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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Best Cajun Appetizer Ever

As usual, for reasons best left unknown to the American Public, Spicy Food Guy was out and about in the world; this time in Covington Kentucky.  

From a food perspective, the trip didn't look all that promising at first.  SFG rode in a small airplane, ate airport food, drank airport beer, stayed in an airport hotel, you get the drift.

So imagine Spicy Food Guy's delightful reaction to being guided to Dee Felice Cafe, a homey and authentic cajun restaurant that seems to have been tossed into the middle of Northern Kentucky via some wormhole in the New Orlean's space time continuum.  It's a cozy little space with friendly staff, lots of window seating, and a little stage to accommodate live jazz from Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Spicy Food Guy liked the place immediately.

And then came the two appetizers, both of which Spicy Food Guy rates right up there with the best of any appetizers he has consumed as part of his lifetime habit of eating food.  Appetizer one, Ricardo's Ravioli, was a deep fried ricotta and jalapeño ravioli that was covered in a jalapeño and crawfish cream sauce.  The other was a grilled portabella mushroom with chicken and slathered with a fresh leek cream sauce.  Both appetizers were fabulous, the ravioli in particular was captivating. 

Spicy Food Guy can't put his finger on what exactly amped up his attraction to the ravioli, but it had a lot to do with there being a lot more substance to the dish than meets the eye.  First seen, the appetizer looks like something directly out of a swanky Manhattan "Froo Froo" Restaurant; kind of spoiled and pretentious and only to be consumed by uptight foodies and restaurant critics.  But, as it turns out, the ravioli has a real country and southern comfort flavor that is both simple (from the cream and pasta) and complex (from the crawfish and jalapeño) at the same time.  And, best of all, a nice streak of spice and heat runs through the entire dish, adding a sort of seduction element to the whole appetizer.  At it's essence, the ravioli represents everything Spicy Food Guy celebrates and loves when it comes to food.  It captured SFG's heart, forever.

So don't miss this place if you are in the Cincinnati area.  And send SFG some ravioli on your way out the door.  Spicy Food Guy misses it.  Really.       
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