Took my wife out for a Valentine's Day dinner last night. Was our first time at Jimmy G's in Cincinnati (435 Elm St.). Cannot recommend this place enough. It is located in the basement of a downtown building, and has an interesting decor. Apparently, the place once was an Asian resto, and there are still some touches from its previous incarnation visible. But the two main reasons anyone goes to, and more importantly, decides to go back to, a restaurant- service and the food, were fantastic. I had made the reservations a couple of weeks ago and received a phone call to confirm the reservation during the afternoon a few hours before our reserved time. The hostesses took our coats on arrival and had us seated immediately.
Be forewarned: there is valet parking (for $8), but it is pretty hard to see where the valet stand is and it is easy to miss it. We ended up parking in a garage about a block and a half away, which was fine to walk distance-wise, but it was bitterly cold. The fact that Cincinnati's "Beerfest" was also last night right nearby did not help the parking scene. But this is a minor gripe.
Our server was Michael, and every time we go back I will ask for him. He was attentive but not hovering, very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. We always seemed to have a server fill our water glasses or our wine just at the perfect time, and we never felt rushed, nor did we ever feel ignored.
We split a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir which was fantastic. The wine list is excellent and there was a full well-stocked bar on the premises which also looked to have plenty of seating. There is a gorgeous wine room as you come down the stairs to the place.
The menu is varied but not overwhelming. My wife had the carpaccio appetizer with a poached duck egg, lardo, and a shaved onion/mushroom combination on the side which was incredible. The plate came with several pieces of toasted bread to mop up the egg. This plate was amazing, and the combination of the thin beef with the duck egg was beyond words. I had the "Arm and a Leg" appetizer: grilled marinated octopus with a hint of chorizo. Anytime I can have octopus without it being chewy is great, and Jimmy G's did not disappoint. The chorizo was understated but present.
We were offered bread, but skipped it. It did not seem like a lot of other patrons had it as well. Given how good the food was, and the portion size, that's not a surprise.
My entree was a NY Strip done medium-rare, and it was one of the best steaks I've ever had. Melted in my mouth. My wife had last night's special of striped bass with a lobster-based sauce and sliced brussel sprouts. It was also fantastic. We shared a mashed potato side dish with cheese and creme freche in them that was to die for- the potatoes had to be twirled and cut like fresh mozzerella from the cheese!
For dessert, we shared a dish that came presented as two tacos, with ice cream, basil snips, and white chocolate shavings as the filling. That, and a Bailey's and coffee, and I was pronounced done, but not uncomfortably stuffed.
There were plenty of other menu items. Check their website (http://www.jimmy-gs.com/) for other offerings. Make sure you check this place out- you will not be disappointed!