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.
Years ago on a visit to Israel I realized the complexity of their cuisine, a Zionist melting pot of Old World European Jewish cooking living in harmony with Arabic inspirations, like falafel, Israeli salad and hummus. I never thought I would eat like that again and, truth be told, I probably never will. But I had a taste of it the other night at Kinneret Cafe.
There are many signs of a good restaurant — the loosening of the belt, the phrase “I’m stuffed,” silence at a table full of people concentrating on the flavors of their meals — but my favorite is when you’re reading the menu at the end of your meal to plan the next one.
Chef Matthew Buschle focuses on fresh local and seasonal ingredients and is obviously passionate about what he does. He took on the huge project of turning a run-down apartment building into an inviting space.
Gajah Wong West, a Little Indonesia in the middle of Northside, opened its doors three years ago and will close them at the end of this summer. Rumor has it that Gajah is another casualty of the recession, joining other supposed economic casualties like Pigall's, Kona Bistro, Edgecliff Bistro and Fresh, to name a few.
After watching all eight seasons of the Sopranos and Godfather I, II and III, I know a little bit about syndicates. They who help you out in a jam and then expect to be repaid. The first few times they send an enforcer, they aren’t there to kill you — they’re there to warn you.
Last week I had the pleasure of dining at Basilico Organic, the first USDA-certified organic restaurant in the Midwest. Everything that touches your lips is free of pesticides, antibiotics, preservatives and hormones.