The Precinct is definitely one of the more "fine dining" restaurants I've been to. I have only gone now two times, but both experiences have been fantastic. My husband and I went for our anniversary this year, so we really have just gone on special occasions. If you are not familiar, The Precinct is one of Jeff Ruby's 5 restaurants in the Cincinnati area and his restaurants are most famous for their fabulous steaks. The only other Jeff Ruby restaurant I have been to is Walnut Street Grille, which I thought was just okay.
My husband had made reservations, but I am not sure if they are required. We went on a Monday night, and it wasn't packed but there were plenty of tables occupied throughout our meal. There is valet parking in the lot, which you almost have to do. I really don't know where else you would park, but it is very reasonable, I think $3.
The restaurant is housed in what looks like an old Victorian style house. When you walk into the restaurant, you enter a little lobby-like area that has a small bar, one or two tables and the hostess stand which is surrounded by 8x11 pictures of Jeff Ruby with famous celebrities on the wall. We enjoyed checking out some of the photos. Our hostess sat us in the first room on the left when you walk into the restaurant which is very cozy, dimly lit, with a wall of mirrors on one side. It is inviting without being too pretentious. This is the only place I have sat, so I'm not sure about the seating/rooms in the rest of the restaurant.
My husband and I started off with a bottle of Zinfandel (his favorite) and looked over the menu. We didn't really need to look very long though because we both got the same things as we did the last time we went because we liked them so much. I ordered the Steak Collinsworth which is a filet with king crab, asparagus, and two sauces. This is served with your choice of a Greek salad or Freddie salad and your choice of baked potato or mashed potatoes. I decided to get the Greek salad since Ross was getting the Freddie. He ordered the Oscar Robertson which is a New York Sirloin with the Collinsworth topping. We also ordered a side of mac n' cheese because it is phenomenal.
Before our salads came some warm bread served with two different butters. The bread was good...pretty standard bread, but I was glad it was nice and soft. Our salads came out promptly and were great! The Greek Salad is a classic Greek served with Romaine, red onion, Kalamata olives, feta, and tomatoes. Everything was very fresh and the dressing was light and a great compliment to the salad. I don't normally like olives, but I did try one of these and thought they were pretty good.
The Freddie is Romaine, tomatoes, bacon, and ranch dressing. It sounds simple, but it is a really great combination of ingredients here. Everything is tossed together nicely and just the right amount of ingredients. A nice salad.
Next, our entrees arrived. I had ordered my steak medium to medium rare, and Ross did the same. Everything looked and smelled delicious. The two sauces together with the crab and asparagus and a bit of the filet is heaven in my mouth! It really just melts away to a great mixture of flavors. I absolutely love this meal. My one disappointment: the steak was more medium to medium well on about 1/3 of the steak. That was a bit disappointing because the other part was soooo perfectly cooked. (I should note the last time I went, it was perfectly cooked). The mashed potatoes (not pictured) were just okay. I really didn't eat very much of them because of everything else. and they weren't anything special, pretty plain actually.
The mac n' cheese: Awesome. How can you go wrong with 6 imported cheeses baked with a crust of bread crumbs on top?? I loved it!
Needless to say, we were absolutely stuffed by the end of our meal. Our server, who was spot on the entire night, offered a free dessert to celebrate our anniversary. I couldn't eat anymore! So, she packed a cheesecake to go for me! I ate it the next day, and didn't think it was anything special. I wouldn't get the cheesecake again.
All in all, I think the Precinct is a great restaurant to go to for a special occasion. It is pricey, but it is definitely one of the best meals I have had. The service is awesome, great timing and not in your face too much. We will most likely come again for another special night :)
Overall Experience: 5 (It was my anniversary after all!)