On a Friday evening, College Hill wine and
beer emporium Marty’s Hops & Vines is alive with spirited buzz.
It’s the wine shop’s weekly wine tasting during which a wide demographic
of customers sample six healthy pours accompanied with cubed cheese and
crackers for a mere $10.
Malaysia is located so far from here most
of my friends couldn’t point it out on a map. But lucky for us, Ohio
just welcomed its first Malaysian restaurant right outside Cincinnati.
In the belly of an old municipal building in Mason is the new restaurant
Straits of Malacca.
Cooking for Martha Stewart has got to be a
little like sharing your film project with Woody Allen, right? Surreal is the word Cincinnati chef
and caterer Renee Schuler of Eat Well Celebrations and Feasts uses to
describe her recent experience cooking for Martha, someone who set the
bar for beautiful food when Schuler was growing up.
There’s a certain wave of reassurance that
washes over a person while in the presence of someone radiating with
confidence and passion for his craft. Chef
Nathan Jolley — who operates his tiny restaurant, Burnell’s, out of the
former Mayberry location on Vine Street — is such a man.
Chef Michael Shields opened BrewRiver GastroPub with local craft beer and thoughtfully paired cuisine in mind. You will find no Budweiser, Guinness or other popular (inter)national brands here, only a rotating list of his more than 50 hand-picked, locally brewed draughts, bottled and canned beers.
Shanghai Mama’s was closed for nine
months following a fire last October. There was some despair among
downtowners as the months dragged on. Call it the dark night of the
soul. But Mama’s back, and I’m happy to report that she’s better than
Today, gourmet dining is wheeled around in carts or prepared to
order in trucks. Local food vendor Jamie Williams jumped on the
bandwagon and launched Cincy Bag Ladies in the spring of 2012 with one
mission: Let people eat without plates.
By 2006, phase one of the Gateway Quarter
redevelopment plan was well underway. Crime quickly gave way to safer,
brightly lit streets. Hints of a flourishing arts district soon took
root. Emerging from “The Quarter’s” fresh renovation came its first new
restaurant, Lavomatic Cafe, a name that pays homage to its predecessor, a
Lisa Kagen is an artist, a chef, a parent and an entrepreneur — and all of those
identities factor heavily into the operation of her two Northside
businesses: Melt Eclectic Deli and Picnic and Pantry, a market that
serves healthy, sustainable groceries and prepared foods.
Tim Lambrinides opened Silver Ladle on Sixth Street back in March. The new “fast casual” restaurant serves a variety of hearty sandwiches, a dozen soups, fresh salads, gluten-free options and, of course, its own twist on Cincinnati-style chili and coneys.
In a sense, Emily Frank is living vicariously through her food truck. C’est Cheese, pronounced “say cheese”
(but it’s OK if you never get it right — few do), is a gourmet grilled
cheese truck. A year in the making but only really a couple weeks
old, C’est Cheese hit Cincinnati’s ground running.
The reopening of Maribelle’s could not
come any sooner. I was eager to see the old recipes I once gushed over
with friends as well as what the old tavern would look like juxtaposed
with the cavalier Boca across the street.
For Chef David Bach, Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, Django Unchained,
can’t come soon enough. The movie, which opens in December, pays homage
to the same ’60s Spaghetti Western that had inspired Bach and a posse
of established local culinary artists to open the new Northside
restaurant, Django Western Taco.
When David and Liz Cook of
Daveed’s at 934 decided this year to try a new concept in Loveland,
Daveed’s Next, the Mount Adams space Daveed’s
had occupied at 934 Hatch St. was not vacant long. Mantra on the Hill
opened in late May, lead by Chef Yajan Upadhyaya, originally chef/owner
of Cumin in Hyde Park.