those days, they were the Cadillac of Shoes. Those days were, of course, the 1970s…now known as the “Era of the Slow White Guy.”

  • I’ve met Smith at an industry event before, and he’s a pompous ass who has no business interacting with customers. He’s been driving the local distributors crazy with demands for ‘special’ pricing on wines, which is illegal in Ohio, and repeatedly changed his wine orders due to Wade’s limited budgeting. He’s complained to everyone who will listen about how ‘poor’ the wholesaler’s wine portfolios are on Ohio. The local wine distributor’s all think that Smith is a clown and a major ass (assclown?).

    • you have never met me anywhere
      i did not buy any of the wine except meranda-nixon
      i never asked for any prices at all
      stop the lying you hater

      • How would you know of we’ve met, you don’t even know who I am?

        And why would these distributor sales reps be lying? Enquiring minds want to know…..

  • PS-127 will close by the end of May. Wade will close it just before the slow summer season starts. Bet that Wade tries a desperation rebranding before closing, and will throw Geddes under a bus as he has done with so many other management personnel.

    The Local 127 Deathwatch is on!!

  • you work for jeff ruby and you review other downtown restaurants? no conflict there. i work for a downtown restaurnat and unfortunately we kinda tossed your opinions out when you started working for ruby. suprised you actually continue reviewing. but whatever. 127 is retarded.

    • Sorry to hear that. I’m an independent contractor– not on payroll, like any freelancer might be. My day job is not in the restaurant industry– it’s in publishing– and I also have clients (current and past) like branding agencies, large corporations and small businesses.

      If my review of 127 were glowingly positive, would this even have been brought up?

  • It just seems odd to review restaurants while working for one of the larger restaurant groups within the city that your reviews are based in. You must realize that people will wonder if your day job with ruby influences your night job/hobby of reviewing his competitors businesses. I’m not hating, I’m just saying. When you say Ruby is giving away gift certificates at a great deal, we know why. When you tout the desserts at The Palace, we know why. When you give someone a bad write up, we are left to wonder why…if it is unbiased. So whether or not the 127 review was positive or negative is irrelevant. It’s like The Burger King saying the Big Mac sucks….whats he going to say?

    • I appreciate your candor– truly. In my head, I separate my freelance work and my blog– it has never occurred to me that people would think I’d try to undercut his competition. It’s not in my nature to do something like that. I don’t view myself as a part of JRCE, except in an incredibly peripheral way (it’s not my day job by any stretch of the imagination), but I can see why that might not come across to the casual reader of the blog. I disclosed my relationship– however minor– in the interest of being transparent. I would never not disclose the relationship– like I’d always mention if I got a sample to try for free– but perhaps it’s the relationship itself that is the problem.

      The whole blogging/disclosure/work relationship is a space that companies, PR folks, marketers, and bloggers are all trying to navigate, with varying levels of success. The rule of thumb between PR folks and bloggers (and now the FTC) is that disclosure is the key to these relationships. It seems like the one thing that social media types, PR folks, and bloggers haven’t considered is how these relationships appear to the readers. It’s obvious that, in this case, my relationship makes some of my readers uncomfortable, or doubt my sincerity– which is the absolute last thing I wanted. It will certainly make me think twice before taking any similar freelance projects in the future. That said, this gig isn’t permanent– and I’ll be sure to disclose when I’m done (which will likely be soon).

      Again, I really appreciate your comments– they’ve given me a lot to chew on.

    • At the risk of just feeding the trolls, The Palace is not part of Ruby’s group, so I do not get the “When you tout the desserts at The Palace, we know why.” Well actually, since I have the desserts there I do know why, they are delicious, but not sure if that is what you are implying.
      .-= bshermcincy´s last blog ..Take the Cake Cafe: Savories =-.

  • well my douchley writer friend, your lack of culinary astutness and borderline hillbilly mentality are exactly why cincinnati fails at everything it tries. some ahole like u shoots down a new experience just because its different from a preconceived notion. sounds like u went in the wrong door to start your evening, trying at act like your in the know.

    as a big fan of JRdC, you must be living in the past. you should keep your dining experiences to the cheesecake factory and white castle, where they will surely meet your expectations.

    u could also change your blog to whine me, why am i a ****.

  • I think everyone needs to take a chill pill.
    You can’t judge Julie, or anyone else for that matter on one blog post, you have to look at the whole body of work.
    She is consistent in her tastes, that’s whats important to me, I don’t always agree with her, but since I look at the big picture I still find value in her reviews knowing, that even a restaurant she gives a glowing review to may not be my dish, and places she doesn’t particularly like I may love.
    This doesn’t take away from her blog, it gives me a baseline to to make decisions.
    .-= 5chw4r7z´s last blog ..rainy Reds =-.

  • I’ll echo 5chw4r7z’s sentiment and further underscore the point that Julie is just one person with one blog and one opinion.

    You willingly chose to visit her site and read her review. What have you lost if she failed to agree with your perspective?

    You didn’t pay a dime to pour over her photos and prose, so perhaps you’re only out a few minutes that you’ll never get back. That’s life.

    Whether you enjoy Julie’s blogging or not, she deserves to be treated with common courtesy – that’s pretty much the unwritten rule of the blogger community. Deal with it.

    If you are a restauranteur, know that we (and by “we,” I mean the local foodie community that designates a significant income to dining, sipping and otherwise supporting the local restaurant scene) want to support you and hope you aspire to every success you deserve.

    This town is full of foodie bloggers and critics – if you don’t care for Julie’s style, school of thought or other criterion, go read someone else’s. Or write your own.

    Opinions (and blogs) are like assholes – everyone has one.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Cleveland Rocks? =-.

  • Hey Marvin – you can disagree with someone without becoming an asshat – it is called civility.

    Perhaps Marvin should learn basic grammar and spelling your is possessive, you’re is you are – perhaps his culinary “astutness” had him missing English class in third grade?

  • Marvin,
    I’m going to second and third Amy In Ohio, Kate The Great and 5chw4r7z…name calling is completely juvenile and uncalled for. Last time I checked, blogs were opinion, and I’m fairly sure Julie’s opinion is all hers, she’s allowed to have it. As to the name calling…I can’t even believe you stooped that low. Insulting women by calling them a cunt is so cutting edge and revolutionary right?

  • Wow, so i am about to visit Cincinnati for the 1st time and i have been reading reviews and blogs trying to figure out where my wife and I should eat.

    I must say that this discussion has really turned me off to the food scene in Cincinnati. We haved lived all of the country and currently reside in NYC where restaurant reviews and food blog are taken more seriously, I guess.

    How can anyone trust a review written by someone who works for a compeating restaurant group?

    I have heard good things are finally happening in Cincinnati and it seems to me after reading all of this that they are not even givin a chance. No wonder most of the country agrees the Mid West is 20 years behind!

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m a contractor, not an employee, and my work will be finished with JRCE sometime in the near future. Steakhouses and farm-to-table aren’t really competitors, are they? I would understand your reaction if I were, say, slamming Morton’s, Red, Eddie Merlot’s or another area steakhouse. There’s a reason why I haven’t reviewed Red (their new chef is JRCE’s former corporate chef) or Eddie Merlot’s– that would definitely be a conflict, and not fair to the restaurant.

      I most certainly am giving Local 127 a chance– as I said, I refuse to write it off after one mixed experience, and intend to go back in a few weeks to try it again. Cincinnati has a wonderful, flourishing, creative food community, with some amazing chefs. I love Slim’s in Northside (they use food from their own urban farm), Lavomatic (which has a great rooftop deck), Honey, Terry’s Turf Club, The Palace, Tucker’s on Vine– and dozens of others. Findlay Market is a great stop for gourmet items and the best Liege waffles I’ve had– including the ones you can get in Bryant Park.

    • I would find it hard to believe that any food blog is free of nut jobs unless it is heavily moderated. I like the openness. And Julie did fully disclose her relationship in a post. Not quite the same as working for a competing group.

      I’ll echo other sentiments, I don’t agree with all her tastes, but find her reviews very helpful. I like reviewers that give me the “whys” behind the likes and dislikes.

      I also aspire to her restraint in dealing with negative comments. I am not referring to yours at all.

      I hope you enjoy the visit. There are a lot of new places downtown, as well as intriguing pockets just across the river and in Northside.

      And since Julie has muzzled herself on the Jeff Ruby’s group, I’ll say check out the precinct for some incredible steaks.
      .-= bshermcincy´s last blog ..Take the Cake Cafe: Savories =-.

    • Yeah, I’m sure that a NYC critic has never written a negative review of a new restaurant. I’m also sure that every blogger in every town you’ve lived in has NO possible conflicts of interest. They probably just don’t disclose those things, like Julie has done. I really can’t believe you would let one review/discussion on one blog color your view of a whole city’s food scene. That’s incredibly narrow-minded and your comments smack of arrogance.
      .-= Joe Kikta´s last blog ..JoeKikta: RT @brandmilitia: I didn’t finish my salad at lunch. Not because I was full. I was bored. Lettuce is the Al Gore of vegetables. =-.

  • who is julie? and why are u all up in a roar? I had never heard of this site until today, and will not be checking in. My blog is actually a monthly magazine article and have won awards for my writing. i am sure that my opinion has only strengthen your resolve to make local 127 a success. for the person who commented on my grammar… watch your back.

  • i forgot to mention one thing… i did not call the reviewer an cu*%, i was re naming her blog.
    i like the fact that cincinnati can expose its small minds here for everyone to see. to clarify, i include myself in the last comment. lets all meet at 127 for a “beer summit” and turn this frown upside down. 🙂

    • Marvin is clearly a Wade employee. He’s so very typical of the type of personality that are involved in management of Wade’s operations. Imagine the reaction that you would receive if you made a complaint to him about the quality if your meal or the service that you received at 127. Yet another reason to avoid any of Wade’s food mills.

  • @marvin – Agree/disagree, respect/don’t respect my question is if this is your first visit and aside from the 3 follow up comments you don’t plan to visit again, what about this review prompted such a venemous response?

    Then a followup with a veiled threat about watching your back regarding a grammar comment? One can only assume your monthly magazine article has something to do with how to handle Roid Rage.

  • Dear Marvin,

    So what’s the name of your award-winning magazine article? I’d really like to learn a thing or two from an astut writer like u.

    Just a hunch…this “magazine” employs editors, no?


    P.S. – …”trying at act like your in the know”… I’m sure I speak for many readers of your comment when I say, “Huh?”

  • please
    the reason you blog is because you cant get paid for it.
    get your facts straight.
    don’t think that everyone even cares or knows who you are.
    it must be nice to be so self important and entitled that the world must kiss your miserable butt in order for you to feel justified.
    door issues?, blocked at the table?
    how about delusional, i would vote for that.
    go and husk some corn.
    pathetic comments to try and slander someone, wow your life must be miserable.
    if i had no credentials, i would probably be just as unhappy as a food blogger (HA HA HA)

    • Sigh.

      I don’t care if people know who I am. I don’t feel entitled, any more than any other paying customer does, to a good experience. I do feel that every customer– whether they’re regulars or new customers; getting cocktails or having a four-course meal; in a suit or in blue jeans– deserves respect.

    • Speaking of getting paid for his work, Jamie seems to have a hard time keeping a job. Do you think that it’s because of his obvious personality problem? He’s currently making ends meet as an itinerant pretentious cork dork.

      “Will pour wine for cash”

    • Jamie and “Marvin” should keep a few things in mind before they make any more wine-sodden remarks here: According to Alexa, Wine Me Dine Me Cincinnati gets an average of 1,324 visits per day. That means that for every person leaving a comment there are 200 more people reading this site. How many potential customers have these clowns permanently turned off from ever setting foot in their restaurant with their gouache, classless comments? In light of Wade’s employee’s harangues here I am revising my Local 127 Deathwatch projection: They are tossed on to history’s culinary trash bin by April 1st, 2010.

      Alexa also appraises the value of WMDMC conservatively at $18,953.00. Julie has considerably more to show for her hard work than you do, wino.

    • I have to agree with Julie in the “block” action that may or may not have been realized. We’ve all been somewhere, where some butt wipe see you coming, acknowledges your presence, and then remains. That is egotistical, arrogant and just rude. Reading some of the other posts, sounds like this guy needs to learn some humility vs. the attitude he’s picked up over the years.

      Still begs the question: how many of you will subsidize someone else’s lifestyle while taking a hit on your own?

      Again, it’s not rocket science.

  • I don’t get the massive uproar. In the world of food reviews, this is leaps and bounds from being “negative.” So why are some people reacting like someone insulted their mother? I mean, take a peak at the Urban Spoon ratings on this very subject– less than half enjoyed their experience only a few weeks post-opening. Ask yourself, why is that? Whatever the reason, one fairly-constructive review from a blogger should be the least of Local 127 fans’ worries.

    Furthermore, I pray that none of these are people actually affiliated with Local 127; I pray they are random, angry people with some sort of grudge. Because, if this is the way the Local 127 folk handle criticism, speak about their market, and vaguely treat other people, then Julie was far too nice in her review. That sense of pretentious attitude is the exact vibe that will drive away customers.

  • Yeah Jaime, only 41 comments have been posted in response to this article… obviously no one cares about Julie’s opinion…

    Jaime, I had a decent experience at 127 but I don’t think I’ll be returning thanks to your comments here.

    • I think it’s fairly clear that this “jaime smith” is not the real person you think it is. That’s just my guess. No one is that stupid and juvenile to post their own name and defiantly say those moronic statements. This person is more than likely NOT on the Wade’s staff, although the pompous jerk wine guy sounds like not someone I would want over to my house, I seriously doubt this “jaime smith” guy is who everyone thinks he is.

  • If I had to guess, I would say some employees or perhaps the management of Local 127 found out about a less than favorable review, and decided to fight back in an incredibly rude and juvenile fashion.

    Julie, as a long time reader, I have always loved your blog for your openess, fairness, and overall solid writing. Anyone who reads your blog regularly knows that you give credit where credit is due, and criticism where it is deserved. I appreciate what you do, and I will continue to read your blog on the regular.

    Although I now live in Los Angeles, I am still interested in the Cincinnati food scene, so thanks for all you do, and keep up the good work!

  • I didn’t read the review but the comments on this are hilarious. It reminds me of some music blogs where the bands work really hard to get their first cd out only to have someone think it’s “just ok”. Artists, of course are sensitive, live in their own little worlds, don’t take criticism very well and lash out in very juvenile ways.

    Much like what is demonstrated in the comments here. The fact that this is a food blog, and the subject matter is a restaurant that has been closed and opened more times than I’ve bought shoes makes for some extra special hilarity.

    Julie, you should give yourself a pat on the back. I assume you blog in the hope that some will read it…. mission accomplished.

  • Hello Julie, first I would like to say thanks for dining in the restaurant and I hope your next visit offers you more refined experience. The majority of our guests have had a very nice time and as with all openings there are going to be a few things that need work. I am amazed at all of the mudslinging over simple potato skins which by the way we have already retooled. I would like to take this moment and clarify that we certainly do not feel we are pioneering the farm to table movement here or anywhere. It has been happening for decades abroad and there are many practitioners in the area that do a great job as well. I did move here to have access to the unbelievable agriculture belt that the tri state area has to offer. We just want to be a part of the movement by respecting the ingredients and be given a fair shake. I know there is a tremendous history in this sacred location and we will do our best to respect the past as we carry on into the future. Until our paths cross again. Steven

    • Thanks for your reply, Steven. As I mentioned in email, I’ll look forward to my second experience at Local 127. I’d never write off a restaurant after one visit.

    • It was good of Steve Geddes to post a response here, but he needs to get control of his friend Jamie Smith. Although Smith is not going to be a permanent part of 127, he is working there right now and as such his comment represent 127. And gouche, classless comments they were, to be certain. Geddes should make Smith post an apology for his rude comments. It’s no wonder that Jamie Smith can’t hold a job.

    • Mr. Geddes, I would have to disagree, If you’re going to tout the skins as “unlike anything you’ve ever tasted” then you had better follow it up. I’m not sure if “unlike anything you’ve ever tasted” was the exact quote but my point is, if you’ve been in the restaurants, the servers do really SELL the food with overly desirable words and phrases like Julie had quoted.

      Don’t do that.

      It’s another very, VERY simple concept….downplay it. Sell the sizzle, not the steak, the steak will sell itself.

      You need to do the take-away….undersell. The food comes and it will sell itself. When I have been to the Wade restaurants, here’s the deal: rarely, did I ever, EVER find ANY of the food disappointing. In only one of them, the atmosphere was undesirable and that was simply b/c the 2nd floor of one of the restaurants (I just remember it being a pastel lime green wall color with windows on the ceiling)…was way too loud. Acoustically insensitive. That being said, I do not like phrases like what Julie had written when asked about the food. I don’t like to be “sold.” I like to buy. I have no reason whatsoever to think that Julie would “create” those phrases that came from her server, so if they tell me that: then it had damn well better be what they say.

      Potato skins are simple and shouldn’t be complicated. Easy to make and chances are, we’ve all had skins that pretty much all taste the same. They’re great comfort food; no need to over complicate nor is there a reason to oversell them.

      I would like to reiterate though, I have NEVER had a bad food experience in their restaurants. Sometimes the atmosphere can be a little snooty but sometimes, that’s OK. Rude. Never acceptable.

      I like their restaurants and will continue to go to them b/c the food is great. It’s not rocket science people.

  • I very much enjoyed your writing in this review, even though it’s of a restuarant I’d never want to step foot in. I regard any restaurant in which you must pay more than $15 for a single plate of food as pretty darn pretentious. So, to me, this whole talk about discordant vibes from a restaurant serving upscale food with servers wearing Levis is a bit absurd.

    Considering the fact that my father was both a factory worker and union member, I should probably be offended by the fact that the name, “Local 127” seems to allude to blue collar life while selling decidedly stuck up food no blue collar worker could ever afford to enjoy.

    If Pop were alive he’d probably say, “It ain’t no Local anything when there’s a Sommelier at the door.”

  • there is this little place boasting similar criteria, in Louisville. 732 Social. We stopped in the last time we were in town and were blown away. Amazing food and the cocktails were magical (earning us another nights stay in Louisville.) Through conversations at the bar, we found out the Chef who happens to also be the owner, is a Cincinnati boy. They opened earlier this year, and have apparently been the rave of the town. getting back to our hotel, the door man recognized our to go containers and coldnt stop talking about the place. Havent tried 127 Local yet, but seems to boast some similarities to 732 Social. Was there some collaboration?

  • Local 127 is not a replacement for Jean-Robert at Pigall’s. It is no more a replacement for Jean-Robert at Pigall’s than Jean-Robert at Pigall’s was the replacement for Pig Al’s that occupied that same address for a short time years ago.

    Local 127 occupies the same physical space that Pigall’s did, and recycles some of the interior features (they made some interesting changes, both front- and back-of-house), and re-uses many of the plates. Otherwise, Local 127 is as far from Jean-Robert at Pigall’s as east is from west.
    .-= Drew Vogel´s last blog ..Recent Tidbits =-.

  • Reviewing this blog it became apparent to me that you had a percieved notion of what you wanted 127 to be. They are not Pigalls, do not try to be but still have a tremendous respect for the history of the building. As for whoever threw Martin and Marilyn under the bus? Ridiculous. They let Pigalls lose money for seven years, letting Jean Robert live his dream for seven years, before closing down. Further, 127 employees do not comment on here, just some pissed of Jeff Rubys employees (even if you arent on the payroll) who are dissappointed that we arent something that closed down. Now, the potato skins are retooled and are delicious. As for your blog, you didnt even have an entree! How can you properly give a review without that? Please, do not use this mudslinging as a measure for 127. Jamie is gone and they are smooth now since opening. Give it a chance. Im sure all eateries go through rough openings. As for this death clock thing? What ever happened to pulling for the local economy? Wishing or at least thinking they are going to closed is distasteful. Cincinnati is known as the town with open hearts when it comes to food but that was a first for me. That showed a lack of class.

    • I think we all have ideas of what things will be like before we experience, don’t we? I never expected this to be Pigall’s– and mentioned as such. The space is sort of sacred in town, yes– for reasons that date back long, long before Jean-Robert opened his restaurant in the space.

      As far as not having an entree, the server actually suggested a meal of small to medium plates, so if the server is suggesting it– I consider it a good sampling of the restaurant. That said, I’ll be sure to try the large plates next time.

      The whole Martin Wade and Jean-Robert thing is a hot point in town– if you’ve spent any time around here, you’ve probably noticed it. I knew going in that this would be controversial, but not quite the way it’s turned out.

      • I was going to make the same comment – we are not robots, of course we are entering into everything we do with preconceive notions. How could we not? Believe me, everyone else coming to Local 127 will have notions and expectations – that is what you get when you cater to human beings after all.
        .-= Amy in OHio´s last blog ..Walk…if you dare =-.

      • I was going to make the same comment – we are not robots, of course we are entering into everything we do with preconceived notions. How could we not? Believe me, everyone else coming to Local 127 will have notions and expectations – that is what you get when you cater to human beings after all.
        .-= Amy in OHio´s last blog ..Walk…if you dare =-.

    • Where to start on this one?

      -“They are not Pigalls [sic], do not try to be but still have a tremendous respect for the history of the building”
      Well, you’re right that they aren’t Pigall’s. As for the building, they redecorated on the cheap and it shows. The place still screams “Pigall’s”.

      -“As for whoever threw Martin and Marilyn under the bus? Ridiculous”
      Think you have it the wrong way round, Tiger. It’s Martin who throws folks under a bus. The list of people that he has screwed is too long to list here.

      -“They let Pigalls [sic] lose money for seven years”
      I guess that’s why JR got all of those profit sharing checks for 6 straight years. Pigall’s didn’t lose money until the last year, and the economy is squarely to blame. Fine Dining is struggling nationwide.

      -“letting Jean Robert live his dream for seven years”
      Martin made those dreams a nightmare.

      -“Further, 127 employees do not comment on here just some pissed of Jeff Rubys employees…who are dissappointed [sic] that we arent [sic] something that closed down”
      I think that you need to take your meds now. No less than three Wade employees have posted on this thread, Steve Geddes himself, Jamie Smith and “Marvin” who is a Wade employee. And your post makes four. Wade did close Pigalls by the way, and 127 will follow suit soon enough.

      -“you didnt even have an entree!”
      Is the apostrophe key on your computer broken?

      -“As for this death clock thing?”
      It’s the Death Watch, and it is so on! Current odds are 3:1 for April 1st, 2010. Wanna place a wager?

      • CincyCapell is clearly biased here. “martin turned those dreams into a nightmare”? Give me a break. Too bad Mr. Chef Robert. I have a ton of dreams, wish someone would subsidize my dream and let me live it. Oh but wait, I need to produce a product that produces margins large enough to continue operating and make a decent living, employee hundreds in the downtown area, give college kids a dream for a career, have many enjoy a great dining experience, oh….and take a loss each year. So when I’ve had enough of going in a dif’t direction of a business vs. the artistic side of JR, I’m the bad team. I get it. Try to show A LITTLE objectivity like I have.

        -”They let Pigalls [sic] lose money for seven years”
        I guess that’s why JR got all of those profit sharing checks for 6 straight years. Pigall’s didn’t lose money until the last year, and the economy is squarely to blame. Fine Dining is struggling nationwide.

        Yes, while the Wade’s were taking a hit, Mr. JR rec’d income and profit sharing, where there was none. The Wade’s were footing that bill. Get your fact straight, Jack.

        -”As for this death clock thing?”
        It’s the Death Watch, and it is so on! Current odds are 3:1 for April 1st, 2010. Wanna place a wager?

        What are you? 18????

  • hello all
    i seem to have joined the party late.
    whats all the fuss about. live and let live
    i like to eat, in fact, i have dinner almost every night
    lets all play nice.

  • dear cincycapell:
    i do not know you, if you wanted me to know you , you would use your real name.
    as for your personal, completely erroneous attempts to discredit me (good luck), very sad.
    this is a forum on the best restaurant in Cincinnati right now.
    you sound like a spurned groupie.
    as for you trying to discredit 2 of the greatest humanitarians in the country, do some research.
    Martin and Marylyn are the salt of the earth and the benefactors to many, in particular the city of Cincinnati.

    • If this were a forum about the best restaurant in Cincinnati then it would be about Orchids, The Palace, Boca or Nicola’s.

      As for the ‘two great humanitarians’, Marilyn is the one with money and she is indeed a humanitarian and patron. However her ne’er-do-well husband, ersatz restaurateur extraordinaire, is a different story. There’s a reason that the shareholders won’t let Marty anywhere near the Food Network, folks. The guy has a Reverse Midas Touch. As for you Jaime, good luck with your next gig wherever that may be. Perhaps you should have kept that comfy gig with Southern Wine & Spirits Jaime. You could have made some money there and had a steady gig. That MS doesn’t equate to actual employability or earning potential, now does it?

  • Hi,
    We have sold Local 127 a couple of pigs that they have used to make some of their wonderful sausages, etc. We raise rare Red Wattle Hogs that were once thought to be extinct. The are rare because they do not do well in the factory environment that your typical McRib type pigs are grown in. I have to say that everyone at the Relish Restaurant Group has been wonderful to work with. I have found the chef to be very excited about everything and really wanting to turn out a top notch product. I think the Deathwatch and some of the other comments are grossly unfair. Opening a new restaurant is a big commitment in time and money. I think talking it down for no real reason it is not very nice to their employees and suppliers. I am grateful for the business that they have given me.

  • Wow. A lot of vitriol here.

    Does this really work? Whose interest does it serve? Don’t we deserve to have a city where the culinary community is healthy, strong, and diverse? That means anyone who wants to should get to play, and by the natural order of things, the weak links eventually turn off their stoves.

    True, the restaurant industry has a long narrative of histrionics, shady characters, and nefarious activities (or Tony Bourdain would not have bestsellers), but more so it is full of people like yourselves that work very hard to keep their passion alive, fresh, and spontaneous day in and day out within a stressful, repetitive environment. It’s a monumental task. What does it serve to wish failure on them except our own smallness?

    Dissent is important – a close friend of mine says the “yes” means nothing without the “no”- but there are very few examples of thoughtful dissent in response to the original post. There are hundreds of sites where you can parade absurdity and sarcasm or sling accusations. You have an opportunity to have a site where you actually have a chance to help raise the bar of Greater Cincinnati’s restaurant community with thoughtful, intelligent discourse. Everyone wins.

    That being said Ms. Blogmistress, I think you are right to curb the enthusiasm. 😉

  • I have never been on this blog but was told by a fellow industry member I should take a look at this thread. Their reason for pointing it out to me is I happen to work for a wine distributor who does business with 127 and I am also a Master Sommelier. Normally I would never add to a thread as ridiculous as this one has become but I feel obligated to address a few items so readers of this blog are not mislead.

    First off, my company has found Steven, his crew, and his friends who have come in to help him very professional and courteous. We have experienced zero of the challenges CincyCapell has described in this thread nor have I heard any complaints of these sorts from any of my friendly competitors.

    Secondly, nobody should be putting out a “Death Watch” on a group of people investing and thus risking their money and efforts opening up a new concept in the downtown area of any Midwestern B-market city…especially in the current economic climate. Wishing ill will on them is also wishing financial instability on their employees who need their jobs and basically cheering for another hit to the economic health of Cincinnati. Each restaurant that closes in downtown Cincinnati tarnishes the lure of others who may follow.

    It should also be stated that Jaime Smith is not a Master Sommelier. From what I have been told, he is an extremely knowledgeable and talented sommelier in Las Vegas who is well respected by his peers but he has not passed the MS exams.

    It is my opinion that a few people’s negative perception of someone who lives in Nevada formed while he was briefly in town helping a friend should not affect others’ willingness to support Cincinnati’s newest downtown restaurant. Everyone should go see for themselves and form their own opinion instead of relying on opinions or claims of those that may be biased or simply have lofty expectations of a new restaurant still working its kinks out.

  • Julie,

    I do live in Las Vegas and have known Steve Geddes for over 10 years. I also worked with him in Las Vegas at Aureole Restaurant. I have spent the past 25+ years of my life in the restaurant industry and can easily say Steve is the most passionate food and wine “force” I have met. I am not surprised by the local vendor comments supporting that fact. He is as passionate as it gets in this industry. Steve also being a Master Sommelier gives him a skill set that no other chef (in the world?) has. He can craft dishes from the ground up and build in wine, beer or other pairing ideas from the outset. Trust me, some of the top chefs in the world would like to have that background on their resume. But above all that, I am confident that Chef Steve will continue to tweak and improve dishes and execution. He will support local vendors extensively. And he will help and add to the local food community in ways that will only improve the market for all there. He will be a great food and wine resource for you all. He would do the same in LA, NYC, Topeka or wherever. I live in a town of betting and gambling like no other – I for one would not put a wager on a “deathwatch” for L127 for sure. Sincerely, Andrew

  • Me think that Brett is trying to curry favor with the folks at Relish. Talk to the people from the other distributors and you hear otherwise about L127. It’s a good thing for Brett that he’s on a salary at Vitner because he’d starve if he was paid on commission like the rest of us are 😉

    • Obviously not one of the friendly competitors I referred to in my post. Sounds to me he did not do so well on the list at 127 and has some sour grapes to squeeze.

      It is very common for wine salespeople who do not get many or any placements at an establishment to bash the account. It is also quite common for people hiding behind fake names and a keyboard to cowardly throw barbs and false accusations towards someone they do not know.

      HotBytes in Louisville has a policy that one can only post on their boards by using their full and or course real name. It keeps the conversations above board and the information shared much more reliable. I encourage Julie to do the same on this site because this thread shows there is are too many of her readers who use her blog to grind their own axes behind fake names.

  • I just want to say that this forum of comments has been one of the most enjoyable moments of 2009 for me. Beyond all of the mud-slinging and curiously crafted and might I say, some generally well-written comments, there is a common positive message that should not be ignored: everyone on here loves food and wants the greater Cincinnati food scene to thrive. Bravo for food, arts and culture in Cincinnati. So cheers to all and to all a good night!

  • I just want to say that this forum of comments has been one of the most enjoyable moments of 2009 for me, I’ve been following them like a hawk. Beyond all of the mud-slinging and curiously crafted and might I say, some generally well-written comments, there is a common positive message that should not be ignored: everyone on here loves food and wants the greater Cincinnati food scene to thrive. Bravo for food, arts and culture in Cincinnati. So cheers to all and to all a good night!

  • I think Jonathan Quail Higgins is an illiterate that can not even spell Vintner and it is a good thing you are starving from curry overdose!

  • I have been a reader of WMDM practically since it began and have read every single one of Julie’s posts. I rarely, maybe once, have commented. I wanted to say though that anyone who is criticizing Julie has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. She is the most ethical and honest reviewer/blogger I have found and I read A LOT of foodie blogs. If you have not read her full body of work, you really cannot comment with any credibility. Even if my personal tastes do not coincide with hers, I do not think less of her as a blogger/person and would never criticize her for enjoying her hobby and taking the time to share it with all of us. All of you who made the rude, mean-spirited, or threatening comments…be ashamed of yourself…grow up and act like an adult.

    Julie, I immensely enjoy reading your blog and I sincerely thank you for opening my eyes to what Cincinnati has to offer a foodie like me. You do an outstanding job and I commend your graciousness in replying to the comments on this post.

  • “good thing you are starving from curry overdose”

    Possibly the most nonsensical comment on WMDM ever. How does one starve from a curry overdose?

    • Whatever Anne….. With the position you hold at your day job (night job being mindless instigator) you probably should not be such a constant #$%^ stirrer. Not so good for business!

  • I read this after hearing about the ‘much ballyhooed’ thread of comments erupting on this website, and I have to say I’m a little offended. It seems to me that the writer is almost self conscious about our city. By assuming that these Vegas men came here only to educate Cincinnatians in the pretentious way mentioned, leaves me feeling that deep down under indignation the author feels the same. It is obvious to anyone who reads this that you walked in to 127 with preconceptions, and nitpicked your way to a sensationalist review.

    • Of course I walked in with preconceptions– everyone does. I think we established that earlier in the thread. I’m definitely not self-conscious about our city, but instead fiercely proud of it and its food scene– otherwise I wouldn’t write this blog, would I?

      The review is far from sensationalist, and in fact, most people who’ve emailed or talked with me have said it was fairly middle-of-the-road. I apparently just touched on a few nerves. It happens.

  • i hope this trauma is over. here is the real story… Mr and Mrs Wade are a team who use their assets and skill to help keep cincinnati from a fate like Detroit or other dying midwestern cities. if not for mr wade, mrs wade may have chosen to leave cincinnati and grace more refined cities like palm beach or san diego.
    Regardless, this new venture is brave, and i am certain that your comments have left scars on their hearts.
    I encourage everyone to go to the local 127 and the new bar next door to see how freeing and fun the new place is. dont kill our golden goose.

    • Yea right Martin. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out of town. You’re Persona non grata here. And half of your restaurants are in Covington, Kentucky by the way, not Cincinnati.

      • So Cincy, why don’t you reveal your true identity? You seem have a large number of strong opinions about the ethics and practices of others but share them with this board behind the safe wall of anonymity. Try putting your real identity and reputation on the table like others on this site and take ownership of all the insults and accusations you throw around. Until you have the courage to do that, your views have zero validity.

        That being said, I am not attacking anything you say just the way you go about it. I suggest you go back and read all your posts and think about if you would use the same language and tone in person in front of your peers. Or better yet, if you have children, imagine your reaction if you heard your child speak that way to someone else. Not so pretty is it? Is it not possible get your point across without being so inflammatory and acerbic?

        Come out of the darkness and stop being a troll. Really, it’s safe in the light of public scrutiny if you are honorable.

          • Pay Brett no attention, he’s just a tad upset that he spent all of that time & money sitting for the MS and now he’s earning less money than Scrooge payed Bob Cratchit. That’s the thing with these MS’s, they can (and do) go on about acidity levels of Gruner veltliner, silex subsoils and such, buy not one of them can sell. Brett, I sell more wine to TPS in a month than you sell to your entire account base in a whole year. I can sell wine, and do so. Hear that sound? That’s the sound of coin in my pocket me boy, and there’s a lot of it too. How long before you become yet another over educated ‘private consultant’?

            You do know that all of those MW’s look down their long noses at you, right? Clive Coates, Michael Broadbent and Serena Sutcliffe are all laughing at you.

  • CincyCapell,
    Apparently you love a good conspiracy theory because according to you there are at least 12 of these people parading as Martin. Get a grip and realise most people have more important things to do with their time than you do!!!!! Bitter Betty smile before you eat your sour grapes.

    • Obviously F&B doesn’t have anything better to do. Before I eat those grapes and give you a “Bitter Betty smile”, whatever the fuck that means, how ’bout you tell all of us how a person starves to death from a curry overdose? I’m in earnest, I would really like to understand the meaning of one of your non sequitur harangues.

    • Marty is in fact a “Food & Beverage Lifer”. Really. He’s been eating & drinking his whole life. When it comes to the restaurant biz? Not so much. Marty is more gourmand than gourmet.

  • First off I’m not Martin. I wish I knew who CincyCapell really was so I could choose not to do business with them because they are such a huge dick. Hopefully the moderator will block their future posts. The CincyCapell deathwatch is on!

  • Uh-oh, Polly Campbell just posted her review at….all you haters better hurry up and get over there with your rude and snarky comments, you don’t want to be late! 😉

  • Brett I do not know you but do not take BITTER BETTY to serious. She obviously likes to impress all with her vast vocabulary yet loses control and drops the F bomb like an angry streetwalker. She is just jealous of your credentials and having one of the most refined beverage palates in the world. P.S. Mac I did some research and found out that the original examiners for the MS exam were all MW’s and Serena along with many others have covered the exam and title with the honor and respect it deserves. Choke on your over oaked PH driven dreck Mack!!!

    • Oh Brett, your lack of humility is hi-larious! If you could have passed the MW you would have sat for it. But you can’t, can you? You settled for 2nd best. Your palate may be fine, even ONE OF THE BESTEST IN TEH WORLDS! but you still can’t sell to save your life. That’s why the guy’s with the biggest corkscrews get the biggest accounts, and my screwpull is a hell of a lot bigger than yours. You can’t even afford to buy the wines that you sell! Thank goodness for squandered samples, eh? Have fun kissing Marty’s fat ass. I hope that you enjoy the taste that it leaves in your mouth. At least Schildknecht landed that cushy gig with Parker. You don’t even have that going for yourself. “Independent Wine Consultant” is your future. and poverty. Here’s the real gulling part: you are going to see me within the next week and you won’t even know who I am. But I’ll be laughing at you Brett. look for the smirking salesman. I’m off for another Calvados.

      Thanks for revealing your identity, sucker.

    • Oh Brett, your lack of humility is hi-larious! If you could have passed the MW you would have sat for it. But you can’t, can you? You settled for 2nd best. Your palate may be fine, even ONE OF TEH BESTEST IN TEH WORLDS! but you still can’t sell to save your life. That’s why the guy’s with the biggest corkscrews get the biggest accounts, and my screwpull is a hell of a lot bigger than yours. You can’t even afford to buy the wines that you sell! Thank goodness for squandered samples, eh? Have fun kissing Marty’s fat ass. I hope that you enjoy the taste that it leaves in your mouth. At least Schildknecht landed that cushy gig with Parker. You don’t even have that going for yourself. “Independent Wine Consultant” is your future. and poverty. Here’s the real gulling part: you are going to see me within the next week and you won’t even know who I am. But I’ll be laughing at you Brett. look for the smirking salesman. I’m off for another Calvados.

      Thanks for revealing your identity, sucker.

  • Come on Higgins another fake name based on Magnum PI. You probaly do not even know what Calavados is just like you really have no idea who you are as a person or sudo-professional(lost in space). I am guessing you could not taste your way out of a wet paper bag and any time you wish I have a thousand dollars on myself to crush you in a professional tasting ( and I do not even drink). I would even bet that cash on Brett and have never even met him but at least he has the sack to post as himself….. Mr Higgiless Vag+na

  • You caught me. I just randomly made up the word ‘calvados’. Guess it’s lucky for me that it happened to actually be something real!!

    What? Go head to head with TEH BESTEST PALATE IN TEH WORLDS?? Oh heavens no, I would have to bow to your bestest palate, oh wise Wine Stewart!! No Brett, how about a sell off. One day. Let’s see who sells more wine. I’ll even give you a handicap; For myself I will only count bottles that wholesale for more than $30. You can sell two buck chuck if you want. Hell, we can have a sell off with just category; cru classé Bordeaux; classified Burgundy; Oregon Pinot; Northern Rhone; etc etc etc. You name it, Wine Stewart, I’ll wipe the floor with you.

    And was “sudo-professional” supposed to mean ‘pseudoprofessional’ per chance? Can’t the Wine Stewart With TEH BESTEST PALATE IN TEH WORLDS spell??

    Your a buffoon Brett.

  • Julie is right paddy Mac what’s your name go sell and stir up your wine angst elswhere. P.S. my name is not Brett. He uses his real name and I only use one screen name unlike you who must hide in the shadows…..Must be SHY.

  • I guess I’m late to this party. Here’s the thing – Julie is obviously free to comment on and blog about whatever she likes. I take exception with what I believe to be irresponsible restaurant reviewing. This may not be so important when she’s reviewing a place like Five Guys or Fatburger, which I think she’s pretty good at. But, when one is reviewing fine or semi-fine dining restauarant, at least two visits should be made to the restaurant prior to a review being published. Now, I know. Julie isn’t a paid reviewer. I get that. But as a local blogger with a decent readership, it seems important to be sure you are posting an accurate and relatively fair review.

    Also, given Julie’s unabashed (and well placed) admiration for Jean Robert, it seems it would be hard for her to write an unbiased review of a Wade restaurant. She is only human.

    The blogging world is small. Julie likes to be inflammatory. Sometimes that works, sometimes it does not. The blogoshphere is much larger than this city – as we all found out at BlogHer this summer.

    • I am hardly inflammatory– but I do speak my mind. That’s why I have a blog. That said, I disclosed that I had only been there once, called it “First Impressions”, and promised to return again. Though the review was not glowing, I liked quite a few things about both the service and the food. If you have issue with this, you might also check out the Enquirer’s “First Impressions”-style review. Polly Campbell is doing the same thing I did– try it out, see what the buzz is about, and return for another review later.

      I am well aware that the blogosphere extends outside Cincinnati. Thank goodness.

  • that’s hilarious. mary certainly has no dog in this race. but i stand by my assertion. if you follow any of the well known food writers/critics, professionalism dictates that more than one visit be made to a restaurant prior to reviewing. granted, these folks are usually on a payroll, which WMDM is not. however, check the work of ruth reichl, bryan miller, read MFK fisher. one needs to have a broad and well balanced approach. and when one walks in, spends sn evening, and writes a review, it is unbalanced. it could be a bad day at work, a fight with the boyfriend, a deadline that wasn’t met. it could be as server who has family issues, a bar tender who can’t make the rent, or a sous chef who had a bad day. we’re all human. i’m afraid julie gives off the vibe of sharpening that pen to see what kind of impact she can make.

    regardless, give a place a chance. don’t review the fast-ish food places. review local, non chains. but be aware of the following you have and use that power wisely. it’s heady stuff. you’re young. do it well. be wise.

    • Mary I’ll assert that Julie’s voice here is one that is trusted by many – whether she has dined at an establishment one or one-hundred times, she is usually spot on and generally when she says she likes something (or dislikes something as the case may be), I can trust that I will most likely have the same response.

      Consumers (Julie’s audience by the way) don’t take into consideration trouble with boyfriends or bad nights – especially when they are paying top dollar. I have a terrible experience at Micky D’s, it is likely that their mega-corporation is bound to see me again. I have a terrible experience when I’m paying a substantial portion of my weekly salary for said experience, they are not likely to see me again.

      And it should be stated here that Consumers are not looking for fine dining at every turn, that is why I appreciate that Julie goes to all the offerings Cincinnati has as that is HOW MOST OF US EAT. Mary being the possible exception here I guess.

      Whether you agree or disagree with her methodology is irrelevant to me as 1) a consumer in the Cincinnati market and 2) as a longtime reader of Julie’s reviews. I need not check the myriad reviewers you list here, though I appreciate the vast name dropping. I still choose Julie – her reviews, her voice and her ways.

      Perhaps all this is just too heady for little old me?

  • Did anyone notice that the name of the article had the term “first impressions” in it? How can you report on your first impressions after a second visit? I never read this as Julie’s definitive-and-for-all-time review of Local 127. I think my clue was that the text of the post actually included the words

    “I will revisit– again, I don’t think it’s fair to write the restaurant off on one visit so early in its existence. I do hope that, since they say they really care about what their customers think, they will take the feedback they get into consideration and make improvements.” (My emphasis)

    I think I’m going to write a comment plug-in that requires one to pass a short reading-and-comprehension test prior to leaving a comment.
    .-= Tom Streeter´s last blog ..Joe Sixpack: A better grasp of beer through chemistry | Philadelphia Daily News | 09/25/2009 =-.

  • Some pretty strange postings in response to Julie’s great initial review. I find it, as usual, honest and unpretentious.
    As for some of these troll type and off topic postings. Get your own blog. And use your own name–aren’t you proud enough of what you say to claim it?
    Good going, Julie.

  • Wow Julie, I just read this for the first time and I find it to be rather fair. You call a spade a spade. If you liked something you praised it, if something fell flat you said so. How in the world is that “inflammatory”? People are nuts.

    I once reviewed Bronte Bistro and gave it a rather poor yet humorous review. I was flamed by a worker there. It was kind of funny, because her anger was indicative of the attitude I got at the place.

    Anyway, great review. I will possibly try this place one day, but now that J-R is opening something new I will hopefully go there first!!

  • I have followed this story for awhile and frankly have been amazed by it. A restaurant review is one thing, the personal attacks are very odd. Some nights are good, some nights are different, and some nights at a restaurant are bad and off. Making this so personal does not promote downtown Cincinnati and making restaurants provide better and better food and service.

    I used to be a frequent visitor of Cincinnati and now am a visitor only on occasion. I must say that I very much look forward to visting again and especially visiting this new restaurant. I will spend and enjoy. I am grateful that it is there and look forward to the dishes to dream about.

    I have known M&M Wade and Jean Robert. The funny thing to me in this whole string of ranting is that those of us who live elsewhere, but come in and out of your beautiful sweet city, are amazed that folks get all hyped up in the stories, that they don’t really know and can’t really appreciate the complicated efforts and stories behind the food on the dish and drink in front of each of us.

    The Cincinnati area is so fortunate to have what it has, especially in the hotel/motel industry, and it would be nice if you could do all you can to encourage them to continue in whatever endeavor they are interested in rather than continue in an attitude of “who is to blame.”

    Jean Robert is incredible with food and is an excellent chef, but at the same time has a huge personality and ego, and is terrible at running a restaurant and any other business, because, sorry, but they need to turn a profit and be accountable for the bottom line. He focuses on being an artist, not breaking even or a bottom line. I work in the hotel/motel industry and it is not a “subsidized” industry or a “bail-out” industry. He is very talented and known is certain circles, but it is better that he works for an organization that can pay him a steady paycheck for being an artist, rather than a business man.

    I would suspect that M&M sunk millions into a vision, with JR being at the mast head as an artist, in the belief that it would eventually do well, ie., help stabilize the inner city and maybe, maybe, turn a profit. I would imagine that they “ate” the losses no matter what the bloggers say. I wish the city that I live in had anyone, who would sink millions to subsidize food artists, or any other artists, for that matter, so that the inner city could be stabilized and provide a thriving destination.

    I have eaten at all the M&M restaurants over the years, as well as many others in the Cincinnati area; I have eaten not only the JR menus, but the other chefs in the group. One of the best nights of my family life has been with JR and with his menu. It was gorgeous, sweet and fun. Other best nights were spent at other local restaurants…..As sentimental as that may be, I know that JR/M&M restaurant took a loss on my family those nights. It may only be food. It may only be a place in time. Yet, it is a gift.

    I look forward to eating (and drinking) at this new restaurant and all the others that Cincinnati has to offer in the downtown area when I visit next. These places are the spark, the vibrancy and the glue that keeps the downtown from slipping further in these difficult times. Lets celebrate and participate in them all!

  • I for one have been to 3, only 3, of the Wade’s restaurants. The food I absolutely loved, the atmosphere in one and only one, I did not care for. The Master Sommelier, Mr. Smith, sounds like someone that I would not enjoy speaking with, let alone getting possible pretentious advice about wine. I for one, don’t care for that type of behavior and I hope that as a rule of thumb, this person does not do this as a habit. I know a little bit about the Chef and some of the history in the restaurants, not a pundit, but do know enough to know that “LiveFarAwayVisitOften” is correct. Being a fabulous chef which to me, IS an artist, and running a successful restaurant are 2 dif’t things. Martin and Marilyn Wade aren’t in this business to subsidize Mr. Robert’s lifestyle and career. They are there to make money. They took MAJOR hits in the pants for several years and worked extremely hard to make it work. It didn’t and wasn’t. It’s that simple. I would love to see how many of you guys would continue to subsidize someone else’s career while you were taking a financial loss. It’s called business. Mr. Robert’s is a professional and truly gifted food artist. Let’s watch him start another restaurant on his own, in Cinci and make it thrive on his own with his own financial backing. Then if he doesn’t make the ink black, well then he can continue to foot his own bill if that’s what he chooses. But the Wade’s action was business, as every decision should be. I’d love to be on someone’s payroll even though the company’s not making a profit. Wait, capitalism doesn’t work that way, I forgot.

    This isn’t rocket science people. Don’t try to make more of it than it is.

  • Unlike Julie, I can never, ever, frequent a Wade-own establishment. As for the Wades taking “huge hits” on Jean-Robert’s “lifesytle” and “ego” you need only read the court documents suing the Wades for illegally taking tip money and redistributing it. It’s class-action now in Federal court. Also, in 2008, Pigall’s lost only $4000 for the WHOLE YEAR as the tax returns indicate, not the huge sums that Wade initially claim. Before you believe Wade, check the facts.

    JR may have a huge ego, I don’t happen to think so. Is he talented? Yes, immensely. But there are dozens of people who know how Wade operates, and it’s not a pretty sight. The chefs and staff who work for the Wades are probably good and talented, but it is really too bad that they are working for a known crook.

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