Patrons say cafe like being in Paris

Patrons say cafe like being in Paris

There are 27 comments on the The Cincinnati Enquirer story from Jun 22, 2006, titled Patrons say cafe like being in Paris. In it, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that:

COVINGTON - Jean-Robert's Greenup Cafe drew people from across Greater Cincinnati for its opening Wednesday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Unknown

Dayton, OH

#1 Jun 27, 2006
Our experience at Greenup was a disappointment.

First, the good part. The little garden at the back of the building was a peaceful place to have our breakfast. I can imagine it will get even nicer once the plants have a chance to grow more. We'd have loved to eat in the colorful dining room out front but it was closed for a private function.

New places have teething problems. That's perfectly understandable. However, we were served by three ladies who seemed flustered by simple things like printing a receipt. Some customers were told that all purchases were take-out only, others were told that ok, they could go out back and have their breakfasts there. There was an array of tarts in the display case. When I asked if the fruit tarts were all filled with pastry cream or if they contained another cream (a sign mentioned mascarpone), I think I annoyed the woman across the counter who looked at me in a perplexed way, saying, "What do you want to know? It's a custard." She did not give us the impression that she knew much about the products, referring to the Amandine Tart as a tart "with almonds and sugar". She also didn't seem very cordial. I didn't pursue it further.

I had high hopes for the breakfast pastries but was sorely disappointed by the croissant, chocolate croissant and the pain raisin. The dough was chewy and tasteless, not buttery and flaky as I had hoped. However,I was very happy with the Dried Cranberry Scone. It was buttery and very tasty. We also tried a Raspberry Tart (one of those with a 'custard'). The overall taste was fine but the crust was unbelievably hard. Maybe that's what keeps it from going too soggy with the custard, but boy, it was hard.

I think the design of the place seemed a little awkward. The little room facing the main road, which would have been perfect for the display of pastries and sales counter, serves the purpose of a dining area. The main entrance is actually on the side of the building, not too visible from the front.

Given Jean-Robert's reputation and connections, I think his new venture will take off and be a success. This is more so in light of his plans to serve lunch and dinner soon. However, I would put more care in training his current staff to make sure they know how to perform the basic functions of running the place and answering simple product questions. We were a little put off by the slow and unsure service, the other customers who were there seemed annoyed too. Also, taste some of the pastries, Jean-Robert.
disappointed customer

Dayton, OH

#2 Jun 27, 2006
I would like to focus on their chocolate croissants. I've lived in Europe and have pigged out on chocolate croissants in dozens of the most renowned bakeries in Paris, Brussels and Switzerland. With few exceptions, it is difficult to find good quality croissants and chocolate croissants in the United States, and I have searched in at least a dozen states. I say this explicitly to put my criticism in perspective right from the start. Nevertheless, since Jean-Robert is French, I would hope that his standards are at least as high as mine. That way, I have a place here to satisfy my cravings for chocolate croissants. Unfortunately, this is far from the case.

First, the texture was more like that of bread. A true croissant is light and flaky. However, I have had bready chocolate croissants which still have a pleasant taste to them. This is fine, though technically it's better to call this chocolate bread rather than chocolate croissants. An example of this is Maggee's in Lexington, Kentucky.

However, the croissants (aka bread) at the Greenup lacked good taste as well. They seemed oily rather than buttery. If they do use real butter, it simply doesn't show. It seemed (though I'm not 100% sure) that they took the easier route of using chocolate paste rather than two bars of good-quality chocolate (in my experience, the best chocolate croissants have two small bars of chocolate. cheaper croissants have only one. the lowest-ranking croissants use chocolate paste.). Even so, there was too little chocolate. I would have preferred more, in order to hide the oily taste.

Overall, I rate these chocolate croissants a 4 out of 10. To better define the scale, Au Bon Pain chocolate croissants are 5 out of 10 and Magee's are 6.5 out of 10. I have found a few places in the states which are 9 out of 10 (in NYC, for example), and several places in northern Europe which are 10 out of 10.
Critic

Cincinnati, OH

#3 Jun 29, 2006
I loved it there. 9.5/10 on all counts.
Betting on improvement

Cincinnati, OH

#4 Jul 14, 2006
Went for breakfast July 8th after calling on 7th to be sure that they would be serving breakfast. Arrived to find they were serving pastry and coffee. Excellent stick bun. Coffee eclair was almost certainly a day old with very wet bottom.

Service was shaky at best. Waited for service and long waits for coffee refils.

If this was not a Jean-Robert restaurant I would not return. He can and I think will do better.
Mary

Louisville, KY

#5 Aug 4, 2006
I live in the neighborhood and would love to frequent the place, but thus far the service has just been too lousy. Today I sat in the front room for nearly 10 minutes and finally had to go ask for someone to wait on me. There was only one other couple there! I was then told that I could't order anything because it was 10 minutes before lunch. He didn't even asked if I wanted breakfast, he just assumed. I was so frustrated that I just left. I want this place to do well, but until their service improves I won't be dining there.
Bee

Cincinnati, OH

#6 Aug 6, 2006
After reading other comments we were hesitant about what to expect but decided to go and make our own evaluation. However, we found the other comments to be quite accurate.

Of note, the morning we visited the Cafe it was their first day offering an extended brunch menu. That being said, we were glad we brought the sunday paper as the service was very slow. It took approximately an hour to get our food. While I expect growing pains initially, even the coffee cups were not kept filled.

I ordered the puff pastry stuffed with eggs and goetta and topped with an overly sweet hollandaise sauce. It was average but filling. The other entree was an asparagus and mushroom omellete with salmon and a creme fraiche sauce. It was accompanied with potatoes and a side salad. We actually forgot there
was salmon until halfway through the meal when we ran across the first hint of salmon. The potatoes were excellent as was the salad, although we thought it was an unusal pairing with a breakfast dish.

We dined in the back courtyard which was relaxing and beautifully appointed. Overall, there is work to be done on the service and quality of food but I will definitely go back for another visit.
Tim

Kenton, KY

#7 Aug 7, 2006
I just ate at the Greenup Cafe. My experience was awsome. The food was perfect, not to heavy, and served with efficiancy and grace. It is too bad that most of you could not have the same, but the other diners there shared my sentiments. Are we all talking about the same restaurant?
MJS

Evansville, IN

#8 Aug 29, 2006
I have been to the cafe twice and both times it was a disaster. Service was slow once they noticed you were even there and then not so friendly service. A table next to us had two groups leave since both waited over 10 minutes and did not receive any service. The croissants/scones were not anything special and I make better coffee at home. The one time we were there at 12:00n on a Sunday they did not have any breakfast items(except for the pastries)left and were serving random items from the lunch menu. Overall unless things drastically change we will not be returning anytime soon. Thought the experience would be a great neighborhood cafe with fabulous breakfast, patries, coffee etc. however, it didn't even come close to meeing my expectations. As a side note I've talked to several other people that have had the same experience. It doesn't seem that many people are interested in returning. With the reputation that Jean-Robert has I hope he listens and makes changes soon!
nobody

Bowling Green, KY

#9 Sep 6, 2006
you seem to be the only one complaining ever think about moving?? quit your bitchin.. you prolly need to be on a diet anyway
disappointed customer wrote:
I would like to focus on their chocolate croissants. I've lived in Europe and have pigged out on chocolate croissants in dozens of the most renowned bakeries in Paris, Brussels and Switzerland. With few exceptions, it is difficult to find good quality croissants and chocolate croissants in the United States, and I have searched in at least a dozen states. I say this explicitly to put my criticism in perspective right from the start. Nevertheless, since Jean-Robert is French, I would hope that his standards are at least as high as mine. That way, I have a place here to satisfy my cravings for chocolate croissants. Unfortunately, this is far from the case.
First, the texture was more like that of bread. A true croissant is light and flaky. However, I have had bready chocolate croissants which still have a pleasant taste to them. This is fine, though technically it's better to call this chocolate bread rather than chocolate croissants. An example of this is Maggee's in Lexington, Kentucky.
However, the croissants (aka bread) at the Greenup lacked good taste as well. They seemed oily rather than buttery. If they do use real butter, it simply doesn't show. It seemed (though I'm not 100% sure) that they took the easier route of using chocolate paste rather than two bars of good-quality chocolate (in my experience, the best chocolate croissants have two small bars of chocolate. cheaper croissants have only one. the lowest-ranking croissants use chocolate paste.). Even so, there was too little chocolate. I would have preferred more, in order to hide the oily taste.
Overall, I rate these chocolate croissants a 4 out of 10. To better define the scale, Au Bon Pain chocolate croissants are 5 out of 10 and Magee's are 6.5 out of 10. I have found a few places in the states which are 9 out of 10 (in NYC, for example), and several places in northern Europe which are 10 out of 10.
Huey

Cockfosters, UK

#10 Sep 7, 2006
I always thought Sardinia was in Europe! Italy to be precise, look : http://www.holidayhomesinitaly.co.uk/smx/area...
steve

United States

#11 Sep 17, 2006
I haven't been there but the service sounds very French !
disappointed customer

Enid, OK

#12 Jan 1, 2007
This is in response to the posting of "nobody" back in September, who wrote:

"you seem to be the only one complaining ever think about moving?? quit your bitchin.. you prolly need to be on a diet anyway"

I'm clearly not the only one complaining, if you bothered to read other reviews you would see that.
I gave an honest review-- with no personal malice, unlike you. I'm open to people who disagree but I find your comments rude and irrelevant, seeing as you don't even know me.
unknown

Enid, OK

#13 Jan 2, 2007
I'm curious to know if the service (and food) at the cafe is any better since it opened last summer. Anyone has comments?
xxx

Fairborn, OH

#14 Jan 28, 2007
I liked the layout and the ambience of the place, particularly since I liked Wildflour that was there before.

We went a couple of weeks ago for brunch and were quite disappointed both with the service and the quality of the food. We went with high expectations after personal experiences at other Jean Robert restaurants in town as well as what we've heard from friends.
Our comments are similar to those of some of the other reviewers: the crossiants were oily, the smoked salmon was almost nonexistent in the omlette and the rest of the food was average.
Jackie

United States

#15 Apr 30, 2007
I was there around noon this past Sunday and the service has not gotten any better. A waiter came by and took our drink order but never returned. After waiting over 15 minutes, we found another waitress who told us that she had to send our waiter and another one home for the day. So she took our order. We waited for what felt like an eternity for our food while other people that arrived after us had already been served. I was told they were out of spinach, but half way through my Eggs Benedict I found spinach. Service was terribly slow and inefficient. I wanted so much to like the cafe, but I was very disappointed.
Jim Wade

Fort Thomas, KY

#17 May 28, 2007
The only Jean robert's restaurant I would recommend is Pigall.

All the others are just ok,nothing great.
I do think that jean robert is a great chef ,but not stong enough to run several restaurants.

I start to believe that he is the "Marylin and Martin wade's Puppet."

Everybody knows how they can have an influence on the media's world.It's why Jean Robert is everywhere in Cincinnati area,but no where else in the country.If he was so "great and wonderfull" as they pretend ,why he is not more often on the food channel?( I didn't see him yet by the way )

There is also in town a lot of chefs who are talented (bocca,Nicolas,orchid,the palace),let's go there guys ,let's forget about that arrogant french guy .
An Intelligent Person

Cincinnati, OH

#18 Jun 8, 2007
Jim Wade wrote:
The only Jean robert's restaurant I would recommend is Pigall.
All the others are just ok,nothing great.
I do think that jean robert is a great chef ,but not stong enough to run several restaurants.
I start to believe that he is the "Marylin and Martin wade's Puppet."
Everybody knows how they can have an influence on the media's world.It's why Jean Robert is everywhere in Cincinnati area,but no where else in the country.If he was so "great and wonderfull" as they pretend ,why he is not more often on the food channel?( I didn't see him yet by the way )
There is also in town a lot of chefs who are talented (bocca,Nicolas,orchid,the palace),let's go there guys ,let's forget about that arrogant french guy .
Wow, the new standard for a highly-rated chef is being on the food network? What a joke! Had you said anything about New York, LA, San Fran, or Chicago, or maybe Miami, Houston, Dallas, or San Diego for southern or Hispanic/Brazilian/S. American styles, you would've strengthened your argument...as such, I hope your uneducated palatte continues to enjoy Martha Stewart's best...I haven't even been to the place yet, and wanted to see what the reviews were - uneducated, great! Guess I'll have to go try it myself (as planned).
Paul Skindler

Cincinnati, OH

#19 Jun 30, 2007
I love the new Pho Paris, I love Pigalls, and Jeanro. However, these aren't restaurants for a simple night out. I like going to Greenup because unless it's a weekend there's hardly ever a wait (and even then, they do take reservations,) and my wife and I can have a nice, quiet dinner for not a lot of money. I've gotten to know the servers and there are good ones as well as bad, but it seems to me that the good ones work three times as hard to compensate for the bad ones.

I highly reccomend this place. I tried the Ruby Trout on Tuesday and loved it.
Ray

Germantown, OH

#20 Jul 1, 2007
Fellow citizens, stop wishing for a good restaurant in Cincinnati. It is just not possible. Too many mediocre establishments due well just due to demand and hopefull foodies that give them a chance then leave without leaving a comment on the food or service. Not just possible without the right chefs and servers. Go to Denny's and enjoy.
chef

West Chester, OH

#21 Jul 16, 2007
do any of you know what good food is. The funniest thing i have heard is that the croissant is like bread. You go have your over cooked steak at outback and leave the real food to people that know what they are talking about. This town is full of people that have no clue about food and should not voice there bull%$&* opinions. If it is so bad why are they doing 500 people a weekend just for brunch. Stay home and make your own food. Strait out of the box! And don't think you will get good service when your an ass to begin with.

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