Bistro Grace — Offers a three-course surf and turf dinner for $29.95. Includes hangar steak and scallops with brown butter hollandaise. 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-541-9600, bistrograce.com.
The Blue Wisp Restaurant & Jazz Club — A Valentine’s dinner with music by Samantha Carlson. Entrées include prime rib, Cornish hen or salmon; dessert; and half-off bottles of wine. $99. 700 Race St., Downtown, 513-241-9477, thebluewisp.com.
Brown Dog Café — Offering a four-course dinner with appetizer, soup, salad and entrée for $56.95. If you’re seated by 5:30 p.m., it’s only $48.95. 5893 Pfieffer Road, Blue Ash, 513-794-1610, browndogcafe.com.
Buca di Beppo — A family feast for four, with salad, entrée, pasta and desert, for $59.80. Through Feb. 16. 2635 Edmondson Road, Rookwood Commons, 513-396-7673, bucadibeppo.com.
Cincinnati Dinner Train — Take a romantic four-course train ride while relaxing to the music of the 1940s. Every woman receives a commemorative rose.7 p.m. Feb. 14 and 6 p.m. Feb. 15. Tickets begin at $79.95 per person. Private car upgrades available. 11013 Kenwood Road, Madisonville, 513-791-7245, cincinnatidinnertrain.com.
CRAVE Restaurant — A special Valentine’s Day prix fixe four-course menu for two. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday. $89 per couple. 175 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, Downtown, 513-241-8600, cravcincinnati.com.
Grandview Tavern & Grille — A Valentine's Day menu with twin lobster tails, surf & turf, seabass and complimentary chocolate-dipped strawberries. Live music by Triage. 2220 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell, Ky., 859-341-8439, grandviewtaverngrille.com.
Mecklenburg Gardens — Valentine’s Day specials in the main dining room, including entrees choices between sword fish and surf and turf. Pig roast in the garden. 302 E. University Ave., Clifton, mecklenburgs.net.
Morton's The Steakhouse — “Dine your heart out” at Morton’s with steak and lobster tail for $55. Feb. 13-16. 441 Vine St., Carew Tower, Downtown, 513-621-3111, mortons.com/cincinnati.
Nectar — Offering a three-course dinner with wine and champagne. Reservations available between 5:30 and 10 p.m. $65 per person. 1000 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, dineatnectar.com.
Nicholson's Tavern & Pub — Regular menu available plus a prix fixe Valentine’s three-course meal for $24.95. Mike & Jeff playing in the bar, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. 625 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-564-9111, nicholsonspub.com.
The Phoenix — “Eat, Drink and Be Mine.” Give Back Cincinnati hosts this Valentine’s Day event to benefit their cause. Guests will enjoy a glass of champagne, two additional drink tickets for the fully stocked bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, sweet treats and a chance to win some great prizes. 6-10 p.m. $50 per couple. 812 Race St., Downtown, givebackcincinnati.org.
Rail House — Valentine’s Day four-course prix fixe dinner for two (fillets and lobster tails with two sides) for $79.95. 40 Village Square, Glendale, 513-772-3333, railhouse1854.com.
Red Roost Tavern — Three-course prix fixe V-Day dinner including grilled beef tenderloin, asparagus, lobster soup, decadent chocolate cake and more. $70 per person. 151 W. Fifth St., Hyatt Regency Hotel, Downtown, 513-579-1234, cincinnati.hyatt.com.
Relish Modern Tapas — A four-course dinner from chef Robert with optional wine pairing. $40 per person; $20 wine. Feb. 14-16. 5947 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, 513-204-6925, relishmoderntapas.com.
The Summit — Three-course menu with choices for each course, a full bar, wine pairings and an award-winning Manhattan. $45. 3520 Central Parkway, the Midwest Culinary Institute, Cincinnati State campus, Clifton, midwestculinary.com.
Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant — One dozen fresh-shucked oysters, two entrée choiecs, soup or salad, chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert and a bottle of wine to share. Plus a half-hour carriage ride. Feb. 13-16. $115 per couple. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, 513-421-0110, washingtonplatform.com.
Dumb Starbucks, we hardly knew you!
The “parody” coffee shop, which mimicked the real Starbucks' name, logo, menu (Dumb Frappuccino, Dumb Espresso, served in Dumb Tall, Dumb Grande or Dumb Venti), everything — even font — opened in L.A. Friday only to be shut down by the Los Angeles Health Department Monday. Forbes posted Dumb Starbucks’ “frequently asked questions,” which explains that by adding the word “dumb,” it’s protected by parody law. Therefore the “coffee shop” was actually recognized as an art gallery and the coffee, art. Guests, who lined up out the door and around the strip mall where Dumb Starbucks set up shop, were treated to friendly service and free coffee and pastries (there were even CDs for sale at checkout, including a “Dumb” Norah Jones album). The real Starbucks acknowledged the parody shop, explaining the two had no connection and they were pursuing legal action.
Word about the stunt (which it obviously was, dummies) spread across the Internet via various comedians’ Twitters, so some it was no surprise that a comic was at the helm. Nathan Fielder, deadpan genius with the Comedy Central show in which he “helps” struggling business by offering ridiculous ideas (among other meta satirical “pranks”), revealed himself as the owner with this video:
Now I really can’t wait for the next season of Nathan For You.
Some big changes are happening to NBC’s long-running late-night shows, and you can read all about them in this week’s TV column. After some sad goodbyes (Jay Leno’s final episode of Tonight, Jimmy Fallon’s last time hosting Late Night and Seth Meyer’s final Weekend Update segment), there’s a lot to look forward to. Fallon brings house band The Roots and announcer/sidekick Steve Higgins with him — hopefully the same goes for all the celebrity drinking games and generally bizarre bits and skits. Like this gem:
As for Late Night, Seth Meyers starts his run Monday, Feb. 17 and in a total surprise announcement, Meyer’s old SNL buddy and modern comedic god Fred Armisen will be the show’s band leader.
The Olympics have taken over NBC (miss you, Parks and Rec) and oh, what a hot mess they’ve been! Plumbing problems and strange bathroom setups in the Sochi hotels, the Olympic rings mega-fail during the opening ceremony, the fact that it’s actually too warm for any of these damn outdoor winter sports — the list goes on. C’mon, Russia, you can’t even get winter right? At least we’ll always have this:
I'm not ashamed to admit VH1's Couples Therapy is one of my favorite shows on right now. With The Real L Word disappearing without a trace, I am finally able to get my Whitney-Sada fix (the couple is featured on Therapy), plus Jon Gosselin is apparently dating another mega-bitch and "Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham is equally intriguing and frustrating and alienesque. But the true star of the show is Ghostface Killah's girl, Kelsey Nykole...'s hair.
Remember Celebrity Death Match? The MTV claymation classic pitted musicians, actors and other famous people in pop culture or the news against each other in an over-the-top gruesome fight to the death. Showdowns included Marilyn Manson v. Charles Manson, Mariah Carey v. Jim Carrey (featuring Drew Carey) and Lil’ Kim v. Little Richard. Well, a few years after its 1998 debut, Fox presented a toned-down real-life version with Celebrity Boxing, which went down as one of TV Guide’s worst shows of all time. Has-beens like Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams (of The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch, respectively) took to the ring in what usually just a really sad battle. Only two episodes aired. So how do you take a bad idea like Celebrity Boxing to another level of shame? Add in the man at the center of one of the most controversial murder trials in recent years!
George Zimmerman was set to box rapper DMX in a televised match, but
both DMX and boxing promoter Damon Feldman have backed out, presumably after
thinking about it for three seconds. The fight is still on for now and will be
broadcast from a secret location this March, Zimmerman just needs an opponent.
In completely unrelated news, Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-stars Andy Samberg and Chelsea Peretti used to be childhood friends.
Cincinnati Hip Hop MC Santino Corleon’s latest music video, “Night Still Young,” is one of the five music videos by emerging artists currently featured in MTVu.com’s “The Freshmen” competition. If the 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee beats out the other nominees in the weekly contest, the clip will be put into “on-air rotation” on MTV’s television networks.
Click here to check out the clip on MTVu.com and to vote now (and repeatedly — there appears to be no voting limits). Voting ends this Friday at 2 p.m.
The track “Night Still Young” is featured on Corleon’s most recent mixtape, Keep the Change, which is available for free download here. Below is the audio for “Night Still Young.”
It was quite a treat for area fans of (forgive the term) Alternative Rock as Arctic Monkeys rolled into Covington’s Madison Theater again this past Monday night. As one of the millennium’s most influential acts, the band from the English Midlands can normally be found playing arenas and large theaters, or headlining festivals throughout their homeland and the rest of Europe. Yet, they managed to schedule Covington on this tour, knowing they would easily be able put butts in the seats (even though there are few seats in the venue), which indeed they did.
The sold-out but well behaved crowd witnessed the band flawlessly execute a 20-song set, that was heavy on new tracks, but still filled with “hits.” They got right down to business opening with “Do I Wanna Know?” before powering into “Brianstorm” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair.” Lead singer Alex Turner’s banter with the audience focused mostly on the correct pronunciation of “Covington.” He eventually adopted a passable American accent and assured the crowd that a good time was going to be had. That statement was not inaccurate.
The band’s energy steadily increased, tempered only by Turner’s occasional breaks to comb back his hair — which the audience seemed to love. Their main set ended with the perfectly arranged trifecta of “I Wanna Be Yours,” “Fluorescent Adolescent,” and “505.” The encore was similarly paced, ending with fan-favorite “R U Mine?”
A pleasant surprise was opening act The Orwells. There’s been some heat on this Chicago-based quartet since the Arcs hand-picked them as their support act, and because of their very well-received appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks back. Lead singer Mario Cuomo’s vacant yet engaging style captured the crowd’s attention, many dancing and bopping along to the band’s Post Punk stylings. Hope to see them back.
Mayor John Cranley says his parking plan intends to alleviate Cincinnati’s ongoing budget woes by increasing parking revenue, but the plan will need approval from a majority of City Council to become law. The plan wouldn’t increase parking meter rates downtown, but it would increase neighborhood rates by 25 cents to 75 cents an hour. The plan would also increase enforcement at parking meters, which could lead to more tickets, and extend enforcement hours to 9 p.m. around the University of Cincinnati, Short Vine in Corryville, Over-the-Rhine and downtown. But the plan would not give control of the city’s parking meter rates and hours to outside entities, like the parking privatization plan did. Cranley plans to send the proposal to the Neighborhood Committee, with a full council vote possible in two weeks.
An Ohio House committee yesterday cleared a pair of controversial election bills that would reduce the state’s early voting period by one week — effectively eliminating a “Golden Week” in which voters can register and vote at the same time — and restrict counties’ abilities to mail out absentee ballot applications. The bills wouldn’t go into effect until after the May 6 primary. Democrats say the bills are blatant attempts at voter suppression, but Republicans, some of whom acknowledge they politically benefit from reduced access to voting, say the reform is necessary to eliminate voting disparities between urban and rural counties. The bills still need approval from the Republican-controlled Ohio House and Republican Gov. John Kasich to become law.
A bill placing age requirements on electronic cigarettes
yesterday passed an Ohio Senate committee. Critics of the bill argue it
doesn’t go far enough because it puts e-cigarettes in a different
category than tobacco, which exempts e-cigarettes from higher taxes and
stricter regulations even though they contain addictive substances and
potential health risks. Kasich and the rest of the legislature need to OK the proposal before it becomes law.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center reopened three school-based health clinics closed after Neighborhood Health Care’s abrupt shutdown.
A poll worker in Avondale allegedly voted twice, according to the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
The Ohio Department of Education plans to increase the number of weeks schools can administer state tests to alleviate time concerns brought on by excessive snow days.
Meanwhile, the Ohio House plans to vote on a bill that would let schools take on more snow days this year.
A Christian university located south of Columbus gets public dollars to teach “biblical truth,” an Akron Beacon Journal investigation found. And the school’s president and lobbyist just happen to sit on the Ohio Board of Education.
NBC correspondent Tom Brokaw revealed he has cancer.
RoboCop isn’t that far off from email@example.com.
A federal court in Cincinnati could soon decide whether
married same-sex parents should be recognized by Ohio on their
children’s birth certificates. Civil rights attorney Alphonse
Gerhardstein filed the lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples who
married outside the state and an adoption agency that helped one of the
couples adopt a child in Ohio. The lawsuit argues leaving one parent
unnamed perpetuates harmful social stigmas and potentially endangers a
child’s life by making it more difficult for a parent to get his child
help in case of emergencies. Although opponents of LGBT rights argue allowing gay couples to adopt hurts children, the research suggests widespread discrimination and same-sex parents’ limited rights are the real threats to gay couples’ sons and daughters.
Mayor John Cranley is crafting a new plan to upgrade Cincinnati’s parking system while retaining local control. Under the drafted plan analyzed by The Business Courier, the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority would issue $25 million in bonds backed by parking revenues. To pay for the new costs, parking meter rates in neighborhoods — but not downtown — would increase by 25 cents per hour to 75 cents per hour, and the city would hire more officers to increase enforcement. The new parking meters would take credit card payments, but smartphone payments currently aren’t in the plan.
A revised version of the Ohio House’s fracking tax bill increases the severance tax on oil and gas companies but cuts the income tax more and directs funding to areas most affected by the state’s oil and gas boom. Fracking is a drilling technique in which millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to unlock oil and gas reserves. Following its widespread adoption, the United States, including Ohio, began pumping out natural gas at record levels. But critics worry the technique could pollute and contaminate surrounding air and water resources. CityBeat covered fracking in greater detail here.
As a result of the harsh winter, Cincinnati’s winter shelter for the homeless has been extra busy this year. Some City Council members appear to be considering a more standardized funding plan for the shelter, which traditionally relies largely on private funding.
The Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade will take a slight detour this year to avoid streetcar construction.
No surprise here: Ohio is among the worst states for funding transit projects.
Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland want to know what it would take to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, which will name the GOP’s presidential candidate.
Fixing food deserts alone won’t make people eat healthier, a new study found.
A Los Angeles newscaster mixed up Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne.
Astronomers say they found the oldest known star in the universe. At more than 13 billion years old, the star is about three times the age of the Sun.firstname.lastname@example.org.
A federal court in Cincinnati could get another chance to advance LGBT rights if it takes up a lawsuit filed Monday that calls on Ohio to recognize the names of married same-sex parents on their adopted children’s birth certificates.
Civil rights attorney Alphonse Gerhardstein filed the lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples who married outside the state and an adoption agency that helped one of the couples adopt a child in Ohio.
“Birth certificates are the primary identity document in our society,” Gerhardstein’s firm explained in a statement. “Birth certificates tell the child, ‘these adults are your parents,’ and tell the community that these adults and children are a family. Medical care, access to schools, travel and release of information are all easily accomplished with birth certificates and are constantly burdened without accurate birth certificates. Forcing families to accept incorrect birth certificates imposes life-long harms and is a direct attack on family dignity.”
Although opponents of LGBT rights contend that allowing same-sex couples to adopt could hurt children, the research suggests otherwise.
A Boston University meta-analysis released in March found “children's well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents.” Possibly harmful factors found in the study instead include widespread discrimination and the parents’ limited rights, neither of which can be blamed on same-sex couples.
The complaint filed Monday comes on the heels of recent rulings that advanced same-sex rights in Ohio and across the country.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black on Dec. 23 cited constitutional grounds to force state officials to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates. That case came about after a same-sex couple in Cincinnati filed for recognition. The Republican-controlled state government, defended by Attorney General Mike DeWine, is appealing the ruling.
That ruling followed a June 26 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and requires the federal government to recognize some same-sex marriages.
In enforcing the ruling, President Barack Obama’s administration on Monday plans to grant sweeping equal protections to married same-sex couples around the country, even those who reside in states where same-sex marriage remains illegal. The Justice Department’s decision applies to courthouse proceedings, prison visits and the compensation of public safety officers’ surviving spouses, among other areas.
At the state level, FreedomOhio is working to get same-sex marriage on the ballot this year. The campaign is facing some resistance from other LGBT groups, but FreedomOhio says it already has the petition signatures required to put the issue to a vote in November.
The full complaint: