Yes, occasionally, the Boyfriend and I head out to the suburbs. I have a fondness for Olde Montgomery. It’s walkable, has great restaurants and shops, and has been continuously improving itself over the past few years. I had heard from several people that Stone Creek was a good choice for the area. I was expecting mediocre fare, but was pleasantly surprised.
Stone Creek is a very small chain (fewer than 5 locations) out of Indianapolis, which has two locations in Cincinnati: Montgomery and in the former Mesh location in West Chester. It’s hard to really describe the genre of this restaurant except “American”– lots of steaks, pork chops, chicken, and other American favorites.
One thing that is definite? This place is efficient. We had reservations at 8:30 and were out by 9:30. We never felt rushed, but the service was incredibly prompt. If you’re trying to arrive on time for an event, this is the place to go to dinner beforehand.
To drink, we perused their beer list– it was quite extensive! Terry grabbed a Sam Adams seasonal, and I had one of my favorites– Chimay Blue. I don’t see that available too many places, so I figured I should grab it while I could.
The food is nice too. The fare isn’t experimental– but it is competent. We started out with a spinach and artichoke dip, which was obviously made in-house: nice chunks of artichoke, broiled so that the parmesan on top got a little crispy, and accompanied by some freshly toasted, garlicky bread. It was a little heavy (it’s cheese-based, after all) but tasty.
Each of our dishes came with a salad, which in itself was somewhat unimpressive (romaine, iceberg, and some chopped up vegetables) but the salad dressings were homemade and quite good. Terry got a homemade blue cheese (with large chunks of blue cheese) and I got their blackberry balsamic vinaigrette, which was a little sweet, a little tart, and quite good. We were also serve some freshly baked cheese-covered bread, which was good, but seemed a bit dated– it’s the kind of bread I remember eating in restaurants with my parents as a kid, and haven’t seen in a while– is it coming back? Instead of butter, they served it with what I figured out was their sun-dried tomato salad dressing, which was a nice change of pace.
I selected the short ribs as an entree– not knowing how large the portions would be! The dish could easily feed two (maybe 3!), and I had an entire box of leftovers to take home. The short ribs, which were incredibly tender, in one of the better demi-glace based sauces I’ve had in a while, were served over a very nicely seasoned risotto cake, rich with Parmesan, but not really cakelike– more like plain risotto. This is not a bad thing (good risotto is good risotto) but not exactly what was mentioned on the menu. That said, I’d order it again (but probably split the entree).
Terry chose the “Pick Two”, where you can choose two portions of protein (steak, chicken, ribs, crab cakes are all among the choices) along with a baked potato and vegetables. He went with the New York Strip, topped with herbed butter, and seared scallops. The steak– cooked rare, as ordered– was nicely prepared, and the scallops were tender. Again, this was a gargantuan portion– but not so gargantuan that we sacrificed quality for quantity.
We skipped dessert– no room– though I saw a few enormous slices of pie glide by on a server’s tray. This is the kind of place you could go for a family outing– I’m sure they were packed for Father’s Day– as the food is good, the menu has something for everyone (“healthy choices”, which I will try next time, as well as vegetarian offerings are included) and the price is reasonable, no more than $24 per entree, and enoug for a couple to share or for plenty of lunch the next day. The service was friendly and extremely efficient. It’s a great experience– one that will bring me out to Montgomery, or their new location in West Chester, again soon.