Keystone Bar Bar & Grill in Covington (313 Greenup St., 859-261-6777) is known for its mac and cheese. In fact, they offer a mac and cheese menu. My mission on a recent Sunday, however, was brunch. We arrived just after 11 a.m. to find the restaurant nearly full and met up with friends.
At smoQ the motto is, “If it’s legal, we’ll smoQ it!” They mean it, too. Nearly everything on the menu is smoked, right down to the apples and peaches on two of the desserts. My intrepid family and I visited on a Monday night, ready for some barbecue and Southern-style food. We must have just beaten the rush because the place filled up almost immediately.
Chuck Warriner knows his wines, which is a good thing, as he’s the co-owner of the Dilly Café and the manager of the Dilly Wines & Gourmet wine shop in Mariemont. Chuck and his wife, Robbie, found themselves spending long, hard hours at the restaurant and decided they wanted to mold it into a place that was comfortable, welcoming and fun to be in.
El Jinete is most definitely heavy on the Tex-Mex with just a little authentic Mexican food thrown in, and the quality of the food surprised me. I suppose I don’t usually expect much from a strip-mall restaurant, but El Jinete delivered.
Opening a restaurant in our current economic condition is bold. Opening a restaurant in our current economic condition when you’ve never owned or managed a restaurant before is doubly bold. Charlena (Cee) Calloway and Michael Daniels think they have what it takes to succeed with Stuffed on Vine, and I must agree with them.
Things certainly have changed since I ate exclusively vegetarian. There were very few vegetarian-friendly restaurants in this city of flying pigs, let alone vegetarian-only restaurants. Now there are surprises — like a special vegetarian and vegan fine-dining menu at Primavista, Myra's Dionysus and more.
Chef Sean Kagy was educated at the New England Culinary Institute and worked at The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., in the early 1990s. From there he moved on to Chicago’s Four Seasons hotel before coming to Cincinnati to work under Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel at The Maisonette. After stints as executive chef of The Palace and owner/chef of One in Mason, Kagy opened his own corporate hospitality and consulting business.
What’s the best way to take on the big restaurant chains? Learn, succeed and then beat ’em at their own game! That’s what they’re doing at the new Copper Blue (A Grub Shack) in Milford. Copper Blue goes up against all the casual chain restaurants in the area and comes out a winner.
When the company restructures and you’re suddenly without a job, you might take a chance like Meredith Trombly and Louis Snowden did when they opened a food stall at Findlay Market called Fresh Table, specializing in organic, locally sourced foods. Meredith was the organic food buyer for Bigg’s and Louis was the corporate chef, both for about five years before Remke took over the supermarkets.
There are a few foods that people have such strong opinions about that they’ll start a conversation (or a fight) whenever they’re brought up. Hamburgers, ice cream and Cincinnati-style chili are a few, but I’ve only ever experienced honest-to-goodness harsh words from anyone over pizza. With this in mind, we headed to Mellow Mushroom.