The idea of “pizza by the slice” has been
around in major metropolitan areas forever, but it seemed a long time
coming to Cincinnati — at least for anyone other than the late-night
crowd. Fortunately, Downtown was recently blessed with a by-the-slice
pizza option open for lunch, dinner and late night snacking: Cincy by
to think ham was the furthest back piece of the pig I’d ever eat, since
trotters don’t appeal to me. But, no! I’ve had pigtail. And I liked it. Don’t let the image of a curly pink
spiral deter you. The pigtail I ate at the newly opened Abigail Street
in the Gateway Quarter was discreetly uncorkscrewed into bits of
delicious porky goodness.
At the Iron Horse Inn in Glendale, there’s
a new sheriff in town. His name is Chef Ernesto Luna, and he’s shaking
things up a bit with a seasonal menu. As you dine at the Iron Horse,
you’ll hear trains in the near distance and have a pretty good meal.
Local foodies, step down from your window
ledges and rest assured that while Local 127 has moved, it has not
abandoned its commitment to a farm-to-table philosophy. In fact, Chef
Steve Geddes said that the move into the space once occupied by JeanRo
Bistro was partly designed to make the “table” a better match to the
I’m not sure when it happened, but
somewhere along the way I think that it became a rule that bookstores
must provide food and beverage, in addition to literature. Almost all
modern bookstores have cafés offering coffee, sweets and sandwiches.
However, Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion really goes the
extra mile. Not only do they have specialty coffee drinks and desserts,
they make substantial, healthy full meals and have a complete bar.
I’m not a fan of strip-mall restaurants.
They always seem a little sad and rarely have charm. Zab Thai has made
me reevaluate my opinion, however. Once you walk in the front door and
are saturated in amazing aromas, you forget that on one side of the
restaurant is a Pilates studio, and on the other is a Great Clips.
Instead, you start looking around at everyone else’s plates to see what
they’ve ordered to make the place smell so darned good.
Barresi’s has been around for ages — since
1963 — and I remember being very impressed back in 2005 when I heard
that the original owners had sold the business to a young woman who’d
started her career there bussing tables. Eventually she worked her way
through culinary school and came back, loving the tradition of this
neighborhood trattoria. She was right — there’s a lot to love at
Barresi’s. Cutting edge it’s not, but for a cozy Italian dinner, it’s a
an absolute passion for Chinese food. I have worked at or been involved
with several Chinese restaurants for many years, so I have an educated
palate for Chinese cuisine. Blue Gibbon Chinese Restaurant has been
operated by the same family for over 30 years, so they obviously
understand how to keep their customers coming back.
Many great restaurants call
North College Hill home, and for the past couple years Van Zandt
Restaurant and Tavern on Galbraith Road has, too. There is so much going
for it — homemade breads, locally delivered meats and seafood and
trivia on Wednesdays — but there is something missing that would make
Van Zandt’s the king of the Hill.
I recently posed a question to my legion of Facebook
admirers: “Pumpkin pie. Frisch’s?” And the response I got was basically,
“There are others?” Point taken. In Cincinnati and its surrounding
areas, the fall tradition that always outperforms our high-dollar sports
teams is an 8-inch-round pie that retails for just under nine bucks.
truly excited to try Enoteca Emilia. After all, I used to live in
Bologna, which is the capital city of the Emilia Romagna region of
Italy, and I have always lamented the lack of Northern Italian
restaurants in our area. Enoteca Emilia’s concept was enticing in that
the owners were going to focus on small plates to encourage sharing, and
feature cured meats and cheeses with sophisticated snacks, pizza,
salads and pasta.
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.