Jean Robert returns to the restaurant business

By Richard Todd email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - He is almost certainly Cincinnati's best-known chef, although he hasn't had a restaurant to call his own for many months.

Tuesday night, Jean-Robert de Cavel opened his own restaurant, Jean Robert's Table, on Vine Street downtown.

The restaurant is not yet up to capacity, but they report that the first night was such a hot ticket that there was a waiting list of 120 people.

Jean Robert's Table is more casual than the restaurants de Cavel was best known for, Maisonette, which was in the midst of decades of 5-star award from Mobil's travel guides, and Jean-Robert at Pigall's.

More casual in this case doesn't mean any less French.  That cuisine predominates, although there is a strong emphasis on ingredients grown in the Tri-State.

A diverse crowd was seated at a diverse variety of table styles that even includes some seats designed for strangers to sit next to each other.

Jean Robert last worked as part of a restaurant group that he created with local partners who provided most of the financing.  He split with them over disagreements about business issues, and started work on this restaurant last fall, leading to a legal fight about a non-compete agreement, which has since expired.

In the interim he has also worked with the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, a relationship which will continue.

A number of de Cavel's old colleagues are working at the new restaurant, including manager and maitre d' Marilou Lind, who speaks about the opening on the video with this story.

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