The Rookwood Bar and Restaurant Review
Considered by some to be one of the greatest ceramics brands in the USA for many years, The Rookwood Pottery Company was started in the late 1870’s and was very popular until it closed its doors in 1967, reopening in Over the Rhine and now manufacturing at intermittent levels. The products have never lost their value and are still highly sought by private collectors and museums. In 2008, The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant (http://TheRookwood.com) opened in the former studio and manufacturing facility in Mt. Adams.
The restaurant has a very nice look to it, white with a lot of brown timber trim. Almost a Tudor-style look to it. There is an ample patio on the outside with a bar and plenty of seating. The view is amazing, you can see much of the city and the perspective is awesome. Once you go in, I can’t imagine how you could not be wowed. When you first enter, you can’t help but notice the bar in front of you, which is a partial circle around one of the original kilns. It’s very inviting, and there is a nice selection of beer and the bartenders are typically very friendly. There are a few other kilns in the restaurant, and you can actually get a table in them, which is very cool. The ambiance is very relaxing, as it is dark without being too dark. There is lots of brick throughout, and the high ceilings give it a nice feel.
We sat at one of the “couch” tables, which is basically a couch partially surrounding a table that gives a nice view of the restaurant as well as one of the TV’s at the bar (there was a Reds game on…can’t miss my guys playing ball!). They are pretty comfy, and again, very relaxing. The friendly server greeted us at the table and recommended a couple of beers to match our tastes…Mt. Carmel Stout for my wife and an Oskar Blue’s Dale’s Pale Ale for myself. Good choices…way too many servers are clueless when it comes to craft beer recommendations, I was happy to see this one knew what he was talking about.
The menu itself is certainly not large, with a separate lunch and supper menu, but it’s big enough. On this visit, both my wife and I had the Fig Burger (goat-cheese mousse, honey-balsamic figs and onions, field greens), with my wife getting it without the bun. I had the Grippo fries (they taste like the old Grippo BBQ chips!), while my wife had a classic salad (field greens, tomato, cucumber, croutons, red wine vinaigrette). We’ve both loved the burgers every time we’ve had them…the meat is juicy and has been cooked right every time. Both of us agree that they are pretty darn close to Terry’s Turf Club (our top burger – http://wp.me/p3jVIR-6j), and not as greasy. The salad was nice and fresh-tasting, and the fries were just awesome.
We’ve eaten at this restaurant several times, also eating the Barnsdale Burger (caramelized onions, fontina cheese, house pickles, and thyme aioli), pastrami sandwich, chili, barley risotto, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream sampler (from Columbus, OH…awesome but not quite Graeter’s). We’ve both enjoyed everything we’ve had, although we haven’t had one of their full entrée’s so I can’t comment on those. We’ve heard the Dressed Hanky Pankys (goetta and beef, jalapeno cheese sauce, giadiniera, and Jewish rye) is an excellent appetizer as well.