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by MSchiaparelli 07.14.2010
at 01:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teller's to Host

Did you know that the word “symposia” comes from the ancient Greeks, who used the root word sympotein, which means "to drink together"? At these ritualized drinking parties, men would recline on pillows in the andron (i.e, ancient Greek man cave) while getting plastered on resinated wine and arguing over whether the Trojans could beat the Spartans. (It’s surprising how little has changed in a couple of thousand years, isn’t it?)

So while it may not have been the “scholarly conference” we now use the word for, it’s a particularly apt description for an event happening in Hyde Park next Monday.

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by MSchiaparelli 06.01.2010
at 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Taste of Duveneck Celebrates 20

Spoiler alert! You won’t really be able to taste any Duveneck at the 20th annual food and wine fundraiser for the Cincinnati Art Museum (953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams). In fact, experts generally agree that no one has ever been served a dish prepared with Duveneck.

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by MSchiaparelli 05.10.2010
at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Glendale Hosts Wine, Beer and Food Festival

This weekend (May 14, 15 and 16) historic Glendale Square will be the site of the town’s first-ever Wine, Beer and Food Festival. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Harry Whiting Brown Community Center, which supports community cultural and artistic activities and programs.

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by MSchiaparelli 05.07.2010
at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Star Chefs, Great Wine at Second Sunday

Second Sunday on Main is now called Second Sunday OTR. I guess they’re making the point that there are shops and galleries open and participating throughout the downtown neighborhood, even beyond the confines of Main Street where specialty vendors and entertainment attractions set up monthly for the hip, eclectic Street Fair.

The event kicks off its fifth season this Sunday and continues throughout the summer on the second Sunday of every month (through Sept. 12) from noon-5 p.m. in historic Over-the-Rhine on Main Street between 13th and Liberty streets. The event is free and open to the public.

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by MSchiaparelli 05.03.2010
Posted In: News at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mr. Creosote Judges the Best of Taste

Have you ever felt like Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote, the bloated epicurean who explodes in a gory mess when he surrenders to the inducements of an evil maitre d’ offering him a “wafer-thin mint” after a laughably enormous feast? Well, that’s how I feel right now. Don’t move me; I might burst. Why? Well, let me explain…. 

I was excited last week when Anne Mitchell, CityBeat’s eminent dining editor, asked me if I was available to help judge the Best of Taste food competition this morning at the giant Sysco facility in Glendale. As a judge, you get to sample food items that will be featured at the Taste of Cincinnati, the Queen City’s signature spring food fest (Memorial Day weekend, May 29-31). This year, there were over 100 dishes entered in competition by nearly 40 vendors.

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by MSchiaparelli 04.29.2010
Posted In: News at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morton's Dogfish Head Hoppy Hour

When Sam Calagione opened Dogfish Head in 1995, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America, making just 10 gallons of beer at a time. Today, Dogfish Head is among the fastest growing breweries in the country and known for their strong, exotic beers.

On Friday, May 7, at 6 p.m., Morton’s (441 Vine Street in Carew Tower) will offer Queen City beer lovers a unique tasting experience featuring four different and uniquely crafted Dogfish Head brews, each paired with a selection of cheeses and accompanied by petite filet mignon sandwiches, tuna tartare canapés, smoked salmon wedges and lamb chops with brie.

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by MSchiaparelli 01.25.2010
Posted In: News at 08:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sherry: The Drink of the Moment

Sherry (the topic of this week’s Fermentations column) is probably the most overlooked major wine category in the U.S. today. Part of the reason, I think, is that Americans generally seem to prefer fruit-driven, plush, simple wines that tend toward the sweet end of the spectrum. Lighter-styled, more-complex dry Sherries that pair well with food can therefore be quite a shock to the palate for many consumers.

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by 01.04.2010
Posted In: News at 05:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Suzie Wong's Is Delivering

Chef Alex Chin’s new eatery in Walnut Hills is now offering delivery service to nearby neighborhoods. Suzie Wong’s on Madison will deliver food to Walnut Hills, East Walnut Hills, Eden Park and Hyde Park. Diners should call the restaurant at 513-751-3333 or register for delivery on the restaurant’s Web site to see if they're in the delivery area. There is a minimum $20 food order for delivery.

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by 10.16.2009
Posted In: Openings at 02:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seny Spot Gets New Eatery

The former space in Walnut Hills that once was home to Simone’s and Seny Tapas Bar now has a new tenant.

Alex Chin, who previously was the owner and chef at Pacific Moon Café in Montgomery and Pacific Moon on the Levee in Newport, will open a restaurant at the site in November. The eatery will be called Suzy Wong and feature Chin’s unique spin on classic Asian dishes.

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by Alice Blaney 07.22.2009
at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Flip-Flop Contessa

Presto-Pesto Italian Flag Chicken and Garlic & Cheese Orzo

Presto-Pesto Italian Flag Chicken


* 5-6 leaves basil

* 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (about a handful)

* 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

* 1 block soft garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin brand

* 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 2 handfuls), divided

* 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

* 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced


1. Pre-heat the oven to 450F.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, soft cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful) and some salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste. Reserve.

3. Butterfly each of the chicken breasts and pound them out lightly in a plastic bag with a dash of water using a skillet or meat mallet. Season both sides of the chicken and divide the herb-cheese mixture between the four breasts, placing a scoop on one half of each breast. Fold the flap of chicken over to enclose the cheese mixture.

4. Transfer the chicken pockets to a baking sheet and lay three slices of tomato over each breast, overlapping them like shingles. Season with some salt and pepper, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about a handful).

5. Bake the chicken pockets until cooked through and light golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Garlic and Cheese Orzo


* 1/2 pound orzo, regular or whole wheat

* 2 tablespoons butter

* 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

* 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

* 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (about a handful)

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat to boil the pasta. When the water reaches a bubble, season it with a pinch of salt and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the package directions, then drain and reserve.

2. When the pasta is ready, place a large skillet over medium heat with the butter. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until aromatic and tender, about 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and parsley to the pan, season with pepper and toss to thoroughly combine.

First off, the chicken was much easier to make than I anticipated. I had never butterflied a chicken breast before, but it turned out to be really easy. Pretty much all you do is lay the breast on a cutting board, cutting the breast parallel to the cutting board from one side to the other, leaving a slight hinge on each side. What you end up having is somewhat of a pouch, which is how you are able to stuff in the filling into the chicken.

I think my favorite part of the chicken dish was the great pesto filling. I had never made my own pesto before, but I honestly never want to go back to store bought pesto after having experienced the great flavor of homemade pesto. It’s fresher, and if you don’t like the crunchiness of full pine nuts, like me, then this is a great way to get the pine nut flavor without having to crunch down on one.

The tomatoes were a really great touch. I probably would have added some diced tomatoes into the stuffing of the chicken. It made the dish a little less rich, because of how rich the pesto was, and gave it great flavor. Also, the parmigiano reggiano cheese sprinkled on top of the tomatoes was awesome. I kind of just want to bake the tomatoes and parmigiano reggiano sometime for an appetizer because I think that would be an amazing and very simple dish.

When you make this Presto-Pesto Italian Flag Chicken dish, be sure to make the Garlic and Cheese Orzo too. It is a great partner with this dish and really adds to all of the flavors and colors. I liked that the Garlic and Cheese Orzo wasn’t that creamy, since the stuffing for the chicken was pretty rich.

I liked that the parmigiano reggiano came out in the flavor of the Orzo, but wasn’t too overpowering. I would recommend having a little parmigiano reggiano left over for the table so guests can sprinkle a little of it on top of the Orzo just in case they want a little more of a strong cheese flavor. My favorite part of this dish was definitely all of the parsley that was added. It gave great flavor, and helped bring down what could have been way too much of a cheesiness to the dish.

Overall, this dish gets two thumbs up. It’s great for kids and adults when it comes to flavors, and it’s an extremely easy dish to make.

You can find this dish and other recipes at the Rachael Ray Web site.