Age does not always come with experience, but in the case of the Florentine in Germantown, it comes with flavor.
The historic eatery at 21 W. Market St. traces its history back to 1816 and is Ohio’s second-oldest inn.
Florentine has had 43 owners in its time.
The current ones, husband and wife team Clay Alsip and Beth Vanden Berg, reopened the place in February after it was on the market for more than a year.
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With exposed red brick walls and wooden beams, the place teems with history and warmth, particular the cozy tables near the fireplace.
The oak, cheer and walnut staircase grabs the eye, as does the restaurant’s historic bar.
Before being acquired for the restaurant in the 1970s, the bar was at an ice cream parlor in New Orleans.
The Florentine’s original bar is at The Grand Finale in Glendale near Cincinnati.
The restaurant’s history is impressive, but so is its food.
On the waitress’ recommendation, we started our meal with the Florentine’s creamy artichoke and spinach dip which offered plenty of both.
I went with the special, a dry aged New York Strip.
Like the regular strip on the menu, mine came topped with a deliciously garlicky compound butter.
The meat itself was tender and came out at the right temperature, medium rare.
For my sides, I went with Brussels sprouts and a loaded baked potato stuffed with cheese, sour cream and a strip of crispy bacon.
Instead of a side salad, I chose the restaurant’s coleslaw made with mayo and chunks of cabbage.
The restaurant raves about its orange roughy, and one of my dinner companions ordered hers pan roasted.
The sauteed fish was moist and nicely seasoned. It is also available beer battered or deep fried.
Another highlight of our meal was the Florentine’s bone-in pork loin chops.
The two chops came out juicy and thick. They reminded me of the delicious pork chops sold at the now closed Barnsider on Main Street.
Nearly three years later, I still really miss that place.
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Next time, I am going to try the meatloaf dinner. I had food envy after seeing a waitress walk an order of meatloaf to the table next to our table. Then my New York Strip came, and all was good in the world.
WANT TO GO?
Where: The Florentine Restaurant
Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.