“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m
sure we’ve all heard that phrase applied to any number of situations,
but I had to say it to myself when I learned I was to review a new
restaurant named Naked Tchopstix. The name is just a bit twee and made
me wonder how the food would be. I needn’t have worried — the food is
Early spring has us all outdoors,
exploring gardens, ballparks and eateries. If you’re not drifting
through the daffodils or noshing on an outrageous hot dog topped with
baked beans, Fritos, French-fried onions and cheese at the Machine Room Grille at Great American Ball Park, you should be exploring one of the following shiny new dining spots.
Some weeks need to end on a good buzz,
and I was delighted to head off to a brand new restaurant, Buz, in
Columbia Tusculum, as last week wrapped up. Buz is the new sister
restaurant of The Green Dog, and as we drove out Columbia Parkway there
was a gorgeous bright rainbow in the sky that arched almost down to the
From the sire of Tazza Mia, Bob Bonder
brings Cincinnati another coffee destination, but this time he’s added a
full bar and tapas style dining. Located in the Gateway District on
Vine Street, 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab blends the best of both worlds
— handpicked wine parings and artisanal coffee.
First located at Fountain Square and
Findlay Market under a rather dainty tent in the summer months this past
year, Eli’s BBQ has graduated to the restaurant scene — and with
honors. What was once a humble street vendor with one impeccably
prepared item on the menu — the perfect pulled pork sandwich — is now
nestled in the East End.
Don’t call it a restaurant. Cincinnati riverfront’s new Moerlein
Lager House is not just a restaurant — this becomes brazenly clear as
soon as you step into the 15,000-square-foot (without even including the
underground service level) beer mecca.
JimmyG’s offers fine dining fare in an
audacious setting. The dining area’s refined red wood walls are adorned
with the work of various local contemporary pop artists and the seating
arrangement provides a similar contrast, with yellow seat cushions on
white lattice-backed chairs paired with a fine dining table arrangement.
Three Meat Burger in Anderson Township hasn’t been open terribly long
(since late November last year) but a quick perusal on Google brings up
many positive reviews from happy, satisfied customers. The customer
satisfaction isn’t hard to understand once you’ve been to Sonny’s, eaten
the food and experienced the superior level of service the employees
Shoshannah and Doug Hafner opened Honey
in 2005. They’ve always been into serving fine food in a casual
atmosphere. On any night you’ll be greeted by a friendly staff and
probably a soundtrack with lots of local artists in the queue. On Tuesdays you can also choose from
between five $10 menu items.
These two museums don’t just have
wonderful art — they also both have fantastic cafés. I recently
undertook a mission to dine at both: CAM’s Terrace Café and the Lindner
Family Café at the Taft Museum. I decided that I wouldn’t just eat at
the cafés — I would also see what treasures the museums had to offer.
The prospect of Greek food on a cold
January night sounded pretty inviting, but blublu really outdoes itself
in the inviting department. We arrived at the restaurant a little on the
early side for dinner, but the Nika family was already busy. Our
host/server still politely greeted and seated us before dashing back
behind the counter to ring up a carryout order and answer the phone.
So who was lucky enough to land the big, bold
location with wrap-around windows at the corner of Vine and 12th, right
next to the Ensemble Theater? I’m glad to say it’s Taste of Belgium
Bistro. With their origins in Findlay Market, Jean Francois Flechet’s
Taste of Belgium is an Over-the-Rhine original, and they deserve this
spotlight location in the hottest dining district in town.