On May 15, Mayor Mark Mallory cut the ribbon for College Hill’s Shhhhh Restaurant and Deli (5915 Hamilton Ave.), an opening almost as anticipated as Bootsy’s. Maybe it was the intrigue of the conversion of an old, abandoned Woolworth’s store into a contemporary restaurant space. Shhhhh will serve homestyle Cajun cuisine, including breakfast and Louisiana favorites like red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo and seafood. Look for live Jazz on the weekends. Call 513-834-8433.
Italianfest is back in Newport from June 11-14. Held along Riverboat Row, the festival will offer authentic Italian food and live Italian music. Highlights include a golf outing (very Italian), a pizza-eating contest, fireworks, rides and harbor cruises that run 6-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 859-292-3666.
Also in Newport, The Syndicate (18 E. Fifth St.) is bringing back classic dinner theater … with a twist. On May 29, they debuted with Jefferson Starship of “We Built This City” fame along with a nice buffet dinner. Stay tuned for other nostalgia-inducing talent. Call 859-4918000.
Other dining excitement includes the opening of The Spice of Life Café (8845 Governor’s Hill Drive, Woodlawn), a student-operated restaurant at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Ohio.
The Café is an opportunity for culinary students to show off their skills, with student servers and chefs and a menu developed by the Culinary Arts department. The multi-course lunch offers everything from Portabella Gratin and Barbecue Brisket to Beef and Lamb Nori Maki, with no item priced over $12. The café will be open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays through June 18. Call 513-833-2432 for reservations.
Laughing in the face of the recession, the new World Food Bar will open June 16 in Findlay Market. The creation of Cincinnati native Joshua Steven Campbell, formerly Chef de Cuisine at Zagat-lauded 11th Maple Street in West Palm Beach, the carryout and catering eatery will use “advanced gastronomic and culinary techniques” and source locally and organically. World Food Bar also plans to launch an exclusive foodie and diner’s club in August. (No phone number has been provided yet.)
Also taunting the recession is Chi-nnatis Pizza, a newbie that launched this spring. The “Chi” comes from “Chi-town.” Chi-nnatis’ mission is to serve authentic Chicago-style pizza, along with sandwiches and thin-crust options. Call 513-985-4445 or go to chi-nnatis.com.
If you want to combine eating and philanthropy this month, check out Taste of the NFL on June 19, a celebrity benefit for the Freestore Foodbank. Reconnect with Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel, who will be providing the food along with other local celebrity chefs. Cincinnati Bengal Andrew Whitworth and Andy Hajjar of Andy’s Mediterranean Grille will host the event. Attendees will include Bengals players, coaches and alumni. Call 513-482-7539 for tickets.
More eating-for-good opportunities include Venice on Vine Pizza’s Summer Chef Series with Mike Light from Shanghai Mammas and Harry Stephens from Bella Luna. Venice on Vine is an employment education program of Power Inspires Progress, a nonprofit organization that offers paid, on-the-job training to people returning to the workforce. Call 513-221-7020 for details.
Finally, Ko-Sho Japanese Restaurant recently closed its downtown location in anticipation of a move to Northside in the old Madison Produce space at 4172 Hamilton Ave. Look for a reopening in mid-June.
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