We dined at Cumin in East Hyde Park on a recent Saturday evening. It was a particularly gorgeous night, as the temperature was considering the change from Summer to Autumn. We decided to sit outside and take advantage of the ideal weather. There was a soft breeze that slowed us as we took some sweet time to peruse the menu.
Our first server greeted us and we liked her instantly. We were to have two servers throughout the dinner, both were excellent in their own right and both were knowledgeable and helpful. We tasked the first with a custom cocktail request, our favorite: a certain grade of tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, squeezed lime with a tiny splash of rose water. They actually had the necessary ingredients and the cocktails were perfect.
Once served with what we consider to be the perfect, non-sweet drink, we began to settle into the atmosphere. The ethereal Thievery Corporation humming over candlelight set the tone for an easy evening out.
Taking it all in, the interior of the space is pretty sharp, certainly superior to most local restaurants in ambiance. The orange lighted Cumin branding behind the wenge wood slats is discreet, yet effective.
We began the meal with the Mussels in coconut broth, serrano chili, and cumin with pop tart nan to split as an appetizer. It was a divine beginning to our meal. We will definitely be back for this dish alone.
Next, we each opted for a salad, one of us the “Summer” and the other the “Mediterranean”. Both were bigger than we were expecting, a welcome surprise. The Summer salad was light and refreshing and the Mediterranean was more savory but surprisingly good, perhaps due to a hint of truffle oil drizzled on top. Both salads were inventive and fresh, and we thoroughly enjoyed them.
We decided to split an entree, so we went with the special of the night, which was Halibut. Their specials change daily. Apparently, they have some very creative heads in the kitchen. Our server recommended a white wine pairing that was literally perfect with the entree. We couldn’t have made a better choice.
In the end we slowly polished off our wine, delighted by what we’d just experienced. We took in the jazz from the live band that had begun to play somewhere along the way, chatted and passed the time knowing that we had just been blessed with a perfect evening.
Everyone we encountered during our evening at Cumin, our two servers, the bartender, and the owner — was gracious and professional. The food was fresh, fragrant and satisfying and the drinks, refreshing. We recommend this as a gem for dining in Cincinnati and encourage you to call, make reservations and dine. When you call don’t forget to ask if it’s a “live jazz night”. The sultry sound of the live instruments makes it all the more enticing.