Gangs of students and their parents are swarming UC’s campus these days. They’re there to get oriented — figure out where to buy books, how to register, where to work out, how to scope out the frat party with the best beer. You know, college stuff.
Every now and then, instead of reviewing the latest thing we revisit a timeless classic. This month, Cactus Pear in Clifton won the nod. Why the Pear? Because it offers consistently good Tex-Mex cuisine and service, great outdoor dining and some of the strongest Margaritas and Mojitos known to humankind.
Meranda-Nixon? Kinkead Ridge? Most people outside of Cincinnati — and many people in Cincinnati — haven't even heard of them. But they're two rapidly-growing vineyards in Ripley, an hour east of town, that are producing some of the most refined, complex and sophisticated bottles you'll find anywhere in the country.
If you've lived in Cincinnati for any amount of time, you've heard some variation of the most common complaint about downtown: "There's nothing to do at night." It's another one of those false perceptions that you can only discredit by going out and seeing for yourself (like "downtown is unsafe" or "Cincinnati is boring").
I’ve whined in the past about Cincinnati’s mediocre pizza offerings. Sure, there are some exceptions — Dewey’s springs to mind — but for the most part, nothing here wows me. So, would Chi-nnati, a new Cincinnati-Chicago hybrid, become my new pizza Mecca?
As you round the bend on North Fort Thomas Avenue in the sleepy burg of Fort Thomas, Pergola Restaurant & Bakery looks like an oasis of sorts. The large outdoor patio calls to you with its umbrellas and Florida-style bar. It's hard for anyone to pass up.
When Kanak India opened in Montgomery six months ago, I was excited. Owned by the same family that owns Ambar on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, I knew it would be good. Not surprisingly, it's a lot like Ambar. Which is fine, because we all love Ambar.
Sure, there's a global recession imposing on many aspects of our lives, but the savvy diner can still get good eats on a budget. A number of local restaurants have responded to the recession with great deals for you. Now it's your turn to respond to those deals. Go out to eat — it's fun!
Hunter, Richard and Court Thomas, owners of 20 Brix in Milford, have done what any good financial manager advises: diversify. Last March they opened Padrino a few doors down from 20 Brix, extending Milford’s available restaurant options to a include a family-style, inexpensive Italian option.
Halfway through the storm, it occurred to us that there was nowhere we’d rather wait it out than Wildflower Café. Maybe it was the warm yellow light, the wind blowing through windows no one had bothered to shut or the clanging and clinking of glasses and silverware from the 20-some diners next to us, all nestled together in one room.
Cincinnatians would have to cross an ocean and endure multiple layovers to behold the crippled remains of an authentic Viking mead hall, where epic heroes like Beowulf spent their Friday nights getting hammered and exchanging tales from the Warfield. Or you take in the mead hall experience at Woodstone Creek, Cincinnati's own neighborhood-friendly meadery.
“Soul food blesses your whole body,” says Katrina “Aunt Flora” Mincy. “It uplifts your spirit. Whoever prepares it puts everything in their heart and soul into it.” Aunt Flora, as Katrina prefers to be called, has put her soul into soul food, and after a visit to her daughter’s Court Street restaurant, Flo’s Plate Full of Soul, I’m grateful for Flora’s philosophy.
With summer coming we’ll all be spending time at more third places — places where we hang out and socialize other than home or work. But between our trips to the ice cream parlor, the neighborhood pool and the park, the classic third place — the neighborhood coffee shop — won’t be forgotten.
Over the course of about eight months I watched almost every episode of the ’90s television series Northern Exposure. I was obsessed. That might explain why I recently felt so at home in a booth at The Blind Moose.
I think a foodie friend recently said it best: "I'm no longer interested in the 'complicated' food. What I like best are restaurants with simple menus where they do simple food well." I don't know if she was channeling me or we’re channeling a general food trend that's building, but I wholeheartedly agree. And, as if on cue, Troy's Cafe walked into my life.