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by Jac Kern 01.15.2014
Posted In: local restaurant at 01:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Gold Star Chili Now Serves Doritos Nachos

Your move, Deadspin

Move over, Taco Bell. Deadspin, brace your taste buds and typin’ fingers for a twist on Cincy’s “abominable garbage-gravy.” Gold Star Chili now serves Doritos nachos.

Arriving just in time to sabotage your New Year’s health resolutions, Gold Star has added a Nacho Cheese Dorito-based dish to its menu. The nachos feature Gold Star's signature Cincinnati-style chili atop a mountain of orange-dusted tortilla chips, complete with all the fixins: tomatoes, jalapenos, black olives, a heap of cheddar, sour cream and chipotle ranch dressing. No word yet on a Cooler Ranch version.

The specialty nachos are available through Feb. 23 — Gold Star even has a countdown on its new specialty site, cincinnacho.com.

Patrons are encouraged to snap a nacho selfie with the dish and post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #cincinnacho for a chance to win an Xbox One, iPhone or iPad Mini, airline tickets, concert tickets, a smart TV or, best of all, more free Doritos nachos!

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by Maija Zummo 01.06.2014
Posted In: News, local restaurant at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Chez Nora Has Closed

Owners Jimmy and Pati Gilliece shutter the restaurant after nearly 20 years

After nearly 20 years under its current ownership, popular MainStrasse restaurant and rooftop Jazz club Chez Nora (530 Main St., Covington) shuttered its doors for good yesterday. Despite having a loyal following, owners Jimmy and Patti Gilliece cited not having enough customers as the reason for the close. 

Their official Facebook page says: 

"Chez Nora 

Has Closed

Thank You for nearly Twenty Years!

God Bless You!

'Far better it is do dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checked by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.' -

T. Roosevelt"

The couple purchased the restaurant from restauranteur Nora Dempsey — the Nora in Chez Nora — in 1994. Since then, they updated the multi-level restaurant adding an outdoor patio, expanded kitchen and menu and purchased the adjoining building to add a 60-person dining room and banquet room. One of their big draws, the rooftop patio overlooking downtown Cincinnati, is part of the original building and was the site of five nights of live Jazz a week. 

Those looking for live Jazz nearby have several options, including Dee Felice Cafe (529 Main St., Covington, deefelice.com) or the Blue Wisp (700 Race St., Downtown, thebluewisp.com) over the river. As far as their famous crab cakes are concerned, Main Bite (522 Main St., Covington, mainbiterestaurant.com) in MainStrasse offers a crab cake appetizer with remoulade and lemon greens.

The couple hopes to partner with other MainStrasse restaurants to honor any remaining Chez Nora gift certificates. The 11,750-square-foot building is listed with Huff Commercial Real Estate for $1.2 million.


 
 
by Maija Zummo 11.26.2013
Posted In: News, local restaurant at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Kaze to Expand Lunch Hours Starting Black Friday

The Japanese gastropub offers special menu for holiday shoppers and professionals

Japanese gastropub Kaze will be expanding its hours to include lunch beginning on Black Friday (Nov. 29). The restaurant will now open at 11 a.m. and stay open through their regular dinner hours ('til 1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 'til 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday).  

The new lunch menu will include some dinner favorites plus a bento box or a sashimi lunch plate with Chef Hideki's freshest seafood and rice. All items range between $8-$23, with cheaper starters and cups of soup. And the restaurant will also be offering the option of lunch reservations plus outdoor winter seating in their heated garden patio.

For those of you who don't need a cocktail at lunch, Kaze will also be offering a selection of "mocktails," mixtures of their regular cocktails sans booze, along with their regular full-service bar.

Kaze is located at 1400 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. More info at kazeotr.com 

Menu:

 

 

 
 
by Maija Zummo 10.29.2013
Posted In: News, local restaurant at 09:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Chef Steven Geddes to Leave Local 127

Kyle Johnson will succeed chef Geddes as executive chef on Nov. 5

Effective Nov. 5, Chef Steven Geddes will step down as executive chef of Local 127, the local New American restaurant he has spearheaded since 2009. Geddes' successor will be chef Kyle Johnson, who has a wide-breadth of experience ranging from a Michelin-starred kitchen to extensive travel.

Johnson began his career at Alize in Las Vegas under the tutelage of chefs including André Rochat and Jacques Van Staden. He then went on to be a traveling executive chef for Celebrity Cruises, assisting in menu development for sister cruise line Azamara Cruises. Johnson has staged with notable kitchens including the Picasso and Michelin-starred Guy Savoy but relocated to Cincinnati in 2009 to open Local 127. After the opening, he became executive chef at Paramour, a contemporary American fine dining restaurant in Philadelphia. 
 
"I'm happy to be back in the area and carry on the restaurant that Steve and I created together," Johnson says in a recent press release. "Steve is like a brother to me and one of my biggest mentors. I will miss him greatly and will forever thank him for asking me to embark on this journey."

Geddes, one of just more than 100 certified master sommeliers in the U.S., will remain a consulting master sommelier at Local 127, visiting occasionally, but will ultimately be heading west to continue his work in the food and wine world.


As far as changes, the restaurant will be extending its hours to include lunch (starting Nov. 5) and Saturday brunch (starting Dec. 7), which will feature a make-your-own bloody mary bar. Chef Johnson will also be updating the Local 127 menu to include more seafood and beef choices with seasonal preparations, plus adding a bar snack menu with pork belly bites, devils on horseback (a pub snack with a fruit like dates wrapped in bacon), fries inspired the by the In-N-Out Burger chain and more. 


And for fans of the "local" in Local 127, fear not: Chef Johnson will remain true to the restaurant's pledge of serving responsibly sourced foods, according to the press release.


Local 127 is located at 413 Vine St., Downtown. For more information visit mylocal127.com.


 

 
 
by Maija Zummo 10.03.2013
Posted In: News, local restaurant at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
mayday

Mayday's Menu Goes Gastropub

Northside bar expands its food offerings to include table service, a new head chef and expanded menu

Mayday in Northside has long been known for their gourmet hot dogs and sausages, nestled in a delicious pretzel bun, but after four years of business, the owners — Vanessa Barber and Kim Maurer — are ready to kick their menu up a notch. 

Starting on Monday, Oct. 7, Mayday will have a new, expanded menu developed with head chef Julz Lucas, a graduate of the Midwest Culinary Institute whose previous experience includes Honey, Mayberry and La Poste. With a goal of being a restaurant versus just a bar that serves food, they will add gourmet burgers, homemade oven fries, roasted chicken and seasonal sides, soups and sandwiches to their menu — all of which will still maintain their original focus of using local purveyors and making items in-house, including their bread. There will also still be the customer-favorite late-night dog and snack menu served after 10 p.m. 

“Now that we have a new head chef, we want to take those traditions and expand them to a more diversified menu,” co-owner Kim Maurer says. 

“We have always paid close attention to the details when it comes to our food, but we are finally able to move beyond our signature dogs and add more exciting menu options," adds co-owner Vanessa Barber. "We don’t want to be hemmed into the same identity we started with over four years ago. Mayday is dynamic — just like the neighborhood [Northside] we are so proud to call home." 

The menu expansion will also include table service, a rarity in the bar-food world, again elevating Mayday's status from pub to gastropub. They've also added a new, outdoor biergarten to their two-tiered patio and will be adding more cozy indoor seating as the weather turns colder. 

The new menu will be available daily starting at 11:30 a.m. (beginning Oct. 7) and remain in the $5-$15 price range. 

And Mayday will also still host weekly trivia, dance nights and live music regularly in addition to the food, making them a food and entertainment destination. 

Mayday is located at 4227-4231 Spring Grove Ave., in Northside. Starting next week, their hours will be 11:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday. More info at maydaynorthside.com.  

 
 
by Maija Zummo 07.16.2013
Posted In: local restaurant, News at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Senate Wins Best Hot Dog Nomination from 'Food & Wine'

'Cuz those hot dogs are good

Food & Wine magazine has confirmed what we Cincinnatians already know: Senate serves up some effing awesome hot dogs. 

In the magazine's slideshow of the top 28 best hot dogs in America — "from classic franks to artisan wieners" a photo of two delicious Senate dogs (taken by 513{eats}' Gina Weathersby) shows up first ... before Hot Doug's in Chicago and Crif Dogs in New York. That's what's up.

According to the write-up: "Chef Daniel Wright has received national accolades for his playful takes on pub food, including a regularly changing menu of hot dogs like the Croque Madame (Black Forest ham, poached egg, béchamel) and the Lindsey Lohan (goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula and balsamic vinegar)."

Now, where to go for lunch?

 

 
 
by Kenneth McNulty 06.06.2013
Posted In: local restaurant at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Myra's Dionysus: Healthy, Fresh and It's All Greek to Us

Strange how many times in my life I have started toward something and then found myself at a very different destination. I ate Greek food in Chicago, gyros to be specific, and asked, ‘How come you can't get these in Cincinnati?’ Seemed like the next great thing to me.”

This is what guided Myra Griffin of Myra’s Dionysus as she ventured to open her own restaurant near the University of Cincinnati campus in 1977. She wanted create a unique eating experience in the Cincinnati area. Kicking off the next big thing isn’t easy, though, and to keep it fresh, Myra saw to it the menu has an array of ethnic food.

“…I realized how little meat other cultures used and how much better it was for you,” she says. “Thus I became a much more vegetarian restaurant.”

When most people think of food in a college town, greasy quick meals and sandwiches from McDonald's come to mind. Myra didn’t want that. In fact, one of her main criteria for a location was a college town, for open-minded individuals who would enjoy her healthy, vegetarian alternative to standard college cuisine. “Healthy does not mean it can't taste good,” she says. That’s what she strives to deliver for every meal.

Myra’s other point in opening Dionysus was to craft an atmosphere where people could bring their families and enjoy themselves, again a notion not widely thought of in a college town. One would think more of fun drinking locations or places to get a quick bite but not somewhere you’d bring a child.

Myra’s Dionysus is a place where one family in particular has created a tradition — four generations have enjoyed Myra's cooking. That is service that’s hard to compete with. Dionysus is a kinetic place as well. It’s always moving forward, adapting new dishes to the proverbial arsenal. Myra enjoys the challenge of coming up with new dishes. She draws on cultures around the world, relishing in diversity.

“It has been a case of trying things, if they work, keep them; if not, change,” she says. At Myra’s Dionysus, the goal for the restaurant is to entertain people through atmosphere, customer service and good conversation. Myra has her degree in education, so teaching her employees was simply second nature. Seeing workers solve issues together and have a great time doing it is what helps drive the business ahead of the rest.

Myra’s Dionysus is an interesting establishment. It’s healthy, odd, has history but plays on contemporary trends. Myra makes sure all of these aspects and more show off to the outside world to bring in anyone willing to give one of her dishes a try. All Myra wants at the end of the day is a good experience for people involved.

“The fun is in seeing others enjoy what we have to offer,” she says.

Myra's Dionysus is located at 121 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights. Go here for menu, hours and more information.

 
 
by Chelsea Spata 06.05.2013
Posted In: local restaurant, News at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Hilton Cincinnati Wins Hotel Chain's Food and Beverage Award

Tops all Hilton locations for fourth straight year

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza has been named Hilton Hotels and Resorts’ No. 1 Food and Beverage Hotel in the USA for the fourth consecutive year. The award, conferred upon one outstanding 500-plus guestroom Hilton establishment, is determined by Hilton’s Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking (SALT) scores. Guests fill out satisfaction surveys which a third party company then compiles into scores for the hotel. Scores are then compared to other hotels and resorts within the Hilton chain.

The areas of performance rated this year include food quality, hospitality of restaurant staff, variety of restaurant menu choices, breakfast food quality, timeliness of room service and other food and beverage related presentation. Managing Director Michael Sheer and Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage Todd Kelly have received numerous honors for their staff’s superior performance and dedication to customer service.

In December, Hilton Cincinnati’s fine dining restaurant, Orchids at the Palm Court, was named one of the top 100 restaurants overall in the USA by OpenTable Diners. On March 1, Cincinnati Magazine rated Orchids the No. 1 Restaurant in Cincinnati for the fifth consecutive year.

Orchids has received many awards for its extraordinary products, atmosphere, and staff, including the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) four-diamond award for excellence for eight consecutive years. Zagat Survey, the original provider of user-generated restaurant ratings, named Orchids Cincinnati’s “Top Restaurant” of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Chef Kelly, once of only six Hilton Signature Chefs in the United States, was named the American Culinary Federation’s 2011-2012 No. 1 Chef in the USA, the highest honor conferred upon one of more than 20,000 chefs in the national organization.

With featured menu items such as roasted monkfish, Elysian Fields lamb loin and Maine lobster salad, Orchids remains a popular fine-dining establishment for Hilton guests and non-guests alike. “We’re very proud of our food and beverage team,” Chef Kelly said in a press release. “This award recognizes the hard work that we do each day to meet and exceed our guest's expectations. At Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza we are dedicated to providing an exceptionally high quality of food and outstanding level of customer service."

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, opened in 1931, is known both for its outstanding accommodations and its architectural prowess. Complete with rare Brazilian rosewood walls, German lighting fixtures, expansive Romanesque murals, and an original Rockwood Pottery foundation, this Hilton is a prime example of French art deco architectural style. The hotels boasts 561 newly updated guestrooms as well as more than 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Orchids at the Palm restaurant is open from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. For more information or reservations, visit orchidsatpalmcourt.com.

 
 
by Kenneth McNulty 05.28.2013
Posted In: Openings, local restaurant, News, Events at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Culinary Q&A: Dan Katz of Meatball Kitchen

Next pop-up dinner to be held June 12 at The Kitchen Factory

Dan Katz left his culinary ventures in New York City to start something new. He wanted a restaurant in a fun, welcoming environment and Cincinnati was just the place. But before he opens his restaurant, Meatball Kitchen, Katz is hosting pop-up dinners to see what people think of the food offered at his forthcoming establishment. As Katz continues his search for the perfect spot to open Meatball Kitchen, area foodies can keep up with the latest news on Facebook.

CityBeat: Why did you move from New York?

Dan Katz: I co-owned a French Bistro and American wine bar in NYC. My wife, Laura, grew up in Cincinnati and after visiting, I realized what a great place it is to raise a family. I am looking forward to adding my New York experience and energy to all the exciting stuff that is going on in the Cincy culinary community. I think Meatball Kitchen will be a perfect addition to the scene here.

CB: What inspired you to do these pop-up dinners?

DK: I've been thinking about this idea for a long time. My goal was to create a cravable, delicious take on the classic meatball. I want to raise the standard of typical fast food and bring delicious, affordable food to everyone. The pop-ups are a great way to introduce and test my concept. I want to be the great $5 sandwich place and feed the neighborhood.

CB: When is your restaurant opening?

DK: Soon! We are looking at locations around town. I have a great team ready to go and we are hoping to open by the end of the summer. 

CB: Are you doing any more pop up dinners?

DK: Yes. The next one is June 12 at The Kitchen Factory in Northside. At the last pop-up, we introduced the diners to our core menu. At the next pop-up, we will serve one of the exciting rotating specials as well. We believe that we can turn any recipe into a meatball! Diners can follow us on Facebook to keep updated about this and other events. 

CB: What are you most looking forward to when opening your restaurant?

DK: I am looking forward to feeding happy people. What's not to love about a fast, delicious, exciting, cheap and filling meal?

 
 
by Maija Zummo 03.20.2013
Posted In: local restaurant at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
chocolats latour bunnies

Chocolate Bunnies Get a Colorful Makeover

Local pastry chef/chocolatier/confectioner Shalini Latour of Chocolats Latour has seriously taken chocolate bunnies to the next level of cute by Willy Wonka-ing them into a rainbow assortment of colors. 

Chocolate naturally comes in brown (boring), dark brown (more boring) and white (really boring), so Latour applied some cocoa butter colors and turned her little Easter hoppers into periwinkle, lavender, flamingo, cantaloupe, sunflower and chartreuse rabbits. A chartreuse bunny! Brilliant.

Each candy is made of solid, fair-trade chocolate in dark, milk or white, which is then wrapped in a compostable cellophane bag. Bunnies are available in two sizes: 7 oz. ($9.50) and 20 oz. ($24). And, sure, the painted eyes are a tad freaky, but that's easy to get over — just eat the head first. 

Find Chocolats Latour distribution locations here (or email Shalini — shalini@chocolatslatour.com — to place an order). And find the rest of her Easter offerings here.




 
 

 

 

 
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