Cincinnati EATS: Lavomatic

The first Cincinnati EATS appeared to be a great success– a ton of people, all happily munching on Chef Joanne Drilling’s food at Lavomatic. Our friends Ted and Tracy joined us, where we met up with Vudutu and his lovely significant other Donna as well as Jean-François Flechet (the Taste From Belgium guy). We were a darn lively table.

A couple of issues– I don’t think Lavo is quite set up for this many people all eating at once, but it was a pretty good try. The menu was chilled cucumber dill soup, chicken, and a pavlova.

The chilled cucumber soup was creamy, with plenty of dill. It wasn’t low fat by any means– I could taste the heavy cream– but it was perfect for the steamy day we had last Tuesday. This was my favorite part of the meal, but I am very partial to chilled soups.

We’re going to pretend that picture is in focus, okay? The chicken was a great idea– lots of zucchini, roasted tomatoes, and garlic– but the final product was not so great. It was a bit dry and needed some more sauce for both flavor and moisture. This was where you really noticed that the kitchen wasn’t used to turning out 100 chicken breasts at the same time. It was obviously high quality chicken, but even really good chicken won’t hold up well to overcooking. Definitely an A for effort, and I expect that if I tried this on a regular evening, it would be fine.

And now we have one of my favorite desserts that, sadly, won’t be available much longer: pistachio pavlova with strawberries and citrus curd. The curd was perfectly sweet, yet tart, and the pistachio meringue was crispy and just a tiny bit chewy– probably from the humidity. Meringue doesn’t do very well with humidity, thus we won’t see this on Lavomatic’s menu until next spring. The salty-sweet combination is always a favorite in my book.

In all, I really can’t wait to see what Cincinnati EATS comes up with for their next get-together. For $36, this really can’t be beat.