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Wise Owl (Review)

West Chester’s Wise Owl offers tapas and wise wine-selecting assistance

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Billed by a friend as a tapas restaurant and wine bar, the hubs and I arrived at The Wise Owl around 8 p.m. on a Saturday night prepared to fill our tummies with delectable morsels and some quality vino. While we were more than impressed with the expanse of the wine menu, we were somewhat let down by the limited selection of only half a dozen small plates.  

Mayberry (Review)

Cozy new downtown eatery has some drool-worthy offerings

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Mayberry, which calls its niche "grassroots American food," has been open for just over a month for breakfast and lunch. It's in a great location, right between Hamburger Mary's and Scotti's on Vine Street, but is so small that it's easy to overlook. Now open for dinner as well, the tiny diner is quite welcoming, complete with candlelight.  

ZZ’s Pizza (Review)

The return of a neighborhood favorite

2 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I didn’t know what to expect from the newly re-opened ZZ’s Pizza, as I had never been to the original incarnation of the Walnut Hills eatery, which closed in 2005. On a recent rainy evening, I settled for a parking meter a little farther away than I would have liked and hoped our experience at ZZ’s would be a redeeming one.  

La Mexicana (Review)

Newport classic makes up for nondescript decor with delicious authenticity

5 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I generally judge the authenticity of a Mexican restaurant not by decor or signage but by salsa and mole sauce. So when we got the salsa — a nice mix of tomatillos and jalapenos with a lovely cilantro aftertaste — I was pretty happy. La Mexicana indeed is one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in the area.  

Siam Orchid (Review)

Bellevue eatery needs a tune-up

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Siam Orchid is tiny but inviting and in a great location. Neighbors in Bellevue like to get out and support their local eateries, so I hope this restaurant polishes its rough edges and earns their patronage.  

Green Dog Cafe (Review)

Offering an eco and vegetarian friendly take on dining

1 Comment · Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Green Dog Cafe is exploding on the scene and so far has been met with mixed reviews. Why? Because it’s different. Seeing as it was started by veteran restaurateurs Mark and Mary Swortwood, who also started the Brown Dog Cafe in Blue Ash and Tinks Cafe in Clifton, the decision to forgo conventional table service in favor of a walk-up counter wasn’t made on a whim.  

Wooster Tavern (Review)

Two different views of a Mariemont comfort spot

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Ready to enjoy a meal out without the kiddos, my husband and I easily found Wooster Tavern (a.k.a. WooTav to the locals) tucked neatly between Mariemont and Fairfax. The building resembled a remodeled house from the outside, and ample parking was found behind the building.  

Taste of 275

CityBeat interns review every Wendy's restaurant on the loop

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 4, 2009
There might be hundreds of dining options along I-275, but there’s only one Super Value Menu — and it’s at Wendy’s. In honor of this pioneering fast food chain, we sent our most poor and hungry talented and promising young writers out to review all 15 Wendy’s locations off I-275.  

InCahoots (Review)

Pleasant service can't make up for sub-par entreés

5 Comments · Tuesday, November 3, 2009
After this meal, we couldn't help wondering what would have happened had we treated InCahoots like a bar and just ordered sandwiches (The Reuben and the Veggie Philly sounded good). Our recommendation? If you’re going to go, stick to sandwiches, beer and wine.  

Local 127 (Review)

Locavore-focused dining is a welcome addition to downtown

2 Comments · Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Local 127 isn't the electricians' union. The "Local" part is about the local food movement. According to Executive Chef Steven Geddes, "127 (W. Fourth St.) is our address, and we start there. Everything is sourced as close to this address as possible."  

Ichiban (Review)

Japanese spot on Mount Lookout Square offers great service, presentation and flavor

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have to say one of the best dining experiences I've had in the past couple of years was at Ichiban, which has replaced Aqua in Mount Lookout Square. Maybe it was the impeccable and watchful service or the fact that the chef managed to make everything without soy (I'm allergic) and still make it delicious (I had no idea that sake could become so many different sauces). Maybe it was the complimentary dessert at the end: puffed pastry with delicate freshly whipped cream. Or maybe it was just the company.  

Rio Grande (Review)

Newport mainstay offers delicious fajitas and unique ambiance

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tucked into an unassuming strip mall in Newport is one of the most popular restaurants in the area, Rio Grande. "It's got the best margaritas," a barista at one of my favorite coffee houses told me one day. "It's kind of a dive, but the food is so good. And it's cheap.”  

Akira (Review)

Serving up authentic Japanese dishes in West Chester

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
A few weeks ago my roommate was asked to entertain two West Coast business associates. He frantically texted me asking if I knew about any sushi joints near his workplace in Fairfield. My response was one word: Akira.  

Queen Mary Family Restaurant (Review)

God save the Queen

3 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2009
At the end of my time as a regular restaurant reviewer at CityBeat, I had hoped to go out with a bang. The blogosphere used phrases like "impressed," "OMG" and "fantastic" to describe the Queen Mary Family Restaurant, so I was excited to discover new ethnic, culinary challenges and deliver them to you with a final bow and flourish. Well, you know what they say about best-laid plans.  

Great Scott! (Review)

Worthy of its exclamatory name

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Unearthing a new restaurant is always an adventure, so I was excited to find myself exploring Great Scott! this past Sunday following an excursion with the family to Cincinnati’s Museum Center during the final days its Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit.