Through the Garden is a classic Blue Ash restaurant, that’s been either around the corner or somewhat near at least three of the jobs I’ve had in the past ten years, but I’ve never actually gone there for lunch. I’ve had their catering before, which was (if I recall), fairly good. When I emailed my friend Brian (who works across the street from Through The Garden) for an impromptu lunch, TtG was a natural choice.
Brian got there a bit early to secure a place on the back patio, which is a very pretty feature. The inside is bright and sunny, and the outside is even sunnier– almost a bit too sunny, but I’ll be it would be excellent on a fall or spring evening.
Through the Garden has a fairly expansive menu, and has a lot of vegetarian options, and I’ve heard many good things about it from my vegetarian friends, particularly about their pastas and salads. I’ve been watching what I’m eating, so I ended up with a blackened salmon salad, which was described as served on top of “greens” with pine nuts, cranberries, and blue cheese, with a basil vinagrette that I ordered on the side. Though the salmon was good– prepared well, with a generous amount of blackening seasonings– the “bed of greens” was just chopped romaine that was a bit waterlogged. The vinaigrette wasn’t emulsified, so it needed a lot of stirring to get anything but oil, so I eventually abandoned it and just ate the salmon. I’d go back for the salmon, but can’t recommend the salad (Cincinnati Bites’ girlfriend had what sounds like the same salad and had a different experience 3 years ago, so perhaps their quality has declined).
Brian got the vegetarian lasagna, and I was offered a bite (and took it!). The seasoning was nice ,with a rich sauce, but I’d like to see more vegetables and less cheese, which overwhelms the dish. If you like cheese (a lot) this is the lasagna for you.
Service was good, particularly as there are a lot of office parks nearby with employees who frequent this restaurant, so in order to be successful, it has to be. UrbanSpoon asks if you liked a restaurant or didn’t– there’s no “middle of the road” choice. If it weren’t for the back patio, I probably wouldn’t be back.