I recently went to dinner with a good friend at the Chart House on Riverboat Row in Newport. It was a beautiful Saturday evening, so we decided to sit outside, which was definitely a good choice! The view of downtown Cincinnati is great...even if the Ohio River is not the most beautiful sight. It was fun to watch the boaters and to look out at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse.
We were torn between two appetizers, so we decided to order both! Why not?! We went with the jumbo shrimp cocktail and the East Meets West Tuna, which is what I was leaning towards. Both were good choices....although the tuna definitely proved to be the better choice, in my humble opinion. The shrimp cocktail was pretty standard, although their homemade cocktail sauce did stand out because it had a nice kick to it from the horseradish. Also, the presentation was cool. You can barely see it in the photo, but they served it over dry ice so you can kind of see the mist coming out from the bottom. Obviously better in person!
The East Meets West Tuna was next up, and as I said before, it was great! It came two different ways...tuna tartar with wasabi cream and seared ahi tuna with avocado and kim chee slaw. Both were served with plantain chips, which I was expecting to taste like bananas. Way wrong! They were very plain, a little sweet, yet a little salty. Both options were so good, although I preferred the ahi tuna with the delicious and crunchy kim chee slaw. I'd highly recommend this dish to anyone!
For my entree, I chose to get the Filet Mignon. I know that Chart House is well known for it's fresh seafood, but I was really craving steak...and I was leaving for a beach vacation the next day where I could get even fresher (is that a word?) seafood. The filet was an okay choice....but the garlic potatoes it came with were an excellent choice. I ordered the filet to be cooked medium, and it came out more medium well. This is becoming a pattern with me! I should stop ordering filets from places that aren't really good steakhouses (Jeff Ruby's and Morton's always get it right). It was seasoned very well, which sort of made up for the fact that it was a little overcooked. The mashed potatoes were great; they had little chunks of potatoes in them and just the right amount of garlic.
For his entree, my friend ordered the Best of Shrimp. He's obsessed with shrimp, so this was the obvious choice for him! The dish includes shrimp done three ways: crab-stuffed shrimp, shrimp scampi and coconut crunchy shrimp. The shrimp scampi was just okay. They put a drizzle of the white wine butter sauce over the shrimp itself, so the surrounding pasta was basically plain. It would have been much better with more sauce. Shown in the middle of the photo was the crab-stuffed shrimp. I didn't try this, but my friend said it was really good. It seemed like there was a generous amount of crab, which I'm sure he enjoyed. Last up was the coconut crusted shrimp. This was pretty standard fried shrimp, but I really liked it. It came with a sweet plum sauce.
My friend ordered a cup of the lobster bisque, which the server forgot to bring out between our appetizers and our entrees, so it was brought out after our entree. The bisque was very good....although not as thick as I expected for a bisque. The best part was the large pieces of lobster - they definitely gave us a generous amount and it was fresh and delicious.
I do want to mention our service because it was not the greatest. We actually had to stand up and find our server a couple times. I ordered a glass of wine, which took forever to be brought to the table. The soup came out as an after-thought. When we needed refills, she was no where to be found. I dropped my fork on the ground and tried getting her attention multiple times with no luck. I had to go find another worker to get me a new one. There were a few other things that happened but can't remember....but I do remember that I was not impressed. The Chart House is not cheap at all, so I would have definitely expected better service.
Luckily I was with good company and enjoyed most of the food, so I didn't let the service ruin my experience. Overall, it was still a good time and we really enjoyed the view and cool breeze on the patio.