Let’s just get the grammar snark out of the way up front. The editorial crew over here at CM was a bit plussed to discover there wasn’t an apostrophe in the name of the Phoenix’s newest debut. Personally, I was hoping the lack of punctuation mark might signal something plural, such as FDR heartily sipping scotch with Ronald Reagan while discussing the artistic merit of the WPA murals at Lunken Field (Reagan was a WPA fan). Sadly, there were no such sightings, but the two certainly would have been at home in the hyper-masculine, clubby lounge, or even the small, 52-seat dining room. I lingered in said lounge over an Old-Fashioned and a well-executed American Kobe beef tartar with sieved egg and rye toast points. My drinking companion and I also nibbled at a generous portion of the lightly-smoked mixed olives, studded with an aged Pecorino. The menu is heavy on contemporary Italian influence, but I was thrilled to note a Charcroute Garni Royale (that’s enough pork spare ribs, pork belly, smoked sausages, and brats for two or three people), an Alsatian dish worth a return just to sample. A word to the wise: the Presidential tone is rather hushed, making it a less than ideal spot for spilling secrets or recounting sordid details of any sort. Not that one ever does that over drinks and dinner.
The Presidents Room at the Phoenix, 812 Race St., downtown, (513) 721-2260