I’m usually skeptical of catch-all “Asian” restaurants that offer the cuisines of many countries under one roof. If I want good sushi, I go to a Japanese restaurant run by Japanese people. Good massaman curry? Thai Express, of course. I’m not saying that catch-all places can’t do a good job; they’re just usually not my first choice. But I kept an open mind when my girlfriend Casey and I headed to Mason’s Dao Modern Asian Cuisine on a recent Saturday evening.
New music venue/restaurant MOTR Pub is owned by Dan McCabe and Chris Schadler, who have booked up-and-coming bands for various local venues over the years. McCabe also produces the MidPoint Music Festival and the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for CityBeat and plays in the band The Kiss Me Everlasting.
We all know Hathaway’s (306 Vine St., Downtown; 513-621-1332) as the charming diner in the Carew Tower, a mainstay that’s been serving up breakfast and lunch comfort food for over half a century. But what do we know about its newest owner?
The family-owned Schoolhouse Restaurant in Camp Dennison recently reopened after a kitchen fire in June. Luckily, the fire was contained and the dining room suffered only smoke and water damage. As before, this old schoolhouse teaches lessons in the language of home-style cooking. You're provided so many bowls of starters and sides with your entrée that you're guaranteed to catch on quickly.
Before opening the NorthSlice Pizza window, Mike Aug had worked for specialty food distributors and grocers around town for years but he never worked at a pizza place. Aside from only a little experimenting at home, his first time making pizzas was NorthSlice’s almost-opening night inside the Gypsy Hut about three years ago.
The Palmieris, the family most recently behind Angelina Fine Foods in Findlay Market, have another venture that's been flying a little below the radar since opening last June. It's Europa, located in the heart of Covington's MainStrasse area and bringing a taste of the old countries to Northern Kentucky.
Total Juice Plus (631 Vine St., Downtown, 513-784-1666) has been serving natural fruit smoothies, wraps and fresh squeezed juices to the weekday downtown population for over a decade. Emil Mallat has been the owner for the past six years. With only two other employees, he does it all — from cooking, cleaning and managing to doing the books and promoting.
Since starting her handmade chocolate business Chocolats Latour a little over a year ago, Shalini Latour has seen some ups and downs in the chocolate world. The positives are obviously the excellent chocolates she makes with fillings and flavors like Juniper Berry, Ancho Chili and Stout (using the local Mt. Carmel Stout).
The new Star Lanes at Newport on the Levee is connected to (and shares a kitchen and menu with) the restaurant Toro. I have to admit that I wasn't looking forward to eating at a crowded, noisy bowling alley, even if it was supposed to be a semi-classy "boutique" bowling experience, but I was surprised.