I used to have a rule: Never eat in a hotel, and never sleep in a
restaurant. In downtown Cincinnati, though, that rule is made to be
broken. Orchids at the Palm Court in the Hilton Netherland Plaza is
world-class. Executive Chef Todd Kelly was named Chef of the Year by the
American Culinary Federation.
I interview a lot of chefs, and there is always a common
thread: They don’t have time to dine out. This is especially true for
While most chefs toil in a well-equipped, professional-grade kitchen,
Gibson is making Whole-Hog Waffles and chicken wings using a two-burner
electric hotplate, a Panini press and a smoker.
It‘s time for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, so
who better to check in with than Cincinnati’s premier brewmaster, Greg
Hardman. Hardman, since purchasing the historic Christian Moerlein
Brewing Co. in 2004, has reinstated Cincinnati’s great brewing tradition
by restoring many classic brands and crafting new beers, like my
favorite, the Moerlein OTR Ale.
Everyone’s heard of The New Adventures of
Old Christine (the CBS comedy series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
Pretty soon everyone will know about the new culinary ventures of Vito’s
new/old chef — Leslie Richmond. Richmond has worked for Mary and Vito,
the owners of Vito’s Café, off and on since 2003. She recently came back
after a hiatus that included giving birth to her daughter, who is now 2
Cincinnati native Fallon Horstmeyer is a passionate woman — passionate about quesadillas, that is. This spring, Horstmeyer opened Turophilia Quesadillas, a food truck that is semi-permanently located in the parking lot at the corner of Eight and Vine streets downtown.
When Chris Burns left The Bistro after seven years as chef, he'd made a lot of good connections in the farm-to-table movement. Now Chris and and his wife, Tess, are developing two new business concepts: Hearth, and Homestead. Hearth is a 21st-century general store, and Homestead will connect city folk with their rural heritage.
Six years ago, Mary Beth King began living a vegan lifestyle and thought she would probably never eat dessert again. But since she’s resourceful and loves to bake, she learned to craft delicious vegan baked goods and desserts. In 2009, she took a giant step and started Sweet Peace Bakery, (www.sweetpeacebakery.com), while still working at her day job for Community Shares.
Chuck Warriner knows his wines, which is a good thing, as he’s the co-owner of the Dilly Café and the manager of the Dilly Wines & Gourmet wine shop in Mariemont. Chuck and his wife, Robbie, found themselves spending long, hard hours at the restaurant and decided they wanted to mold it into a place that was comfortable, welcoming and fun to be in.
In January 2010 Adam Easterling decided to start his first businessventure in the already crowded downtown lunch trade. Adam took a gamble, but he felt that if he took classics, gave them a fresh spin and used the best ingredients, his sandwich shop would succeed where others have failed. A year and a half later, and with a faithful following, his business at 633 Main St. is doing great.
For about a quarter century, Harry Stephens has been a fixture on the Tristate dining scene. Since 2003, Stephens has owned the wonderfully eclectic Bella Luna (4632 Eastern Ave., Columbia-Tusculum, 513-871-5862), and just over a year ago he opened View in the Edgecliff Building in East Walnut Hills.
Anyone who’s spent much time in the Clifton area knows Biagio’s Bistro (308 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-861-4777). Since opening in 1999, Biagio’s scooter — almost always parked in front of the restaurant — has become as much of a Ludlow Avenue fixture as the bistro itself.
Downtowner Bawe Shinholster is a busy man — especially when I spoke to him just after Jeff Ruby’s Walnut Street Grille opened for lunch. The Grille, which has been hugely successful with dinnertime guests, opened to a pent-up crowd of lunchsters who couldn’t wait to try the new sandwiches, sides, and salads.
Chef Gina Puopolo and her husband Matt opened the doors of their fresh new burrito operation in April and they’re excited with the results so far. At the Lime Taqueria, the couple uses natural ingredients — many grown in their own garden — to feed lunch and dinner guests, as well as late-night visitors to Covington’s Mainstrasse.
Chef Sean Kagy was educated at the New England Culinary Institute and worked at The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., in the early 1990s. From there he moved on to Chicago’s Four Seasons hotel before coming to Cincinnati to work under Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel at The Maisonette. After stints as executive chef of The Palace and owner/chef of One in Mason, Kagy opened his own corporate hospitality and consulting business.
Aunt Flora of Aunt Flora’s House of Soul (7207 Montgomery Road, Silverton, 513-791-7437) is not only a CityBeat favorite but a bona fide celebrity. She (and her famous cobblers) have appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, and recently she was a contestant on Oprah Winfrey’s Search for America’s Next TV Star.