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Copper Blue (Review)

Succeeding with homemade fare and casual, comfy ambiance

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2011
What’s the best way to take on the big restaurant chains? Learn, succeed and then beat ’em at their own game! That’s what they’re doing at the new Copper Blue (A Grub Shack) in Milford. Copper Blue goes up against all the casual chain restaurants in the area and comes out a winner.  

Lavomatic (Review)

Quality ingredients continue to make it a downtown favorite

1 Comment · Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The dining scene in the Gateway District is getting better all the time. Senate is a huge hit and the owners are opening a second destination next door. A Tavola Pizza is opening any day now, and I’ve heard rumors of more plans in the works. Lavomatic Café put the first fork on the neighborhood’s table and they haven’t lost their luster.  

Blinkers Tavern (Review)

Offering casual American tavern fare with creative, upscale twist

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 20, 2011
When it was announced that Chalk Food Wine in Covington was closing its doors this year, it left an empty spot in our stomachs (or hearts, for you sentimental types). Sandy Meyer and Gary Ginn with their chef Jon Spencer, they created a menu and had Blinkers Tavern open, breathing new life into the space.  

Holy Grail (Review)

Local restaurant's third location christens The Banks

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A decade and a half after planning began, we finally have evidence of The Banks' existence with the opening of the Holy Grail Tavern and Grille. Located directly across from Great American Ball Park, this spot is guaranteed to be packed for our boys of summer and will be a hotspot to root on our beloved and beleaguered Bengals in the fall and winter.  

China Gourmet (Review)

Longstanding Cincinnati Chinese restaurant remains a classic

1 Comment · Wednesday, April 6, 2011
In the next few months, CityBeat’s dining crew is going to periodically revisit some classic Cincinnati restaurants. What defines a classic? Well, if longevity is a factor, Hyde Park’s China Gourmet certainly qualifies. They’ve been serving fine Chinese cuisine since 1977. In an era when restaurants close within months of opening, the fact that China Gourmet is still going strong in its fifth decade is an amazing testimony to its ownership.  

Walnut Street Grill (Review)

Jeff Ruby’s latest restaurant goes for comfort food with flair

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
People who hate surprises, rejoice! I have good news. You may now come downtown, park your car and enjoy dinner and a show at the Aronoff and a very nearby eatery. Jeff Ruby has opened a new place that is custom tailored for you — the Walnut Street Grill. There are no bad surprises here. Nothing unfamiliar. These are upscaled (ever so slightly) versions of dishes you’ll find in most familiar casual restaurants.  

The Painted Fish (Review)

A promising menu doesn’t match up with the dishes served

2 Comments · Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Asian fusion restaurants seem to be in fashion lately, and The Painted Fish in Northside has thrown its hat into the ring with modern décor and an eclectic menu. The Fish has transformed the former Gajah Wong West space into a hip environment where the dining soundtrack is Passion Pit and the sushi chef is Nick, a young, energetic owner who hollered a greeting from the back sushi bar as we walked in.  

Mellow Mushroom (Review)

One groovy, tasty pizza joint in Wilder

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 16, 2011
There are a few foods that people have such strong opinions about that they’ll start a conversation (or a fight) whenever they’re brought up. Hamburgers, ice cream and Cincinnati-style chili are a few, but I’ve only ever experienced honest-to-goodness harsh words from anyone over pizza. With this in mind, we headed to Mellow Mushroom.  

The Grove (Review)

Northside eatery’s diner vibe is not reflected on the menu

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 9, 2011
If Northside had a Mini-Me, surely it would be The Grove. Terry and Amanda Vincent opened The Grove in the space I used to call “Kay’s-Ray’s-that Mexican place that was supposed to open” on Dec. 1, 2010. Like Northside in general, The Grove could use a little sprucing up. But isn’t that part of the community’s (and restaurant’s) charm?  

Feeders’ Digest

Behind the scenes with the caterers of George Clooney’s local film shoot

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Along with George, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei and the other stars, the movie shoot has brought to town a huge crew — an army, really. So who’s feeding them? I was cutting through the Carew Tower arcade when I thought I saw the answer to that question — a redhead wearing a black chef’s jacket and a baseball cap with a skull-and-crossed-cutlery logo. “Hey, catering guy!” I hollered. That’s how I met Dan Gearig, co-founder of Chow Catering out of Detroit.  

BagPipes Irish Pub (Review)

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
When I first heard that a new Irish restaurant was opening up downtown, I was happy but skeptical. Happy because it’s great that the corner space at Seventh and Race streets is once again occupied, but skeptical because I’ve never found Irish cuisine to be inspiring. Luckily, BagPipes Irish Pub is making a strong case to prove me wrong.  

Dao Modern Asian Cuisine (Review)

Mason bistro offers huge range of Asian dishes and stylish ambiance

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I’m usually skeptical of catch-all “Asian” restaurants that offer the cuisines of many countries under one roof. If I want good sushi, I go to a Japanese restaurant run by Japanese people. Good massaman curry? Thai Express, of course. I’m not saying that catch-all places can’t do a good job; they’re just usually not my first choice. But I kept an open mind when my girlfriend Casey and I headed to Mason’s Dao Modern Asian Cuisine on a recent Saturday evening.  

Banana Leaf Modern Thai (Review)

Bringing modern Thai cuisine to Mason

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Banana Leaf Modern Thai restaurant has so much going for it. The restaurant is located in a well-preserved historic building in downtown Mason. It is visually beautiful with boldly painted walls, stunning lighting fixtures and a gold-painted ceiling. Everything is in place for this to be a great dining experience. Everything, that is, except the food.  

Green Papaya (Review)

Offering quality Asian cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 2, 2011
You have probably driven by Green Papaya on Wasson in Hyde Park and, as I had done for years, blankly stared at it as you waited for the longest light in the city to turn green. And, as you wait for said light, your mind will inevitably wander and you will take a mental inventory of similar Thai/Sushi places in the area. As I entered Green Papaya, I already knew what set it apart — ambiance.  

Sis's Family Affair (Review)

Scoring with hospitality but falling short with its menu

2 Comments · Wednesday, January 26, 2011
When someone offers you the option of “Good news first?” or “Bad news first?” which do you take? I’m the kind of person who likes to delay bad news as long as possible. So, on the good news front, Sis’s Family Affair in Newport has plenty to offer. The staff is unbelievably friendly, not only to the regulars but also to our table of newcomers.