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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.  

Rascals' NY Deli (Review)

Bringing authentic New York deli style to Blue Ash

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 19, 2011
What are the signs of civilization? Indoor plumbing, a literate population and a good deli, right? There’s something about a real deli that’s big city and major league. If you’ve never eaten at a genuine deli, how do you understand half the jokes on Seinfeld? The black and white cookie, the marble rye — these are deli things.  

Summit Restaurant (Review)

The Midwest Culinary Institute’s restaurant deserves high marks

0 Comments · Monday, January 10, 2011
The Summit’s a bit of a hidden gem, with attentive service that’s not at all rushed and top-notch food at a very reasonable price.  

Wine Guy Bistro (Review)

Rookwood wine shop and bistro offers quality vino and cuisine in a cozy atmosphere

1 Comment · Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The winter months make me a bit reflective, and a nice glass or four of wine is perfect for those moments. Who better to spend an evening reminiscing with friends than the Wine Guy?  

Best Bites of 2010

The best things CityBeat’s restaurant reviewers ate in 2010

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 29, 2010
CityBeat’s dining team had some pretty delicious moments in the running for their “Best Bite” finalists this year. Personally, I thought back to the creamy goat cheese my neighbor brought from Paris that we ate in her garden one spring night. Our other writers have some great memories too, as you will see.  

Brij Mohan (Review)

Indian sweets shop-turned-full restaurant delivers with flavorful all-vegetarian options

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Brij Mohan started out as an Indian sweets shop in Sharonville and expanded in July to include a full dinner menu. They still have a few bugs to work out, but the food is top notch. And I needn't have worried about the satisfaction of my omnivorous husband. As it turned out, Brij Mohan doesn't need to offer anything more.