Bailouts, cash infusions and unemployment lines. These are scary words for scary times, and scary times call for … comfort food. We’ve just been through a season of belt-tightening and the new year looks like we might need to take it in another notch, but I had an epiphany over a plate of potato gnocchi and veal and ricotta meatballs.
Who knew a fella from the Ukraine would be cooking up a storm of authentic German food in Mason. Oleg Makhayev, the owner of Oleg’s Tavern, is a native of Kiev, Ukraine. He’s lived in the States for about seven years and cooked at Jag’s in West Chester before opening his own restaurant last year.
I gave Vito's a rave review in 2007, and it has only improved with the addition of Chef Romuald Jung, late of the Palace Restaurant at the Cincinnatian Hotel. Chef Romy's talent and love of food and family outgrew the corporate confines of hotel dining. He's found a welcome home with Victor and Mary Ciepiel in Fort Thomas, and his influence has made already excellent food grand.
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.