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Dining Changes and New Opportunities in 2013

By Anne Mitchell · January 15th, 2013 · The Dish
eats_dish_eatwellAnne Mitchell

Eat Well Café and Takeaway (3009 O Bryon St., O’Bryonville) is now open. Chef/owner Renee Schuler’s newest endeavor is just what I expected — fresh, polished and yet simple and comforting. I had time to run in to the preview event for just a minute, and they looked as excited and proud as new parents about to introduce their baby to the wide world. 

The quick bite that I had of Eat Well’s “Mrs. Miller” sandwich — named after Schuler’s grandmother, whose egg fork is also the inspiration for the new venture’s logo — was delicious, if messy. Roasted chicken with sliced hard-boiled egg and smoked paprika aioli, served on Blue Oven’s rich focaccia. And I really enjoyed the Ginger Bliss drink, crafted from ginger simple syrup, tart lime juice and lots of fresh mint. 

The Café is open for breakfast, serving a goetta and hash brown quiche that looks pretty decadent, along with lighter options like steel cut oats or an egg white scramble. Lunch and carryout takes over after 11 a.m. and continues until 7 p.m. on weeknights. Eat Well’s catering operations, Celebrations and Feasts, will continue from its Newport commissary. 

Nicholson’s Pub (625 Walnut St., Downtown) is celebrating the Scottish poet Robert Burns at the annual Burns Night Celebration on Monday, Jan. 23. This is the downtown gastropub’s 15-year anniversary, so they’re flying in Alan Grant from the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle in Scotland to serve as Master of Ceremonies. The traditional toasting of the haggis will be at 7:30 p.m.

and live music from the Unlucky Charms starts at 8 p.m. Sounds like fun. I had a wonderful lunch at Nicholson’s over the holidays — they are really on their game. 

Thanks to a heads-up from Eggplant to Go’s Sharon Rudd, I learned that local chef Ryan Santos has accepted an opportunity to work in Belgium and his Arts + Lettuce dinner series will be drawing to a close. 

Before he leaves and to fund his trip, there will be two more themed Arts + Lettuce events, one in February and one in March, held in the Streetpops space on Main Street that used to house the still-missed Fork Heart Knife. These dinners sell out quickly, often as soon as they are announced. To get the announcement about these as well as a farm dinner in the spring at Carriage House Farm, email Santos at ryan@pleasetoeatyou.com. 

Year of the Snake! Chinese New Year snakes its way onto the calendar soon and the wonderful Wong family is offering a special celebration at the Oriental Wok (2444 Madison Rd., Hyde Park). On Sunday, Feb. 17 from 6-9 p.m., they will be serving an authentic nine-course dinner and offering entertainment, including the traditional Lion Dance. Take your Valentine — two holidays in one! Cost is $75 per guest, including tax and tip, or $25 for children 6-12. To make reservations, call 513-871-6888. 

Last but definitely not least, my search for great pizza is getting easier and easier. I whined about the dearth of this staple food for a long time, and eventually Newport Pizza came along and eased my sorrow. Strong’s Brick Oven and Goodfellas also helped, but the new storefront location of food truck PizzaBomba (14 E. Fourth St., Covington) is, well, the bomb. The PizzaBombadiers are great, friendly folks and their slightly-not-visible shop is worth seeking out. 

I stopped in on the day of the Bengals playoff game, that one brief shining moment of hope for the hopeful — ha! And of course I had a million questions and special requests — and my dog waiting in the car — but they patiently walked me through all their options and came up with a half and half pizza (half meat and half veggie, with no cross-contamination!) that pleased both me and Mr. Fussy. 

They had the opportunity to up-sell to a larger size or add on a bunch of extras, but they never did — which is admirable. I was really impressed to learn that they make pretty much everything in-house, including their own bread for their sandwiches, and will have pasta dishes and other options as well. 

I even got to taste a bacon meatball. While pigskin games do not inspire me, that porky morsel did. I’m glad PizzaBomba has found a parking spot in Covington.

CONTACT ANNE MITCHELL: amitchell@citybeat.com



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