I have been slowly getting back into writing about food, and with the city starting to wake up, I am seeing creative minds in action everywhere. The momentum is helping me to really put a spotlight on our local magic makers, our restaurateurs and chefs. On top of highlighting all things culinary on the blog on Foodie Fridays, I will be highlighting the Chefs in our community on a weekly basis. I have had my eye on the community of Pleasant Ridge, which is one of my favorite communities in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, of which the restaurant ,The Lonely Pine Steakhouse, is most pleasantly nestled. The entire experience at Lonely Pine Steakhouse was more than phenomenal. Even before we stepped foot inside the restaurant, a fire greeted us, upon entrance a prosecco was presented to us, if we did so choose to drink, and oh we did. Every detail was sought out, every plate gorgeous, the service impeccable, and the design/decor was a mix between a western, and a 1950s James Bond film, and goodness did they make me feel like a bond girl that night. Now lets talk about Mr. Sam Mischenko, the chef behind the most delicious steak in Cincinnati, Ohio right now.
Sam is the butcher, baker, and Chef at Lonely Pine Steakhouse. With an in house butcher, who is also the Chef, there is no question that he knows how to pick out, and cook his meats. What also is not to question is his respect for animals. I can guarantee 8/10 people cannot tell you what a proper cut is, what makes for a tender piece of meat, and more, but you know who can, Sam Mischenko, the Chef that can do it all. In acting many people say you need to have a triple threat to really put a knife in the competition, Sam Mischenko is that triple threat, and not only is he in the competition as one of the best chefs in Cincinnati, the butcher knife he puts in the fight is not one to be missed. Sam also throws down in the baking world, really showing his ability to be versatile. To make a steak sexy in the era of salt bae, isn’t that uncommon, but to master that with passion for the culinary world, and the ability to want to care to have the knowledge and history of what you are cooking, is not only respect for the culinary world, its really respect for humanity. The only bad thing about this bloke, his goat cheese chocolate cheesecake is more than sinful, and you’ll want to eat ten of them. So lets start with what we ate that made me come to the conclusion that Pleasant Ridge has one of the best chefs in the city cooking up a storm in that neighborhood. We started out with a dozen of Don Juan style oysters, broiled, with tomatillo-cream, urban stead quark cheese, nixtamalized corn gremotola served with 16 bricks bread. The start to the night was brilliant and upon some research about Chef Mischenko, I found out why, he learned much of what he knows from Grandma Mischenko as well as his father, and even at the beginning of the dinner, I could tell it was a generational gift passed down. The nod to southern appetizer classics, were divinely executed with spins on cooked oysters and the Kentucky favorite, pimento cheese.
Now lets talk about the entrees we ordered, including what I am definitely stamping as THE best steak in Cincinnati, Ohio and maybe in all of the midwest. The best steak in the city right now is most definitely at Lonely Pine, and is the Wagyu 8 oz Patricks petite tender from Sakura farms, the platting, the cut, the juices, and every bit of wonderful buttery goodness, made this rich delight even richer. Readers, get your masks on, and head to the wild midwest, of the Lonely Pine Steakhouse, for literally the most wonderful steak of your life.
We also ordered the New York strip steak a 20 oz dry aged steak from revier farms, with trusty sidekicks like the onions and mushrooms, which were slow roasted with fresh herbs, and butter, the asparagus which was roasted and topped with citrus cinsoy miso butter, the fingerling potatoes, which were delightfully twice cooked and roasted with fresh herbs and butter. We then ordered one of the dreamiest, creamiest, gooey macaroni and cheeses, cooked with smoked gouda, cheddar and cellentani pasta. Then when we didn’t think we could eat anymore, Chef Mischenko surprised us with the perfect pairing to a heavy steak dinner, the most gorgeous cheesecake. Now one may ask how can you indulge so much and still have room, well this cheesecake, is not like any other cheesecake, which seems to be the theme with Chef Mischenko, the ability to take a classic recipe and put his own Mischenko touch on it, so even though steak has been done in this city, I havent seen a steak and potato dinner this fantastic in a long time, and yes I know we live in a Jeff Ruby town.
Dessert, lets keep talking about this cheesecake. This light yet rich cake was not to be missed, and much like the meats, this dish highlighted Chef Mischenkos ability to kill it in the skillet and oven. The goat cheese chocolate cheesecake, had a grippos pretzel crust, which is another nod to a Cincinnati establishment, Grippos. Chef Mischenko has the community in mind in each dish it seems, not only highlighting the animals that we have grown so accustomed to mindlessly devouring, he also seems to put a spotlight on hard working people in his community, by incorporating a bit of himself, a bit of Cincinnati, in all of his dishes.
Cincinnati, get your knife sharpener out, because we have a new contender in this kitchen fight. Welcome to fight club Chef Mischenko.
Follow Chef Sam Mischenko on instagram CLICK HERE