But the staff at Maribelle’s eat + drink has nothing to hide; in fact, they want you to see their kitchen.
Maribelle’s, which used to be located on Riverside Drive, is set to reopen Thursday at a new location on Madison Road in Oakley. Owners Leigh Enderle and Mike Florea wanted to create a restaurant that felt comfortable and open, so they redesigned the space that used to house Hugo to look like a kitchen at home.
The walls are now painted pastel yellow and green, and wooden chairs stand against high tables (designed by local architect Terry Boling) that look like kitchen islands. The kitchen line is completely exposed, as is the bar — so diners won’t be left wondering how the staff operates or how clean the kitchen environment is.
“Transparency is the concept we’re going for,” says Enderle. “We want people to know where their food comes from and how it’s made. We want them to understand the sourcing and we want them to understand how much work goes into the restaurant, too.”
Chefs at Maribelle’s will use hormone-free meat and seasonal
local ingredients for their American-fare menu items priced $8-15. Their
chicken and turkey products will come from Gerber Farms of central Ohio, and
their beer list will include domestic lagers, porters and IPAs. The restaurant will be open Tuesday-Sunday.
Maribelle’s staff thinks that everyone has the right to know where their food came from, and they invite diners to ask questions about their meals.
“I care about what I eat. Not all the time, but I do care,” says Enderle. “I care about where things come from, and I care that the animals are treated well. At Maribelle’s, we want to make sure we know the story behind the ingredients that we’re getting, and we want to make sure it fits into our concept of transparency.”
Napoleon Ridge Farm is hosting “Dinner on the Farm” on Friday, June 1 at their farm in Gallatin County. The fundraising dinner is part of this year’s Farmers’ Fair: Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food series. The event will raise funds for Community Farm Alliance, a 26-year-old nonprofit Kentucky grassroots organization that advocates for farms, farmers and food systems. The dinner will take place under the eaves of their large barn so rain will not be a problem. As this is a working farm, the animals will be there to say hello, and portable restrooms will be available for use as well.
Chef Steven Geddes from Local 127 and Chef Justin Dean from Relish Group will be harvesting, butchering and cooking the dinner — and having enjoyed Napoleon Ridge’s delicious pork and fresh herbs that I purchased at the Covington Farmer’s Market for the last two Saturdays, I know they will be working with wonderful ingredients. Wine to compliment the food will be from StoneBrook Winery in Camp Springs, and delicious musical entertainment will be provided by Kyle Knapp and Chris Cusentino of The Turkeys. There will also be Kentucky Ale and non-alcoholic drinks available.
Tickets are $100 per seat, limited to the first 50 paid seats, which includes all food, beverages including wine and beer, entertainment and a shuttle ride to the farm and back from Fountain Square — about a 70 mile round trip, so that makes it a real bargain! To make a reservation, contact Napoleon Ridge's owner, Tricia Houston, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 859-643-FARM for more information.
The "Best of Taste" awards — a precursor to the Taste of Cincinnati food fest later this month — were doled out today. Eighty dishes from 30 restaurants were served to judges — "celebrities, foodies and the epicurious" — and they awarded the Crab and Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle from Arloi Dee Thai Bistro the coveted "Best Damn Dish" prize.
Here's the full list of winners:
Best of Taste: Strasse Haus, Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly
Award of Excellence: LaRosa’s, Spinach Rondo
Award of Merit: Market Street Grille, Stuffed Chicken Amore
Best of Taste: du jours/Courtyard Café, Hunter’s Home Turkey Chili
Award of Excellence: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Caprese Salad
Award of Merit: City Barbeque, Gumbo
Best of Taste: Arloi Dee Thai Bistro, Crab & Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle
Award of Excellence: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Seafood Pizza
Award of Merit: Mahagony’s, Shrimp and Grits
Best of Taste: Andy’s Mediterranean Grille, Gyro Wrap
Award of Excellence: Claddagh Irish Pub, Jameson Burger
Award of Merit: Lazlo’s Iron Skillet, Walking Chicken Saltimbocca
Best of Taste: du jours/Courtyard Café, Black Bean Burrito
Award of Excellence: J. Gumbo’s, Bumblebee Stew
Award of Merit: LaRosa’s, Skinny Wheat Pizza
Best of Taste: ZZ’s Pizza Company, Banana Cream Pie
Award of Excellence: du jour’s/Courtyard Café, Raspberry Cloud Pie
Award of Merit: Claddagh Irish Pub, Bread Pudding
Best Damn Dish
Arloi Dee Thai Bistro, Crab & Shrimp Dumpling with Noodle
Taste of Cincinnati is coming up Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. Visit TasteofCincinnati.com for more details.
Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, plain and simple. And if you haven’t been living in a hole for the past couple of years you know that. So it should be of no surprise that someone would take a piece of that history back home with them.
That’s exactly what 25-year-old Daytonite and founder of The Dayton Beer Company, Peter Hilgeman, did. “I have always been interested in beer, but my interest really peaked when I worked at The Party Source during college,” Hilgeman says.
Hilgeman, a 2009 University of Cincinnati graduate, spent some of his time working across the river at The Party Source in Covington, which for many is considered to be the local mecca for beer and spirits.
“Living in Cincinnati definitely inspired me to brew beer and open up a brewery in my hometown of Dayton,” he says. “Cincinnati and Dayton have amazing brewing traditions and I truly love the history that both cities share with regards to their brewing.
“I really wanted to restore that brewing tradition not only for Dayton, but throughout Southwest Ohio."
Hilgeman also spent five months traveling throughout Europe honing his pallet for exceptional beers from around the world.
With names like Patterson Pale Ale, Inventors IPA and Hawthorn Hill Hefeweizen, Hilgeman wanted to make something that Dayton could call its own and the Queen City could also be proud of.
“My goal for The Dayton Beer Comapy is simple. I want to provide people with great-tasting beer that they really love drinking and to help them learn about the great brewing traditions Dayton and Cincinnati have to offer,” Hilgeman says. “I want to be thoroughly involved in the community and give back whenever and wherever possible."
Hilgeman plans to have his beer available in a few bar locations in Mount Adams. “I hope that the Queen City will be able to have a few Dayton Beer Company beers in the next month or two,” Hilgeman says. “ I also intend to expand throughout Ohio and eventually to other states as well, but with our roots firmly entrenched in Southwest Ohio.”
The Dayton Beer Co. is set to opens its doors at 912 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering, Thursday, May 17. The tasting room will be open Wednesday-Saturday until 10 p.m. Check out www.thedaytonbeerco.com for more information.
It’s almost here, Cincinnatians — Opening Day 2012 takes place Thursday. The beginning of
the Reds’ season is one of several cultural celebrations that the
Queen City does bigger than most other places (is it really possible
that another city gets down like our triumvirate of Opening Day-Taste
of Cincinnati-Oktoberfest?). As such, downtown Cincinnati will be
poppin’ off, as bars, restaurants and attractions attempt to engage
some of the locals who might only visit the business district for
The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade starts at 1 p.m., followed by the game against the Miami Marlins at 4:05.
The following is a list of more than 40 downtown businesses offering food and drink specials for Opening Day, according to Downtown Cincinnati Inc., the non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting downtown businesses.
Blue Wisp: Located right on the parade route at the corner of Race and 7th streets, the newly relocated Jazz club/restaurant will have its kitchen open all day, with happy hour specials including $2 Red drafts. Four big TVs and live music after the game. 700 Race St., 513-241- WISP.
Holy Grail: One of the new restaurants in The Banks, the Holy Grail will host several live radio broadcasts before and after the game, along with its typical food and drink offerings. 161 Joe Nuxhall Way, 513-621-2222.
In Between Tavern: Opens at 10 a.m. and offering $5 bottled beer. 307 Sycamore St., 513-621-7009.
The Lackman: Venture into Over-the-Rhine and taste the Gateway’s resurgence, or just a happy hour draft starting a 4 p.m. 1237 Vine St., 513-381-0741.
Lunar Lounge: This space-themed upscale lounge will open early and host DJs from Q102 and will have the game on its numerous TVs. 435 Elm St., 513-381-2573.
Mainstay Rock Bar: One of downtown’s best live music bars will offer happy hour deals from 4-9 p.m. 301 W. Fifth St., 513-721-7625.
Mynt Martini: Located on Fountain Square, Mynt will offer its new lunch menu starting a 9 a.m., along with plenty of TVs and live music. 513-621-6968.
Penguin Dueling Piano Bar: Plenty of TVs, plus $2.50 well drinks and $3 domestic beers. $5 cover. 441 Vine St., 513-621-2800.
The Righteous Room: Open at 1 p.m. with half-price drinks from 4-8 p.m., along with TVs and a DJ spinning at 10 p.m. 641 Walnut St., 513-381-4408.
Scene: Another of downtown’s hot night spots, Scene will be opening early to offer the game on TV. 637 Walnut St., 513-381-4327.
Tina’s: This corner bar will offer food and beer specials, starting at 8:30 a.m. 350 W. Fourth St., 513-621-3567.
Whisky Bar Cincinnati: The first 150 patrons will get a free Opening Day CD mix, and the bar will give away tickets to Opening Day before the game. $5 for a shot and beer, $3 Reds shots and more specials. 537 E. Pete Rose Way, 513-721-9227.
RESTAURANT AND BAKERY SPECIALS:
Abby Girl Sweets: “Reds” Velvet cupcakes and other flavors. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 41 W. 5th St., 513-335-0898.
Boi Na Braza: Ten percent off lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. 441 Vine St., 513-421-7111.
Café de Paris: This quaint sandwich shop offers a variety of coffee, cappucinos and lattes along with breakfast sandwiches and muffins, just around the corner from the parade’s route on Race Street. 17 Garfield Place, 513-651-1919.
Cincy’s on Sixth: Cincy’s will be celebrating its grand opening, with ticket giveways to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert and a Cincinnati Reds game. 9 a.m.-midnight. 41 W. Sixth St., 513-621-6200.
Findlay’s at the Hyatt Regency: “Make your own Bloody Mary” bar plus a breakfast buffet. 151 W. Fifth St., 513-579-1234.
Good Dog: $1 off Ballpark hot dog. 633 Main St., 513-381-2907.
Grecos: Opening Day tailgate with live music. $10 includes parking, cover and one free Grecos Signature Cincinnati Pork Green Chili Taco. Hamburgers, hotdogs and full lunch menu will be available throughout the day from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. 700 W. Pete Rose Way, 513-721-3663.
Greek to Me: Opening Day special “Buy a gyro, get a second gyro for $1.” 125 E. Court St., 513-422-4976.
It’s Just Crepes: Featuring "Go Reds" crepe with raspberries and vanilla cream for $3.99. 39 E. Court St., or 151 W. Fourth St.
J. Gumbos: Chicken Etouffee and Spinach Mushroom Etouffee is the $5 big bowl special. 425 Walnut St., 513-429-4549.
Johnny Rockets: Serving breakfast and regular menu before, during and after the game. 191 E. Freedom Way, 513-834-6110.
Blue Pizza: Open at 11 a.m. with an
all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for $7.50 that includes fresh
salad, homemade soup, soft drink or water, and all the pizza you
want. Buffet open until 2 p.m. Open for business all day and night.
35 E. Seventh St., 513-381-7777.
McCormick & Schmick’s: Opening at 11 a.m. and featuring two happy hours from 4-6:30 p.m. and 9:30-11 p.m. featuring a range of appetizers from $1.95 to $4.95. 21 E. Fifth St., 513-721-9339.
Moerlein Lager House: Hosting the Fuller Ford Opening Day Party from 11a.m.-4 p.m. with free music by the Naked Karate Girls. 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, 513-421-2337.
Morton’s: Open at noon with a great view of the Opening Day parade from windows overlooking Fifth Street and Fountain Square. Offering full menu in the dining room and bar bites in Bar 12*21. 441 Vine St., 513-621-3111.
Nada: Full patio set-up and ready for pre- and post-game goers. 600 Walnut St., 513-721-6232.
Nicholson’s: $2 Bud and Bud Light bottles and "Red Leg Bombs" for $4. 625 Walnut St., 513-564-9111.
Palomino: “The Big Red Flatbread” returns with four cheese spread, sliced hot Italian sausage links, roasted yellow peppers, dollops of bold smokey Ketchup and a sprinkling of fresh herbs, for $6. 505 Vine St., 513-381-1300.
The Phoenix: Opening Day Ballpark Buffet with hotdogs, brats, metts, popcorn and peanuts from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for $14.95. $2 domestic bottles and $4 imports. $4 call liquor and $6 premium. Also, parade seating will be available. 812 Race St., 513-721-8901.
Plum Street Café: Lunch service available until 5 p.m., with the bar remaining open late-night. Big TVs. 423 Plum St., 513-651-4341.
Rock Bottom Brewery: Open at 9 a.m. and serving Donut Cheeseburgers on the patio. Located on Fountain Square. 513-621-1588.
Senate: This OTR hotspot is open from 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for lunch. Dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. serving Reds-related gourmet hot dogs. Full bar available. 1212 Vine St., 513-421-2020.
Servatii’s: Open 6 a.m.-5 p.m. serving baseball decorated cookies at both downtown locations and passing out pretzel sticks at the Local 12 booth during the Reds Rally on Fountain Square. On Fountain Square and 41 E. Court St., 513-241-7500.
Snappy Tomato Pizza: Free Busken cookie with purchase while supplies last. The buffet is $6 and includes all you can eat pizza, salad and drink, or a baby beast personal pizza pepperoni or plain cheese for $4.69. 330 Walnut St., 513-241-9888.
The Squirrel: Free Busken cookie with purchase while supplies last, along with a sandwich, chips and drink special. 344 Walnut St., 513-721-1128.
Streetpops: This new popsicle shop will celebrate its grand opening this week. Open noon- 6 p.m. on Opening Day with 50 cents off all red popsicles. 1437 Main St., 513-446-7505.
Taste of Belgium: Open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch (Taste of Belgium) and 5-10 p.m. for dinner (Belgium Bistro). Outdoor seating with delicious Belgium waffles available. Offering Reds cookies and chocolate dipped mini-waffles on a stick. Happy hour from 5-7 p.m. 1133 Vine St., 513-381-4607.
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill: Serving lunch and dinner all day in an American-themed space. 145 E. Second St., 513-721-8629.
Tot Dogs: Open 11 a.m. 634 Vine St., 513-345-3056.
Trattoria Roma: Free appetizer with the purchase of two main courses. Offering a full bar and a late night menu. 580 Walnut St., 513-723-0220.
Walnut Street Grill: Open 11 a.m.-midnight. Enjoy a 3 Olives party downstairs and a Budweiser party upstairs. All drink specials will be effective all day and will include wine, beer and liquor specials, plus $2 pints of red beer. 631 Walnut St., 513-241-0707.
Washington Platform: Open before and after the parade. 1000 Elm St., 513-421-0110.
Wicked-wich: "Reds home run combo" featuring red garlic tomato soup and quarter pound all beef Nathans dog for $7.79. 425 Sycamore St., 513-421-9424.
Congratulations to Chef Daniel Wright of Senate and Abigail Street! Wright won Food & Wine’s People’s Choice competition for Great Lakes Region’s Best New Chef. Wright’s work is wowing locals and filling his two hip Over-the-Rhine eateries out the door with eager diners. Nice to bring this recognition home again, following The Palace’s Jose Salazar’s victory in 2011.Also hot news today: Burnell’s has opened in Mayberry’s former spot at 917 Vine St. Chef Nathan Jolley has begun his new venture with lunch service, Monday through Friday from 10:30am to 2:00pm. The menu is online at http://www.burnellscincy.com/Lunch.html.
We still love Mayberry! Be sure to visit Chef Josh Campbell in his new location at 1211 Main St. We were there for Sunday brunch a few weeks ago. The food was better than ever, and the people are sweet as pie. Follow Josh on Twitter @mayberrycincy.
Food & Wine magazine has named two of Cincinnati’s finest young chefs as runners-up for the title of "Most Talented New Chef in America." Daniel Wright of Senate (and Abigail Street) and José Salazar of The Palace are both outstanding, talented chefs who do Cincinnati proud and can truly hold their own against the other eight Great Lakes nominees — seven from Chicago and one from Indianapolis. Since this is a People's Choice award, you can cast a ballot and help bring home this worthwhile recognition of our local dining scene.
Here's a link to the voting, and may the best chef win!
The grilled cheese-n-tomato soup gods at Tom + Chee are no strangers to the spotlight. Since its inception in 2009 as a food tent on Fountain Square, the comfort food joint has gone on to expand to two permanent locations and has been featured on Man vs. Food Nation and Amazing Eats. They even boast a food challenge called The Baker's Dozen: a mad dash to consume a tray full of their famous grilled cheese donuts. So what's next for Tom + Chee? A reality show, apparently.
The restaurant has been teasing the idea via social media and today released a video previewing the show:
Sure, it's a little cheesy (but what else would you expect from a restaurant with the diary ingredient in its name?) and lacking in the production/sound department, but I'm admittedly an automatic fan of all things T+C.
It's a great message to share — small-time businesses really can become successful even in a crappy economy. And with fun characters like Andre, it certainly won't be a boring show. Speaking of, did we just discover Golden Voice 2.0? Entertainment Tonight, are you watching?
Keep your eyes peeled for more Tom + Chee updates, and keep your belly filled with their delicious creations.
Sushi Bears, located in Findlay Market’s Historic Market House, offers Indian and sushi cooking classes for $80 per couple. Led by experienced chefs, the classes for two show proper cooking techniques and dissolve the mystiques surrounding Indian/Asian food cuisines over an hour and a half. You get to choose between the two cuisines and (of course!) there are vegetarian and vegan options for both — just be sure to tell the chef when you schedule your class.
In an effort to curb the copious amounts of money I spend on Indian take-out every month, I opted to take my date to the Indian food class. I scheduled our cooking class on a Wednesday; Findlay is pretty calm during the week (I wouldn’t recommend the weekend because it’s busier and noisier), and coupled with the warm weather, the mood was perfect. Inspired by the market’s intimate atmosphere, I was ready to get down on some good cooking.
We walked up to the counter and our chef was getting the food and tools together, ready to teach. With five years of Indian cuisine cooking experience under his belt, Chef Joshua Stewart was knowledgeable, funny and he (somehow) made cooking Indian food seem effortless.
Over the course of 75 minutes we learned about different spices and ingredients used in popular Indian dishes, how to prepare those ingredients and how to make paneer cheese. By the end of the class we made three different dishes: saag paneer (a creamy spinach dish topped with Indian cheese), golden curry (a base sauce used in around half of all Indian food recipes) and masala (curry with tomato paste and spices). We topped a bowlful of rice with the trifecta of sauces, sprinkled it with homemade cheese and dug in.
In addition to the cooking classes in the Market, the folks at Sushi Bears teach group classes in homes, serve food and drinks to market-dwellers and cater parties and events. Next time you’re at Findlay start off with the wheatgrass lemonade ($2.49), one glass has the same nutritional content as a pound of green leafy vegetables. For a meal try the chicken curry naan-wrap ($5.95) — that’s right, it’s like a burrito, only substitute the tortilla with fluffy naan and a heap of your favorite Indian dish inside. If you’re looking for more traditional Indian cuisine, try the chicken curry meal ($7.95). The portion sizes are pretty big, so be prepared to make some space in your fridge for leftovers.
Judging by the food baby in my date’s stomach (he finished his whole plate), I didn’t need to make room in my fridge. I had a feeling my leftovers would be gone by the end of the evening, and I wouldn’t be the person who ate them. Luckily, Chef Joshua sent me home with a DVD providing step-by-step instructions on the Indian dishes so I can recreate them at home.
Store Hours: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday
Full Disclosure: CityBeat's discount gift certificate program, Perkopolis, offers a half-price deal on Sushi Bears rolling classes, though it was not the inspiration for our intern to try out the class. For more information, go here.
Greater Cincinnati Independent restaurants will present their annual Spring Restaurant Week March 12-21. Each year during this event, local eateries offer diners special deals on a sampling menu. If you've been wanting to check out some new (or classic) area restaurants, this is the perfect chance to taste lots of dishes without dropping major cash.
This year's event features 27 local restaurants including Vito's Cafe, Jag's, Local 127, The Golden Lamb and The Midwest Culinary Institute's on-site restaurant, The Summit. Each spot offers a three-course tasting menu for $26.12. There will also be wine pairings from William Hill Estate Winery and cocktails by OYO Vodka, produced in Columbus using Ohio-grown ingredients.
Eating local gives diners the opportunity to experience Cincinnati's own "flair," but it's more than just a great way to show "team spirit" for your hometown. Money spent at independent businesses is stretched farther and filters back into the local economy. And when restaurants like La Poste and Lavomatic cook with locally sourced ingredients, it creates a chain effect of funds remaining within the Greater Cincinnati market. Meta-local!
Greater Cincinnati Independent also presents a yearly Fall Restaurant Week. Gift certificates and rewards cards are available at eatlocalcincy.com. Go here to check out all participating restaurants for March's event.