Every so often I stumble onto a restaurant that makes me say “Wow, that was insanely good!” Aunt Flora’s House of Soul in Silverton is the embodiment of that statement. Aunt Flora (aka Katrina Mincy) and her gregarious husband, Ron, opened their new restaurant in August on Montgomery Road in a slightly hard-to-find storefront that used to house a Chinese restaurant.
Nowadays, I'm more likely to make a gift than buy a gift, and I'm twice as likely to dine with my friends than to give them presents. Of course, when I do give gifts, they tend to be food related. So when I sat down to think about a local foodie holiday, I decided to consult with Julie Francis . She's not Santa, but in Cincinnati food circles when you think "local" you think of Julie.
Occupying the hole Tink's left in the Clifton dining scene, La Poste plays on the theme of the site's original business, a post office, in everything from the menu categories to the mailbag that's a wall decoration near the front door. La Poste offers the whole package: good, expertly prepared ingredients; access to good wine (and expert wine knowledge); and a server who is table-side the moment you make eye contact.
I'm letting you in on one of my "Bet you didn’t know about this place" places, since it's starting to become more and more well known anyway. And it deserves to! Mai Thai is located just across the road from the quirkiest hotel in, well, just about anywhere: the Wildwood Inn. Even if the exotic setting isn't enough to entice you to Florence Y'all, the food at Mai Thai should be.
With a name like Smucker's, it has to be
good. And so it follows that, with a last name like Swallow, you're bound to make food (or porn). Luckily, sisters Meg and Ellen Swallow went into the food business, creating Phro*ZEN, their own line of vegan ice cream — or vegan "frozen dessert" to be exact, since there ain't no cream in their cruelty-free concoctions.
With The Classy Pig in Ludlow, Pinky Sue's in Newport and Riverside Barbeque and Drive Thru on River Road in Sedamsville, suddenly Greater Cincinnati is sprouting some of the little barbeque gems that you find in so many other parts of the country. If Guy Fieri ever decides to return to Cincinnati for his 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' show, he has to stop at these new spots.
If I'm to be stuck anywhere awaiting tardy dining guests, I could ask for no better place than an Indian restaurant with a David Sedaris book. I was the only one in the Shaan dining room, save a steady stream of carryout customers. I had a pile of complimentary papardumm (fried, crisp, lentil wafers) and delicious accoutrements such as sweet tamarind, a pureed mint and a spicy onion chutney to keep me busy.
When you live in a city with an incredible German heritage, people sometimes ask whether it has great German restaurants. Before you suggest the famous one in that Italian city on the other side of the river, remember Mecklenburg Gardens. Sure, Hofbrauhaus has good beer, but Mecklenburg is a Cincinnati treasure.
The Palmieris, the family most recently behind Angelina Fine Foods in Findlay Market, have another venture that's been flying a little below the radar since opening last June. It's Europa, located in the heart of Covington's MainStrasse area and bringing a taste of the old countries to Northern Kentucky.
Looking for a casual, clean and comfy place to cheer the Reds on during the playoffs or to gather with your Fantasy Football friends during a weekend nail-biter? With so many sports bars in the Greater Cincinnati area, it can be tough to find one that combines both the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and a great selection of game-time food.
I have such fond memories of Joe's in a previous incarnation, as The Diner on Sycamore. Saturday nights, the girls and I would begin our evening with a few delicious nibbles, have some wine, then make our way up the hill to Milton's. My good memories gave me high expectations. But, like projecting experiences with a former flame onto the present one, it's not especially fair.
If hickory smoke were a sacrament, The Classy Pig would be a chapel. It's a little small to be an actual church, but at Classy Pig, there’s true devotion to barbecue. This unpretentious new dining spot in a classic storefront in beautiful downtown Ludlow, Ky. has got a whole lotta smokin' goin' on.
The opening of Jean-Robert's Table was a much-anticipated event in Cincinnati dining — so much anticipated, in fact, that I think we might have visited a bit soon. Sooner than we usually do for a CityBeat dining review. So with that caution in mind, how was master chef Jean-Robert de Cavel's new adventure? Very good.
The new Star Lanes at Newport on the Levee is connected to (and shares a kitchen and menu with) the restaurant Toro. I have to admit that I wasn't looking forward to eating at a crowded, noisy bowling alley, even if it was supposed to be a semi-classy "boutique" bowling experience, but I was surprised.
New flavors are popping up everywhere in Cincinnati, and Poco a Poco is a recent example. This Latin American eatery in the space formerly occupied by Red seemed like the perfect spot for a summer night. So after strolling the streets of Hyde Park Square, we decided to unplug and give this new spot a whirl.