I’ve been on a Mediterranean food kick lately where there
is no such thing as “too much hummus.” So the opportunity to try Ali
Baba Mediterranean Grill couldn’t have come at a better time. Owner and
cook Bahaa Dawoud, a native of Palestine, opened Ali Baba in July of
this year. This is Dawoud’s first restaurant and he is passionate about
bringing people together through food.
With legacy eateries like Grand Finale and the beloved
Friendly Stop, Glendale’s always been a great neighborhood for dining.
Now it’s added a new option this fall with Meritage. Owners Tom and Kriste Fowee, the chef, opened their doors in early August. The grey-clad building is just north of the center of Glendale on the way to Tri-county.
I’m glad to report that La Badiya has
redeemed the Country Kitchen’s sins. This friendly, low-key restaurant
makes good, authentic fresh food that really is from somebody’s
grandmother’s recipes; somebody’s Turkish grandmother. And guess what
the Turkish word for grandmother is? Anneanne. I like it. We had a wonderful dinner at La Badiya.
To my delight, Sharonville has a wealth of
Indian eateries. The corridor of Reading and Lebanon Roads alone houses
a half-dozen; some strictly vegetarian, and others offering delights
for the carnivorous among us. With my intrepid husband in tow, I made my
way there recently to sample Sankalp Indian Restaurant.
The building located at 527 York Street in Newport has not been kind to its recent restaurant tenants. Since Mokka moved a few years ago, this address has been home to NuVo and Pinky Sue’s Smoke House, both of which disappeared quickly after arrival. There is now another new restaurant hoping to break this string of bad luck.
My daddy was a bootlegger. Well, not exactly — he never sold the applejack, or “hard cider,” that he distilled in our cellar when I was a little girl, and he always told us that it was “strictly for medicinal purposes.” But now it looks like dad was ahead of his time. Bootlegging’s on the rise — legal, legit and oh so delicious.
Those of you dancing your way through the summer heat with cool drinks and sushi should be sure to waltz over the Dancing Wasabi’s new location in Hyde Park. The space is just off Hyde Park Square in what used to be Beluga and has something for everyone. There’s an outside patio to enjoy when this heat spell breaks.
Pho Saigon can be found in the uninspiring shopping strip across Mall Road from Florence Mall. It’s easy to miss — you’re more likely to spot the JoAnn Fabrics next door. The interior has tall apricot vinyl booths along its midsection, and that’s where we found ourselves on a recent hot summer night, with our guest of honor: a neighbor, this one celebrating his 30th birthday.
For a restaurant to even survive their first year, that must be like aging a decade. Five years? To a lot of eateries, that’s getting past the young, vulnerable years and making it into adulthood. So you’d think that a restaurant celebrating its 70th anniversary would be ready for the rest home, but Sugar N’ Spice is alive, well and going strong.
One of my favorite things about this job is getting to try new foods and different cuisines. Lately, we have been fortunate that more exotic, ethnic restaurants have been popping up around town. Tumi Café is a kitschy yet urbane four-table restaurant serving Peruvian-style cuisine that would fit in as perfectly in New York City as it does on Beechmont Avenue in Mount Washington.
FB’s in downtown Cincinnati has what it takes to keep people coming back: a menu full of innovative, homemade dishes that they call QBG (Quality Bar Grub), a friendly staff and a unique atmosphere. Be prepared to leave your ideas of bar food at the door; this, my friends, is quality bar grub that will exceed expectation.
At smoQ the motto is, “If it’s legal, we’ll smoQ it!” They mean it, too. Nearly everything on the menu is smoked, right down to the apples and peaches on two of the desserts. My intrepid family and I visited on a Monday night, ready for some barbecue and Southern-style food. We must have just beaten the rush because the place filled up almost immediately.
Pizza is America’s favorite food. It attracts almost everyone and offers so many possibilities in terms of toppings, crust and preparation. Most pizza places are content to be mundane, and many of those that strive for greatness sadly fall short. Despite the arguments over thick crust vs. thin crust or traditional toppings vs. gourmet toppings, we're always looking for a great new pizza place.
Sung’s been mentioned in several recent “Look Who’s Eating” features in CityBeat; it’s a place where chefs go on their night off. The space is quite chic — although a little on the loud side — and the crowd on the night of our visit was hopping with at least three tables celebrating special occasions. I also noticed several lone diners who looked like they were enjoying a comfortable evening.
Aimed at providing a “creative and unique dining experience in a non-traditional setting,” Arts & Lettuce secludes 12 people twice a month (one meat night and one vegetarian) in a secret location with a broad thematic menu of unrevealed specific courses (dinner prices range from $40-$45.)