Can the Chef Boil Water? Epically Poor Quality Meal.
There is no doubt that the place is trendy. When we were there on a Saturday evening we were surrounded by painfully stylish alt rock wannabes from Hyde Park trying to impress bored dates.
We stopped into Chez Nora to celebrate my young adult daughter's first apartment in the Mainstrasse area. We found our way to the third floor dining area and were pointed in the general direction of an available table. Even though it was early in the evening and the room was mostly empty, it took a while for the server to find her way to the table.
My son and I ordered the chicken and sausage jambalaya, presumably a house specialty in an establishment that provides jazz oriented entertainment. My daughter ordered the Italian Chicken Breast. After an interminable wait (elevator broke down?), the food was delivered.
I think that it is a stretch to claim that the dish was jambalaya. Perhaps in keeping with the Cincinnati aversion to anything spicy, the jambalaya did not resemble any jambalaya that I had had before... bland and no vegetables other than a mysterious layer of herbs on the dish. In fact, were it not for the bed of white rice, it could have passed for the beef brisket dinner. My daughter managed to get about 1/3 of the way through her chicken breast and then pushed it back and started eating bread. My son who will eat anything declared that he would have preferred to have stayed home and had our home cooked jambalaya recipe for dinner.
I'm sure that Chez Nora will continue to be mobbed on the weekends but it won't be for the quality of the food or the service.
yuck. Service was super slow- had to go look for the waiter after waiting 10 minutes for our wine(and they were NOT busy). My husband ordered a hot toddy and got a coffee cup with hot water and a shot of rum- apparently bartender never attended school. Food was awful- brunch ham was heated up luncheon meat, the potatoes were frozen tater tots, the biscuits were out of a can, the sausage gravy was dismal. Avoid this place- there are places that deserve our business and I deserve food that isn't worse than I can buy ion a fast food diner or as a frozen meal from the grocery store. I'd give this less than 1 star if possible
Favorite. We come all the way from near Dayton to eat here, usually for brunch or lunch. We've never had a bad meal. Love the atmosphere, food and service with a smile. I really cannot believe the reviews I've seen on here. Are we talking about the same place???
New Years Eve 2008 Not a good experience.
Hmmmm I was there as well on New Year's Eve and my experience was awful!! We had a very early reservation (6:00 pm) and THREE hours later our dinner mercifully ended.
To the waitress that did try her hardest....I am sorry that you were called in to work but it is not my problem so I didn't need to hear that.
8 people in our party. I had Ahi Tuna requested rare as well as someone else at the table. Both of our plates were cold and tuna was dry and overcooked. Our waitress also suggested the butterfish and someone at the table ordered it. It was dry and again the plate was cold. The waitress noticed that not much was eaten and even she admitted the butterfish seemed not as tasty as normal. It took 45 minutes to an hour before we ordered, salads arrived late, soups were cold. We had to request water for heaven's sake! We did not stick around for dessert, though someone at our table got a very watery ice tea and a warm coffee. The difference in our experience and the other poster is we were on the second floor. Could that have made a difference?? Sorry to say but I would recommend only for the bar upstairs and live music. Eat somewhere else beforehand
Maybe I am wrong, but....
I am slightly tipsy having just spent the entire night at Chez Nora. First dinner downstairs. Unfortunately we made a reservation during the busiest portion of the evening, which is always a mistake on New Year's Eve. But, even with a full restaurant, our food arrived in reasonable time, the way we ordered it and not a bit was wasted. Our server was friendly, seemed to know his stuff, and didn't get in the way of our evening.
We had the Crab Cakes for an appetizer -- no disappointment there at all... theirs don't have many equals anywhere in this city that I have found. Since it was a special kind of night, we tried a couple of their dinner specials, butterfish and and a different take on pepper steak (t-bone). The butterfish was amazing, moist, flavorful and allowed to be the star of the plate instead of the sauce. The steak was also good, if not cooked quite to specifications. At least it was undercooked as opposed to most restaurants' method of overcooking. Though we should not have, we even went for dessert. There is no mistaking they are homemade!
The music was fantastic. The place was packed. Everyone was enjoying themselves. I guess that others have had legitimate complaints but from our experience those seem to be exceptions. If a restaurant can serve good food and function reasonably well during a hugely busy night, it has to have something going for it.
No, it is not 5-star. It doesn't seem to pretend to be. But they seem to know what they want to be and it works. We will go back.
We loved the food and neighborhood feel!!. We had an opportunity to go to Chez Nora's the other night before we read some of the reviews. We must be totally missing something? The food, drinks and service were excellent! We loved the casual atmosphere and excellent music at the Jazz Bar. The crab cakes were delicious (and hot) and the salads were very fresh and plentiful. Ample parking was just a short walk. Had a great time. We're going back for New Year's Eve.
Seen better days.. Great if you want geriatric food. Everything was overcooked and tasted like cardboard. I was amazed at how much this restaurant has changed. Years ago it was one of our favorite places to eat across the river. Now I warn everyone against it. Sorry. There are some much better places in the same neighborhood.
CHEZ NOT!!! DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR YOUR MONEY!!!!. We went to Chez Nora for drinks and dinner and were completely disappointed. We should've read the reviews on here first!!!! The drinks are of poor quality and the food is completely overpriced and completely disappointing. We followed our servers recommendations on some dishes and must admit we were very surprised at the extremely low quality....there is not a single reason I can think of to recommend this place. STAY AWAY and STAY HAPPY!!!!!!!
I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone I know..
My husband and I tried Chez Nora recently and I must say I was disappointed. We went after 3:00 yet before 5:00 so we were limited to sandwiches and salads. The prices were steep and didn't align with the food. The food didn't taste fresh, therefore, I picked over my food, basically wasting the majority of it. I then went on to take another chance and tried the desert and much to my surprise, the desert was worst than the food. I was upset at how much we spent on our meal and yet was so extremely dissatisfied with the experience. It was our first time eating at Chez Nora and I'm pretty sure it will be our last time.
The service was the most decent thing we experienced. It wasn't A -1 service but it wasn't that bad either.
I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone I know.
High cost, low quality.
The recommendation and the tables on the rooftop initially seemed to justify the high prices on the menu, but some of our food was cold, and didn't taste fresh. I understand why the downstairs dining room was empty at 8:00pm on a Wednesday. They could use a little attention to detail - candles on the tables to make up for the minimal outdoor lighting. Serve the food warm!
The service was good enough, and the live music give me hope to one day try Chez Nora again, but I will do so cautiously.
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