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by Maija Zummo 01.17.2014
Posted In: News, History, local restaurant at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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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 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 01.14.2014
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 01.14.2014
Posted In: Openings, Cincinnati at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Meatball Kitchen Opening on Short Vine

All kinds of meatballs; so many ways to eat them

Similar to street tacos and gourmet hot dogs, meatballs are the latest food trend out of big 'ol cities like New York and former New York restaurant and bar owner Dan Katz is bringing them to us.

You may have tried Katz's meatballs at any number of his Meatball Kitchen's pop-up dining experiences around town the past year or so, but now you can have meatballs every day from his brick-and-mortar location — or at least every day starting on Friday, Jan. 17.

Katz is opening his Meatball Kitchen restaurant Friday in the burgeoning Short Vine neighborhood, and will be offering fast food at family- and student-friendly prices. The Meatball Kitchen's menu focuses on meatballs made with beef, turkey or pork and also offers a vegetarian, gluten-free meatball option. Meatballs can be served on a sandwich, over pasta or on a salad. Entree prices will range from $6-$8, with side dishes available for $2 and house-made desserts for $2-$3. According to Katz, the recipes are innovative and all the ingredients are fresh — including those in the daily fresh-baked Focaccia bread.

In a press release Katz says, "I wanted to provide everyone a place where they can come and get a freshly made meal for $10 or less."

The restaurant will serve wine, beer and specialty cocktails. 

Meatball Kitchen is located at 2912 Vine St., Clifton. They'll be open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, with both counter service and takeout. More at meatballkitchenusa.com.

 

 

 
 
by Maija Zummo 01.13.2014
Posted In: National food at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
onflict kitchen

Conflict Kitchen Serves Food from U.S. Geopolitical Enemies

Pittsburgh, Pa. take-out serves cuisine from countries with which America is in conflict

Pittsburgh, Pa.'s Conflict Kitchen (221 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, Pa., conflictkitchen.org) is a new kind of "pop-up" dining experience. The restaurant serves only cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict, according to their website, and rotates the country of food based on current geopolitical events. 

Each iteration of the kitchen is complemented by events, performances and discussions seeking to expand the public's engagement with the culture, politics and issues of the current "conflict" country. Their mission, according to their site, is to use "the social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of governmental politics and the narrow lens of media headlines."

The kitchen is currently focusing on North Korea. In concert with the menu — which features items like Bibimbop (seasoned veggies on rice), Manduguk (vegetable dumpling soup), Haemul Pajeon (seafood and scallion pancake), Kimchi and more — they recently passed out candy on Kim Jong-Un's birthday (Jan. 8), the same free candy the dictator passes out to children under the age of 10 in North Korea on his birthday. Their food wrappers (it's take-out only) also feature interviews with North Korean defectors of varying viewpoints. The website also offers additional educational resources about the country in question.

They have previously featured food from Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba and Venezuela. Upcoming versions will feature food from Palestine/Israel.

Read more on locally based roadtrip planning website Roadtrippers' blog. Or visit conflictkitchen.org.


 
 
by Maija Zummo 01.13.2014
Posted In: fundraising, Events, Cincinnati, Openings at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
breadsmith bread

Breadsmith Hyde Park Opening to Benefit ArtWorks

100 percent of proceeds from Saturday fundraiser go to youth development and community art projects

Breadsmith, a chain of independently owned retail bakeries, is opening a new shop in Hyde Park (3500 Michigan Ave., breadsmith.com). And before they open their doors, they'll be hosting an open house and preview to "raise dough" for ArtWorks — the local nonprofit organization that empowers and inspires the creative community to transform our everyday environments through employment, apprenticeships, education, community partnerships and civic engagement — from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.           

One hundred percent of the sales of the bakery on Saturday will benefit ArtWorks and their youth development programs this summer.

“Breadsmith is committed to giving back to the community that we live and work in,” Ward Bahlman, owner of the Breadsmith and resident of Cincinnati, says in a press release. “We want to celebrate our new store by supporting the worthwhile projects of ArtWorks which is doing so much for our community’s landscape.”

Tamara Harkavy, the founder, CEO and artistic director of ArtWorks added, “ArtWorks is grateful to Breadsmith for donating their sales to our Adopt-an-Apprentice campaign that will directly support the 120 teen apprentices we’ll hire this summer to work on ten new community murals and other creative projects.” 

The fundraising event for ArtWorks will also include behind-the-scenes tours and free samples of Breadsmith's award-winning breads, muffins and sweets. Customers will get a look at the European-style interior design which allows them to see the “hand-made, hearth-baked” Breadsmith process. 

For more information visit artworkscincinnati.org.


 
 
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 01.07.2014
Posted In: Beer, Alcohol, Events at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Moerlein Lager House January Beer Dinner

Moerlein pairs with Triple Digit Brewing for dinner and drinks

The Moerlein Lager House (115 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, moerleinlagerhouse.com) is pairing with local craft brewery Triple Digit Brewing Company, a nano-brewery that shares space with the Listermann Brewing Company in Evanston, for a paired and plated dinner to complement a selection of their unique beers.

The January beer dinner will feature six beers from Triple Digit/Listermann: one of their IPAs; Cincinnatus, a stout aged in bourbon barrels; Jungle Honey, an American pale ale; Nutcase, a peanut butter porter; Aftermath, a Scottish wee heavy; and Colonel Plug, a Kentucky-style common ale. Dishes will be prepared by Moerlein Lager House Executive Chef Nate Whittington.

6 p.m. Jan. 15. $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Register by emailing PrivateDining@MoerleinLH.com.

Learn more about Triple Digit and Listermann, plus get taproom hours and what's currently pouring at the brewery, here.



 
 
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 Belinda Cai 12.26.2013
at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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My Quest for the Perfect Cincy Macarons

I found them at Taste of Belgium, in eight holiday flavors

It all started when I ate at Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles for the first time. My boyfriend and I were vacationing in SoCal and went out to dinner with friends — L.A. natives and frequents of the popular restaurant and gourmet market with the most extraordinary bakery.

Right as we walked through the door, I noticed an eye-catching rainbow display of macarons; row after row of every imaginable color and flavor of the French meringue-based confection. We decided to peruse the bakery during our one-and-a-half hour wait to be seated (during which we spotted Funk musician George Clinton) and I remember practically drooling on the glass at the hazelnut, raspberry, espresso, violet cassis and even Earl Grey-flavored treats.

The petite and airy French macaron (pronounced “mah-kah-rohn” and not to be confused with the coconut cookie, macaroon) is made with egg whites, almond powder, confectioner’s sugar and food coloring. It has a crispy outside, chewy inside and velvety filling. I had only eaten macarons once before then, at a café in Hollywood earlier that week. Getting a box full of them after dinner was almost too good to be true.

Although I was happy to be experiencing them for the first time in Cali, macarons have been a fad in the past few years, popping up all over the place. Foodies among others have been dubbing them the new cupcake (because, you know, Cupcake Wars is a thing and cupcakeries are everywhere).

Upon returning to Cincinnati, I tried to find the city’s Bottega Louie. I wanted to discover a place overflowing with the ubiquitous macaron that is taking bakeries all over the East and West Coast by storm. After doing a few Yelp searches, I first ventured to The BonBonerie on Madison Road, not too far from my apartment. There were only two types of macarons there when I went — salty caramel and pistachio.

Although there was a limited selection of flavors, I was excited to order the pastries in my hometown and got a few of each. They were alright, but the meringue cookie outsides and filling were a bit thick and the macaron didn’t have its expected airiness. I wanted to find a place that offered a lighter pastry with a wider selection of flavors.

I later went to Aglamesis Bro’s in Oakley Square, one of my favorite ice cream parlors, to continue my search. Some of their reviews mentioned macarons. However, they didn’t have them when I went. I left with some black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream, so the outing wasn’t a total letdown.

I then attempted to go to the S&J Bakery and Café in Findlay Market on a Sunday, but was just a little too late. It was closed. Based on Yelp reviews, the macarons are good there (and are actually sold there) so I unfortunately missed out and need to go back.

The French Crust Café on Vine came up on Yelp under the “macaron” search and seemed promising, being a French café and all. There were reviews about desserts, such as pumpkin and chocolate mousse, topped with a macaron. Upon looking at the menu on the website, though, I didn’t see the pastries listed as separate items for purchase and decided to pass.

Among a few of the other places in the search results were Take the Cake, Frieda’s Desserts and Donna’s Gourmet Cookies, all of which vaguely mention macarons in the reviews and/or website.

However, the one place that stuck out to me in the Yelp search — that I’ve been meaning to try for ages and ages, not just for the macarons but for the food in general — is Taste of Belgium in Over-the-Rhine. It’s a local favorite when it comes to brunch and desserts. I finally paid the bistro a visit over the weekend and, for the first time, felt like I was in a West Coast bakery.

I instantly spotted the macarons, which took up an entire shelf. There were eight holiday flavors — Rum Raisin, Sticky Toffee, Sugarplum, Eggnog, Gingerbread, a very decorated Candy Cane, Cinnabun and Snow Ball (Coconut).

I ordered a box of them and my sister and I ate them before we even got our brunch. We really couldn’t help it, seeing as to how they’re so pretty and bite-sized. These macarons were similar to the ones I had at Bottega Louie; they were slightly crunchy, had just the right amount of chewiness and were filled with the perfect amount of ganache.

While I’m not usually into fads, this is one that I’m glad is spreading within our constantly evolving city. It might have taken me a few months, but I can finally say that I’ve found the trendy yet timeless confections I’ve been craving. And it just so happened to be in time for the holidays, in very appropriate festive flavors.

 
 

 

 

 
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