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by Maija Zummo 02.19.2014
Posted In: Events, News, fundraising at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Coffee Scene Unites to Help Injured Barista

Coffee scene continues to raise funds for friend/Red River Gorge fall survivor

In January, Deeper Roots Coffee Roasters held a fundraising event for BLOC Coffee Company manager Rhett Harkins, who fell 60 feet while hiking in Red River Gorge in December. It took 20 men and eight hours to get Harkins out alive. He has since undergone multiple surgeries and is recovering well, but he can't work and his medical bills are mounting. Which is why Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky's speciality coffee shops are rallying around Harkins to raise money to offset his medical costs. 

Deeper Roots' December Latte Art Throwdown fundraiser pulled together 16 baristi from 16 different shops in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Northern Kentucky. Harkins judged the event, which raised $1,700 to help cover the costs of his ambulance transportation, from his wheelchair.

Now, Justin Carabello, owner of Carabello Coffee of Newport, Ky., has coordinated an effort with six local shops to serve and sell a special roast called “Restore Coffee” that will benefit the Harkins family through the month of February. The roast is a Sumatra Natural Wahana and is available at Collective Espresso, Rohs Street CaféBLOC Coffee Company, Hilltop Cafe, Velocity Bike & Bean, Missio Dei Church and Carabello

“I am amazed at how quick the other shop owners have been willing to jump on board with this idea," Carabello says. "Let's face it, we are all using different roasters in our shops, so, doing this is far from normal. But we all love Rhett, and the idea here is a simple one: Our friend is hurt and we want to do something to help him. This is what communities do, and I believe that the silver lining in all of this is that Rhett’s suffering has helped us all take a step toward unifying this community.”   

Through February, you can walk into any of the aforementioned coffee shops and buy a cup or a bag of Restore Coffee to benefit the family. The blend is also available on Carabello Coffee's website

by Maija Zummo 01.17.2014
Posted In: News, History, local restaurant at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pompilios Returns to its Past with Bar Rebranding

The classic Newport Italian restaurant updates their back bar

Pompilios, the local Newport, Ky. restaurant famed for its family-friendly Italian fare and appearance in several major motion pitctures (Rain Man, y'all), is rebranding its back bar with the rollout of Colonel Pomps Tavern.

Established in 1933 by Colonel and Mrs. Pompilio, the bar and restaurant was the first to secure a liquor license in Kentucky after Prohibition ended. The back bar was a regular hang for Northern Kentuckians, featuring tiled floors, beveled-glass windows and a handcrafted cherry wood back bar that was built by the Wiedemann Brewing Company in 1886.

According to a press release, current owners Mike Mazzei and Larry Geiger are planning to "return to their past," imagining what the bar would have been like in 1933, when Prohibition ended. In concert with the vision, they'll be stocking a ton of local products, including a large selection of local beer.

"We intend to make Colonel Pomps Tavern a destination," Geiger says in the release. "We are featuring locally crafted beers, our large selection of bourbons, nightly bar food specialties and live music in the Rain Man room on Thursday and Friday nights."

They'll be keeping the bar's popular Monday $5 burger night and adding nights dedicated to flatbread and gourmet meatballs. 

Pompilios is located at 600 Washington Ave., Newport, Ky. They're open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For more information visit pompiliosrestaurant.com.

by Maija Zummo 01.14.2014
Posted In: News at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
eat well cafe exterior

O'Bryonville's eat well cafe & takeaway to Close

eat well's catering operations remain open

eat well cafe & takeaway, the restaurant portion of chef Renee Schuler's successful eat well celebrations & feasts, will be closing Friday, Jan. 17, according to a post on their official Facebook page.

Lovely friends,

January 9th we marked the one year anniversary for eat well cafe and takeaway. The cafe was a lifelong dream of mine, and I am grateful I had the opportunity to see it come to fruition beautifully. It has been an adventure and a joy, and I have learned a lot. 

Having completed the first year, however; I have decided to quit dividing my energy between two businesses. Our last day of business will be this Friday January 17th, we will be closing after lunch at 2:00 pm.

The beautifully renovated space in O’Bryonville will be available for private events and meetings after the restaurant closes. 

I am very excited to get back full time to my first love, events and corporate catering. Eat well celebrations and feasts celebrates nine years in business this fall and enjoyed it's most successful year in 2013. You can reach us there at 859-291-9355, and like our facebook page: eat well celebrations and feasts. 

Thank you for your loyalty and support this past year and always. I will be at the cafe monday through friday this week and hope to see some of your smiling faces!

by Maija Zummo 01.08.2014
Posted In: News, Cincinnati at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
to do 2-8 iconic market house photo, courtesy the corporation for findlay market

Findlay Market Cookbook in the Works

Recipes, market vendor profiles and more

This fall, keep your eyes peeled for a new farm-to-table Cincinnati-centric cookbook: The Findlay Market Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from Cincinnati's Historic Public Market.

Scheduled to hit shelves in October, this release from Farm Fresh Books, "an independently-owned specialty publisher of cookbooks for the nation's most enlightened public markets, farmers markets, and farm-to-table restaurants," will feature profiles of Findlay Market vendors, more than 100 recipes for local and seasonal dishes inspired by Findlay Market products and produce and possibly recipes from the city's prominent chefs. Authored by Bryn Mooth, editor of Edible Ohio Valley, with help from Karen Kahle, resource development director of Findlay Market, Mooth sees the book as a celebration of local food in Cincinnati, which she says is best represented through Findlay Market.

"People who visit the market experience what a community it is — with vendors and a diverse body of shoppers all coming together around food," she says via email. "The book will represent that sense of community. It will share the stories of the various market vendors and their specialties. Recipes will come from farmers, producers, artisans and retailers. Too, we're asking for recipes from prominent chefs in the city who, like the creative team producing the book, love Findlay Market for its fresh and seasonal offerings. So, while the cookbook centers on Findlay Market — it's more broadly a big dinner party with contributions from all over the city. You don't have to be a Findlay Market shopper to enjoy it — you just have to love Cincinnati."

Farm Fresh Books approached Findlay Market with the opportunity after successful experiences with cookbooks centered on other farmers markets in Ithaca, NY and Columbus, Ohio's North Market. According to Mooth, Jean-Francois Flechet of Taste of Belgium, who was part of the North Market cookbook, suggested Findlay Market to Farm Fresh's publisher.

While it's too early to talk specifics about who will be featured in the book, Mooth's goal is to feature all of the market's food vendors. And as far as recipes go, they expect to feature a large cross-section of the city's culinary past and present. 

"In just this first week, I've received a couple of recipes from Kate Zaidan of Dean's Mediterranean Imports that connect to her family's Lebanese heritage, and a recipe from Debbie Gannaway of Gramma Debbie's that features goetta," Mooth says. "And the book's prelude will no doubt celebrate Cincinnati's food heritage and Findlay Market's place in that."

Kahle says the book is slated to be delivered Oct. 1, 2014 and will be available exclusively in Findlay Market through December. Pricing will be between $22 and $25 with a portion of proceeds benefiting Findlay Market.

"The book is not only a wonderful, cook-able reference, but it's a great way for people to help the market continue its mission," Mooth says.

Keep an eye out on Findlay Market's social media for more details: @FindlayMarketfacebook.com/findlaymarketfindlaymarket.org. Or Mooth's Twitter: @writes4food.

by Maija Zummo 01.06.2014
Posted In: News, local restaurant at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
chez nora

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)

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 




by Maija Zummo 11.11.2013
Posted In: Alcohol, News, Events at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
igbys four roses

4EG Hosts Party for Their Four Roses Private Label Bourbon

An evening of tastings and a bottle signing by a Four Roses master distiller

4EG entertainment group's bar Igby's (122 E. Sixth St., Downtown) is hosting a launch party for their very own Four Roses private label bourbon on Tuesday. 

Igby's and The Lackman (1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine) visited the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky., on Sept. 10 of this year and specially select their very own barrel of Four Roses bourbon. The barrel, aged for eight years and four months, was bottled on Oct. 7. The private label bottle is now available for purchase ($55) at Igby's or The Lackman and to celebrate, the bars are hosting a party at Igby's with bourbon tastings and bottle signings by Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge, who has been with the distillery for almost 20 years.

The party kicks-off with a bottle signing at 6 p.m. followed by a "sip and learn" experience with Rutledge at 6:30 p.m. Four Roses bourbon flights will be available throughout the night for $10 and include a complimentary Four Roses glass. 

For more info, visit igbysbar.com

by Maija Zummo 10.29.2013
Posted In: News, local restaurant at 09:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 10.24.2013
Posted In: Cincinnati, News at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
skyline 3way

Deadspin Hates Cincinnati Chili

In case you missed this trending on local social media...

Deadspin, generally a sports blog, recently posted "The Great American Menu: Foods of the States, Ranked and Mapped." 

The "greats" include dishes like Chicago-style deep-dish pizza; the "goods" dishes like Maine's lobster roll; the "better-than-a-finger-in-the-eye" dishes like Michigan pasty; and, ranked dead-last, with "being hit by a car" a preferable choice, is Cincinnati chili.

As Deadspin says: "For the mercifully unacquainted, 'Cincinnati chili,' the worst regional foodstuff in America or anywhere else, is a horrifying diarrhea sludge (most commonly encountered in the guise of the "Skyline" brand) that Ohioans slop across plain spaghetti noodles and hot dogs as a way to make the rest of us feel grateful that our own shit-eating is (mostly) figurative... Cincinnati chili is the worst, saddest, most depressing goddamn thing in the world. If it came out of the end of your digestive system, you would turn the color of chalk and call an ambulance, but at least it'd make some sense. The people of Ohio see nothing wrong with inserting it into their mouths, which perhaps tells you everything you need to know about the Buckeye State. Don't eat it. Don't let your loved ones eat it. Turn away from the darkness, and toward the deep-dish pizza."

Read the whole post here

And sorry, Deadspin, the only thing this made me want was a 3-way. Nom.

by Maija Zummo 10.23.2013
Posted In: Openings, News at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
deweys pizza oakley reopening

Dewey's Pizza Oakley to Reopen

Updated and expanded after renovations

Dewey's Pizza opened its first location in Oakely in 1998. Since then, the local pizza chain has opened a total of 17 locations across Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and St. Louis. 

On Sept. 30 of this year, Dewey's Oakley closed for renovations, which include a slight expansion as well as an updated interior. The restaurant reopens for business 11 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 24. PIZZA!

More info at deweyspizza.com.