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.)
Skinny Pig? Seriously? That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one! That was the conversation playing in my head as I drove up to Skinny Pig, the latest restaurant venture of Joshua Steven Campbell, who is well known by many area foodies for his restaurant Mayberry and store Mayberry Foodstuffs.
The Symphony Hotel and Restaurant is quite the Cincinnati secret. Tucked away on 14th Street, adjacent to Music Hall, the hotel began as a mansion in 1871, built by a local music instructor and was later converted into the current hotel and restaurant. Dining at the Symphony makes you feel, well, fancy.
Opening a restaurant in our current economic condition is bold. Opening a restaurant in our current economic condition when you’ve never owned or managed a restaurant before is doubly bold. Charlena (Cee) Calloway and Michael Daniels think they have what it takes to succeed with Stuffed on Vine, and I must agree with them.
Trattoria Roma, which for years was directly across Walnut from the Aronoff Center, recently moved around the corner to join the new Cincinnati Restaurant Row on Sixth Street. Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of the old Trattoria Roma, but my opinion has changed after a couple of visits to the new location.
Here’s a good problem to have: There are so many fabulous little places out there to find Cheap Eats in Cincinnati that narrowing down the choices for the Dining Guide just about drove me crazy. I had a few arbitrary rules. No chains were allowed, not even local chains. Sorry Skyline!
Food trends usually arrive in this town long after they sweep other cities. Blame Cincinnatians’ tendency to be skeptical and critical. But every now and then amongst all the bust there is a boom. Sometimes the perfect storm of an ailing economy, creativity and a helpful public servant come together. What the hell are we talking about? Food Trucks!