Nothing beats dinner in the cozy dining room of a restaurant located in an historic house when the weather turns cold. As I waited for my step-dad outside the Iron Horse Inn, the smell of a fire burning in a distant fireplace and melted candle wax stirred up images of Christmas dinners and drinks by the fire in northern Ohio.
While Hyde Park Tavern underwent new ownership last year and has a new fall menu with several wonderful gourmet options (including a great wine list), it's still very much a pub. There are the loud TVs, the loud talkers and the visceral, sports-inspired.
You know the scene: A jangled Parker family makes their way to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day, still mourning their turkey's fate as a plaything for 785 "Notafinga!" bloodhounds. Create your own Christmas story with one of these seven recommendations for dinner out on Dec. 25.
Tom Waits, George Thorogood, Charles Bukowski, Mike Figgis, Ray Carver and even W.C. Fields have portrayed bourbon as the “binge drinker’s best friend.” But store shelves are now packed with small-batch, artisanal American whiskies — selling at prices that rival the best single malt scotches and finest cognacs.
There have been several reincarnations of the Rookwood restaurant, but this time they might have gotten the karma right. It's a solid serendipity of setting, menu and price point, a welcome addition to the heart of Cincinnati.
I'm a lover of things that can’t be put in a box and escape all attempts to define them. This has included people, art, literature, cities and a variety of spiritual and political movements, but it hasn’t included bars — at least not until I went to Gordo’s Pub & Grill. Smack in the middle of Norwood on Montgomery Road, Gordo’s looks like just another neighborhood bar with neon beer signs in the window.
Life seems to be in short supply of pleasant surprises these days. I counted myself very lucky to be on the receiving end of one when I visited Mac's Pizza Pub. I had put off my visit until the last minute for a number of reasons, one being that I was afraid it would be filled with my students from UC and I would have to order a pop instead of a beer.
Will Mr. Smith go to Washington? That’s Marvin Smith, who is the Ollie behind Ollie’s Trolley, the West End landmark dining car. Ollie has catered five of soon-to-be-president-elect Obama’s campaign events and has pictures to prove it.
Think New York City circa 1990. The clubs are hopping, music throbbing and the velvet ropes define the line between cool and uncool, who gets in and who stays out. Each person in our foursome went through this time warp when we had dinner at Mixx Ultra Lounge.
Writing a dining review is a great gig, right? Hey, I can't complain. But sometimes it can be challenging, especially when the assignment isn't on your home turf. "Symmes Township?" I asked my editor. "Surely, you are not sending this city girl to Symmes Township?" "Don't call me Shirley," she replied.
Places like the Edgecliff Room fascinate me. Cincinnati doesn't have many of these animals — restaurants attached to a living space. These places seem like they would be most successful in densely populated urban areas like Chicago or New York.
Establishments like Cityside help keep our wallets lined, but they're also a much-needed alternative to some of the more homogenized cheap eats out there. The menu here is an interesting mix for a bar and grill.
The only thing thicker than blood is pizza sauce. Combine the two and you have a recipe for Sorrento's Pizzeria. Pizza has often been synonymous with one family in our city, the LaRosas, but the De Luca family has been spinning dough just as long.