Friday Night At Notes

It was bitterly cold last night, with a teeth-rattling wind blowing, but Kish and I wanted to get out of the house, anyway.  We decided to walk down to High Street to check out Notes, which is something that has been on our to-do list for a while now.

IMG_0457Notes is the music venue below Copious, one of the newer restaurants in the German Village area.  Last night the Tim Cummiskey Duo was playing the 7:30 set, and there was no cover charge.  How could we go wrong?

Well, we didn’t.  I’m happy to report that Notes is a pretty nice place to spend your Friday night.  It’s a big open room, the stage at one end and the long bar at the other, with bench-style seating along the walls, several dozen tables of different sizes around the room, and even a small area in front of the stage for dancing.  The Notes bar is stocked with just about every kind of adult beverage you’d care to drink — an extremely important consideration at any night-time music venue, in my book — and there is also a limited food menu.  Kish and I tried one of the create-your-own flatbread pizzas, and it was quite tasty.

The sound quality and acoustics — the other extremely important consideration in a music venue — were excellent.  That was crucial last night, because the Tim Cummiskey Duo turned out to be a good jazz guitar and bass combo, and for that kind of music you want to be able to hear every note, in every improvisation, clearly.

Our Friday night at Notes turned out to be a fun way to beat the winter cold and the winter blahs.  Good live music will do that for you.  There are lots of fine musicians out there; they just need a place to perform.  Now we know there’s a good spot only a few blocks away.

Copious

IMG_7139_2It’s always interesting when a new restaurant opens in your neighborhood.  And the initial visit is often the crucial one — when first impressions that could become lasting habits are  formed.  Friday night Kish and I went to Copious, a new restaurant and entertainment venue on High Street in German Village, and it passed the crucial “first taste” test.

First, a note about the ambiance.  Copious has a very bright feel and open floor plan, with colorful artwork and not much in the way of interior walls, especially in the dining area. The design creates a kind of bustling sensation, with plenty of background murmuring from nearby tables, that you often find in big-city bistros.  In short, it’s not the kind of dim, quiet place, with secluded nooks and crannies, that you would want to frequent if, say, you were one of those Ashley Madison schmucks having an affair.  When we were there the place was crowded with the younger set and codgerdom alike, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

The food was also very much to my liking, and for that matter, so were the prices.  I ordered the smoked Ohio brisket, which our waiter advised is one of Copious’ most popular dishes.  Having consumed it with relish, I can see why.  The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth moist and well-seasoned, and I particularly liked the “smoked walnut and mayfield road creamery bleu cheese cake” that accompanied the dish, which was a sharp, tart counterpoint to the savory meat. Kish had the shrimp and grits and reported that it also was excellent.

Kudos, too, to Copious for the reasonable portion size, which was just right for me.  I’m tired of being served plates covered end-to-end with groaning portions of food that couldn’t possibly be eaten by a normal person, and it’s nice to see a restaurant that is moving in the direction of portion control sanity.  Perhaps for that reason, the prices were quite affordable, and even with before-dinner drinks and a shared dessert — a moist piece of blueberry maple milk cake that was very tasty — our bill was below $60.

Copious has a companion venue, called Notes, that is under the restaurant and offers a full calendar of live music.  We didn’t drop in on Friday, but I’m glad to see a live music venue in the ‘hood.  I have no doubt that we’ll be checking out Notes in the near future.