CityBeat Blogs - Events http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blogs-1-1-1-40-179.html <![CDATA[Team Behind Kaze, Embers to Open New OTR Eatery]]>

Restaurateur Jon Zippersteain — the man behind Japanese gastropub Kaze in OTR and sushi/steakhouse Embers in Kenwood — is slated to open the new Mercer OTR on Nov. 4.

The Mercer, at corner of Vine and Mercer streets (on the ground floor of the Mercer Commons apartment complex), will be a casual, European-influenced bistro with seating for up to 60.

"This restaurant was inspired by the sophistication and Mod sensibilities of '60s cinema, which idealized and often parodied 'The Sweet Life' a la 'La Dolce Vita'," says Zipperstein in a recent press release. "There is a vibrant lifestyle here in OTR that we want to echo. I want people to think of The Mercer as a living room for the neighborhood."

Chef Dan Stoltz will interpret rustic Italian-European dishes — like duck-leg cassoulet, porterhouse for two, short ribs, risotto and chicken saltimbocca — in a modern, contemporary way. All pasta, including garganelli, will be made in-house. 

On the bar end, the full-service bar — overseen by head mixologist Greg Wefer — will seat 40 and include Prohibition-era favorites like the Americano (Campari, Aperol, sweet vermouth and lime) and a Blood Orange Sazerac (rye, Solerno and blood orange bitters), plus a diverse wine list and local and craft beers. 

The restaurant is slated to open on Nov. 4 and will be — get this! — accepting reservations. Make them at opentable.com or call 513-381-0791.

The Mercer OTR, 1324 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-0791, facebook.com/TheMercerOTR.

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<![CDATA[The Palace's Chef Joe West Wins CityBeat's Iron Fork]]> Wednesday, Oct. 15, kicked off CityBeat’s maiden voyage for Iron Fork Cincinnati, a Iron Chef-esque cooking competition complete with famous chefs from around the city, closed-circuit television and, of course, plenty of food and drink to keep the attendees happy and buzzed.

The event, which raised money for local nonprofit Gabriel’s Place and its Junior Culinary Institute, took place at the Christian Moerlein brewery in Over-the-Rhine. The restaurants represented (Jimmy G's, Django Western Taco, LaLa's Blissful Bites, Invito Chef, El Rancho Grande, Huit BBQ, Redondo Taqueria, Axis Alley on the Levee, Seasons 52, Silver Ladle, Elephant Walk Injera & Curry House, Washington Platform, Swad, O'Malley's in the Alley, Mazzaro's Place, The Pub, Boswell Alley and Moerlein Lager Houseeach provided a small sample of their favorite items for attendees to nibble on, from mini-steak sandwiches to shot glass-sized pecan pie. Some of the vendors were parked in the more polished taproom, while the majority of the booths and the competition itself appeared in the “basement chic” room next door. Attendees wandered from booth to booth, balancing small plates and frothy cups of Moerlein beer as they waited for the main event to begin. Everyone looked slightly confused at first, but it didn’t take long for everyone to catch on and figure out where to go — the Four Roses bourbon cider probably helped.

Iron Fork’s version of Kitchen Stadium was a small-ish cooking space set up at one end of the very large room. It was fully stocked with brightly colored produce from SYSCO, plenty of spices, gas burners and shiny stainless steel cookware from Cooks'Wares. Scattered across the room were large TVs (not in HD, our spoiled selves lamented) for those who may not be able to find a spot in the small area in front of the kitchen to watch the action. The three judges were perched to the left of the kitchen, presumably starving.

Frances Kroner of Sleepy Bee, Jose Salazar of Salazar and Joe West of The Palace at The Cincinnatian were the three chefs chosen to appear for the event. Each of them had one hour to create a dish using the elusive secret ingredient: figs. (Most of the crowd had left before the secret was revealed; it had to remain a secret to make the competition fair for everyone.) Each chef also had a Junior Culinary Institute student from Gabriel’s Place on their team; all three of the students, it must be said, were incredibly impressive in their professionalism and skill. 

The hour-long cooking time per chef allowed attendees to continue to wander and stuff their faces with local treats. The amount of sweet options seemed high (possibly because it was hard to locate the free water to cleanse your palate). The beer line never seemed to shorten, which was fine. If anything, it allowed for more socializing with the other food enthusiasts. Watching the cooking itself was only really entertaining near the end of the hour-long time limit — Jose Salazar straight up ran to the judges’ table with his dishes at the end, and that’s just good TV. 

Once each chef’s segment was complete and the three judges were served, a fourth dish was auctioned off to a lucky audience member. (Frances Kroner’s dish went for a whopping $150.) 

"All the chefs did a great job and we had a lot of fun sharing our thoughts and our food with the crowd," says judge and CityBeat food writer Anne Mitchell. "Frannie Kroner's lamb chop entree was wonderful, and (Ilene Ross, CityBeat food writer and judge) had a great idea — she added one of her lamb chops to the auction for Gabriel's Place." 

"I ate all three of mine and gnawed the bones clean, so that shows you where my heart resides," she continues, laughing. "Jose's appetizer, lamb tartare, was amazing. Ilene licked her plate. It was the kind of dish that separates ordinary food from art." 

The audience did not hear from the judges until the end, when they named The Palace’s Joe West as the winner for his appetizer and entree dishes. 

"Joe West's appetizer and entree blew us away," says Mitchell. "The scallop crudo was another work of art, and it was the perfect starter for Joe's main dish. I wish I could be 100 percent sure of the description but things got a little crazy at the end and we really didn't hear what Joe said, but I think it was halibut in veloute sauce with bacon crumbles for a garnish, flash-fried potato 'chips' from tiny fingerling potatoes and the figs." 

"Figs were the 'secret ingredient' that all the chefs had to incorporate into their dishes," she continues. "It would have been fun to see them utilized a little more essentially in the dishes instead of used as a (yummy) garnish, but that seems a little like splitting hairs."

Overall, the event’s first run was a success. Did I want to snag one of Kroner’s scallops or a bite of Salazar's lamb tartare right off the judges’ table? Sure. But I didn’t, and it still turned out to be a nice little Wednesday night. 


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<![CDATA[Rhinegeist Saber Tooth Release Party]]> Rhinegeist's rarity Imperial IPA Saber Tooth is only let out of its cage twice a year — and one of those times is Saturday, Aug. 30. 

Saturday's launch party starts at noon and it is the only day you'll be able to fill crowlers (Rhinegeist's can-growlers) with Saber Tooth. If you miss the party, you miss your opportunity to take the beer home. 

Saber Tooth IPA is 8.5-percent alcohol by volume, with notes of papaya, mango, peach and a crisp, citrus bitterness. Crowlers are $12 for a 32 oz. refill and $20 for a 64 oz. refill. Crowlers themselves are $14. Limit per person: 4 growlers/8 crowlers. 

Get there early to get a free Saber Tooth Tiger poster with your first beer purchase (while supplies last). Noon-midnight. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.
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<![CDATA[Bars and Restaurants with Riverfest Views]]>
Instead of hanging out on the riverfront all day, claiming a prime viewing spot with a lawn chair, make a reservation at one of these river-view restaurants for dining deals with great views of the 9:05 p.m. WEBN Rivefest fireworks.

Ohio
  • The Celestial: A four-star, four-course, prix-fixe meal before the show. 5:30-6 p.m. seating. $129. 1071 Celestial St., Mount Adams, thecelestial.com.
  • Incline Public House: Pig roast, fireworks and two drink tickets. $75. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, email Dan@inclinepublichouse.com for details and reservations.
  • Primavista: This Price Hill haunt has a great view of the city and the fireworks, with a special four-course dinner deal. 5 p.m. $65; $20 deposit due at time of booking. 810 Matson Place, Price Hill, reservations available by phone only at 513-251-6467.
  • The Rookwood: Hosting an event called OTR Country Club in honor of the fireworks with live music and a pig roast. Transportation provided from Washington Park. 4 p.m.-midnight. $25. 1077 Celestial St., Mount Adams, facebook.com/therookwood.
Kentucky
  • The Chart House: Buffet. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $100. 405 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., 859-261-0300.
  • Claddagh Irish Pub: Offers two different fireworks packages: VIP ($100; patio seating; four course dinner at 6:30 or 7:30 p.m.) or Classic ($60; inside dinner; buffet). 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., claddaghirishpubs.com.
  • Dick's Last Resort: A self-proclaimed "not so fancy fireworks party." Includes a seat and three beers. 6-10 p.m. $75; $50 kids. On the old Jefferson Hall Patio, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., facebook.com/dickslastresortnewportky.
  • Mitchell's Fish Market: Hosting a private, tented party with a buffet for the fireworks on the Newport Aquarium Plaza. 6 p.m.-midnight. $99.99. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., 859-291-7454.
  • ThreeSixty at the Radisson: A full buffet plus a view of the fireworks from atop the rotating restaurant. 5-8 p.m. buffet. $70. 668 W. Fifth St., Covington, Ky., 859-491-5300, threesixtydining.com/events.php.




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<![CDATA[Taste of Blue Ash]]> Taste of Blue Ash is the suburb's answer to downtown's annual (and the nation's longest running) food festival, Taste of Cincinnati.

The free event, celebrating almost 30 years this year, will have more than 25 food vendors including Buona Terra, City BBQ, Alfio's Buon Cibo, La Petite France, Rascals' NY Deli and more. And 16 of those are “Best of Taste” winners. Crowds typically reach about 120,000 over the course of the three-day event, and this year should be no different because along with the food there will be live music from headliners The Charlie Daniels Band (9 p.m. Friday), Michael McDonald (9 p.m. Saturday), TOTO (7 p.m. Saturday) and Kellie Pickler (7:30 p.m. Sunday).

Join foodies and those just looking to soak up some final summer nights at Blue Ash’s new Summit Park; bring lawn chairs and blankets to reserve concert seating. There will also be festival rides and games.

6-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; 2-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23; 2-9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24. Free. 4335 Glendale-Milford Road, Blue Ash, blueashevents.com.

 

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<![CDATA[Do Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant Week]]> Do Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant and Bar Group is an association of downtown restaurants and clubs that work together to build awareness and enhance downtown dining and entertainment. This week — through Aug. 17 — is the sixth annual Do Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant Week, when downtown/The Banks/OTR restaurants offer deals: either $35 for a three-course dinner or for two dinners. A great opportunity to try something new on a budget.

Participating restaurants include: 
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<![CDATA[Look Who's Eating: Ryan Santos]]>

CityBeat is resurrecting our popular "Look Who's Eating" column, where we ask local chefs and food industry insiders where they've been dining and what is exciting them about Cincinnati's current culinary culture. This month, we talk to Ryan Santos. 

Chef Ryan Santos has already built a reputation as the man behind Please, a mobile dining pop-up. Having recently returned from an internship in Denmark, Santos plans to wow taste buds again with a new dinner series — and soon, Please’s very own space. 

On a remote island in the middle of the Baltic Sea, Santos learned how to utilize and preserve ingredients. He toured the Nordic Food Lab, tasting their latest experiments — everything from bee larvae and grasshopper soy sauce to six-year-old quince vinegar. 

Santos will put his food expertise to work with a dinner series at Cheapside Cafe one weekend per month. To prepare, he picks chanterelle mushrooms a few times a week, and plans to use summer produce like blackberries, blueberries, corn and summer squash.

Using commercial cooking equipment for the first time, in addition to the communal seating and four walk-in spots offered each night, Please will be accessible to more Cincinnatians than ever before — and it’s only just getting started.  

CityBeat: What was the last great meal that you ate and where did you eat it?
Ryan Santos: I spent a week dining around Copenhagen before my internship and had some amazing meals. My meals at Kadeau, Relae and Amass were all fantastic. Copenhagen is also a big supporter of natural, organic and biodynamic wines. I had some eye–opening glasses (and bottles) of wine at wine bars. 

CityBeat: Locally?
RS: I'm happy any time my meal is in the hands of Jose Salazar.

CB: What's in the future for Ryan Santos and Please? 
RS: Right now I'm helping chef John Shields do dinners at Riverstead, in Chillhowie, Virginia, one week a month, doing our Cheapside Dinners one weekend a month, and we are in the process of getting the pieces together for a place of our own open. I think the time is finally right for us to have our home base!


To learn more about RYAN SANTOS and Please or sign up for a dinner at Cheapside, visit at pleasecincinnati.com. Wanna hear what your favorite chef's favorite meal is? Email suggestions to eats@citybeat.com.

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<![CDATA[New Cold-Press Juice Bar Coming to OTR]]>
Big news for local juice fans. Cold-press juice bars are a new staple in most big cities — follow any model, actress or fashion blogger on instagram and you'll see oodles of the stuff from places like Venice Beach's juice bar Moon Juice. 

Now, locals Annie McKinney, Cydney Rabe and Steve Vickers are bringing the trend to Cincinnati with their new OTR juice bar Off the Vine (1218 Vine St., OTR, facebook.com/otvcincy).

"Cydney, Steve, and myself firmly believe that healthy eating is vital to a healthy and happy life," says McKinney. "Juicing is such a fantastic way to easily absorb important nutrients — nutrients that the vast majority of Americans lack from their diet." 

Off The Vine will offer cold-press juices made from fresh produce and herbs. Cold-pressing is a form of juicing that basically uses extreme pressure to juice produce, without adding heat. Heat possibly denatures the enzymes, vitamins and minerals in the vegetables; cold pressing preserves the health benefits while also squeezing out more juice than traditional methods. Off the Vine juices will range from $8-$11, a pretty standard price for cold-press. They'll also be making their own vanilla cashew milk.

"We have three different 'levels' of green juice," McKinney says, "from a basic spinach and apple to a hardcore, all-vegetable juice. Something to please the person who has never tried a green juice before to those who are looking for an intense blend of greens."  

Off the Vine will also be offering juices cleanses with a daily series of five juices and one meal-replacement nut milk as a "kick start for people looking to rid their bodies of the toxins that build up from poor eating habits," McKinney says. The group will also offer support for those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

They plan to open this fall, possibly in September. Follow their progress at facebook.com/otvcincy.

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<![CDATA[Maribelle’s eat+drink to Host Fourth 'Food Fight']]>
The fourth round of Food Fight at Maribelle’s eat+drink is coming up at 6 p.m. on July 14. 

This live, Chopped-style competition was started by Maribelle’s chef/owner Mike Florea to create and maintain camaraderie between restaurant professionals and the public alike. Anyone is welcome to participate. If you would like the opportunity to compete, simply inform the door attendant and put your name in the pot. Twelve names are chosen. 

There are two rounds of competition, each consisting of three chefs and three judges. The winner of each round will compete for the championship. Each cook will receive five or six very random ingredients and has 30 minutes to make an entrée style plate utilizing all of them. They also have a small selection of pantry and walk-in items to choose from to boost those ingredients from the basket. Appliances are limited. 

“Food Fight is knowing your surroundings,” says Florea, “Feeling the camaraderie, learning the craft, being the passion. ... And watching shit go down. It's amazing to see some of the best chef's in the city go against some of the best cooks, farmers, housewives, stay-at-home dads, business owners and foodies alike. The best part about it is giving them all ingredients that none of them are 100 percent comfortable with. Eat. Drink. Fight.”
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<![CDATA[Taste of Belgium Clifton to Host World Cup Viewing]]>
The Clifton location of Taste of Belgium — Cincinnati's only Belgian-inspired eatery — will host a World Cup viewing party for the Team USA versus Belgium game on Tuesday, July 1. (The game begins at 4 p.m.)

The Clifton locale of TOB has seven HDTVs, one large HD projector screen, a big bar and a large beer selection. Afraid of who to cheer for in the Belgian bar? Owner Jean-François Flechet, a Cincinnati resident and Belgian native says, "What better place to come watch USA vs. Belgium than at Taste of Belgium? The entire staff and all our customers have cheered for both teams so far — we hope to see some good soccer."

“I’d be happy either way for either my homeland or my adoptive land to make it to the next round,” Flechet adds

TOB will also be giving away one official Belgian and one official American soccer jersey. Patrons can enter to win the American jersey by ordering a Budweiser and the Belgian jersey by ordering a Duvel. (Those under 21 can simply enter their names.)

Parking is behind Taste of Belgium by the corner of University and Vine streets. Taste of Belgium Clifton, 2845 Vine St., Corryville, 513-394-7105, authenticwaffle.com
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<![CDATA[Please to Start Serving at Cheapside Cafe]]> Ryan Santos and his team at Please — his novel farm-to-table style pop-up dining experience, which has previously found homes in storefronts like OTR's streetpops and at Carriage House Farm in North Bend — are making dinner a regular date at the new Cheapside Cafe downtown. 

Friday and Saturday nights, Please will be taking over the cafe (located at 326 E. Eighth St.) offering communal-seating dinner service for 12 people at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The dinners will remain five-courses for $59 (per person plus tax and gratuity), with accommodations made for allergies and dietary restrictions if noted in your advance reservation. Dinners are BYOB with coffee service provided from Cheapside for a separate purchase. 

New to these dinners will be walk-in service. Up to four walk-in diners will be accepted at each dinner, for those who weren't able to reserve in advance. Walk-ins will be accepted 15 minutes prior to each service on a first-come, first-serve basis. Their current available seatings are:
  • 6 p.m. Friday, July 25 (12 guests, 4 walk-ins after 5:45 p.m.)
  • 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 25 (12 guests, 4 walk-ins after 8:15 p.m.)
  • 6 p.m. Saturday, July 26 (12 guests, 4 walk-ins after 5:45 p.m.)
  • 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26 (12 guests, 4 walk-ins after 8:15 p.m.)
Reservations go quickly, so head to pleasecincinnati.com or facebook.com/pleasecincinnati to sign up.
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<![CDATA[Enoteca Emilia to Open Adjacent Southern Restaurant]]> The team behind O'Bryonville's successful rustic Italian kitchen and winebar, Enoteca Emilia (2038 Madison Road), has announced they'll be opening an as-of-yet unnamed Southern restaurant in the former (and adjacent) eat well cafe/What's for Dinner? space. 

Restaurateur Margaret Ranalli and Enoteca's executive chef Adam Cobb plan to reimagine the classic “Southern joint." According to a recent press release, the Culinary Institute of America-trained Cobb envisions the restaurant will be an eatery and bar reminiscent of his experiences moving throughout the Carolinas as a Southern minister’s son.  

“This is a tribute to many things: Southern grandmothers, tow-behind barbecues, church picnics, low-country boils and all things bourbon," he says in the aforementioned release. "The food will be simple and soulful; but above all, it will be incredibly satisfying."

The menu will feature in-house, bourbon-bottled cocktails and picnic packages for convenient takeout and dinner will spotlight fried chicken, beer-braised brisket and low-country classics like shrimp and grits and roasted oysters. The restaurant's daily brunch will feature Southern eggs Benedict, breakfast biscuit sandwiches and French toast. 

Ranalli says the full-service restaurant is slated to open in July. Keep up with news at facebook.com/EnotecaEmilia.


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<![CDATA[Father's Day Dining Specials ]]>
Father's Day is equally as important at Mother's Day. And so, on Sunday, June 15, area restaurants are offering specials meals and deals for dads.

BrewRiver GastroPub — Traditional brunch menu items including beer-inspired cocktails. All Dads receive free bacon-infused donuts, while supplies last. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 2062 Riverside Drive, East End, 513-861-2484, brewrivergastropub.com.

King's Island — Dad's eat free on Father's Day with the purchase of another ticket. The park offers up a special barbecue cookout and family activities 11 a.m.-2 p.m. June 15 in the picnic grove. The all-you-can-eat buffet includes grilled baby-back ribs, all-beef hotdogs, fresh-grilled burgers, mac and cheese, baked beans, sliced watermelon, ice cream treats, iced tea and assorted Coke beverages. $15.99 adults; $11.99 juniors and seniors; park admission required. 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, visitkingsisland.com.  

Meatball Kitchen — Offering a special Father's Day takeout deal: from-scratch spaghetti with tomato sauce, a dozen meatballs, house salad, homemade garlic bread and four pieces of spumoni cannoli. $50. 2912 Vine St., Corryville, facebook.com/meatballkitchenusa.

Mitchell's Fish Market — A 14-ounce char grilled ribeye served with cold water lobster tail, smashed redskins and sautéed asparagus. $34.99. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., mitchellsfishmarket.com.

Summit Restaurant at the Midwest Culinary Institute — On Friday (June 13) and Saturday (June 14), The Summit is offering a steak dinner for dads. Along with their regular dinner menu, they'll be offering a 14-ounce chipotle-rubbed sirloin, sea salted baked potato, baby carrots and a red-wine demi-glace. $27. 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, culinary.cincinnatistate.edu/eat-create-enjoy/the-summit/the-summit

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<![CDATA[Graeter's "Official Ice Cream" of the Western & Southern Open]]>
Graeter's has been named the official ice cream of the annual Western & Southern Open (Aug. 9-17) tennis tournament — which makes sense because Cincinnatians love Greater's and the W&S Open is in Cincinnati ... well, technically Mason.

Cincinnatians and W&S Open out-of-towners (nearly 200,000 fans from 50 states and 30 countries) alike will enjoy the ice-cold and creamy Oprah favorite in two full-service custom ice cream parlors at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. (Last year, the event sold more than 25,000 scoops, bars and shakes.)

The custom W&S Open menu will feature Graeter's French Pot ice cream, their new gelato, other confections and a custom flavor made for the event. Graeter's will unveil the brand new flavor, designed specifically for the W&S Open to be served both at the tournament and in their 31 family-owned stores, in early August.  

"The off-court food, drink and entertainment options have become a strong attraction of the event," tournament director and COO Vince Cicero says in a recent press release. "Graeter's Ice Cream is a world-class product that pairs well with the world-class talent on the courts."  

And both are a celebration of Cincinnati: The W&S Open, which was first played in 1899 at the Avondale Athletic Club, is the nation's oldest professional tennis tournament still played in its city of origin, and Graeter's was first established in Cincinnati by Bavarian immigrants in 1870 and has grown ever since.   

Visit graeters.com or cincytennis.com for more.
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<![CDATA[Camp Washington Coney Eating Challenge]]> Fountain Square's Freaky Friday Series gets meaty during the Camp Washington Chili Coney Eating Challenge (Friday, June 13).

This chili-crazy city has more chili parlors per capita and square mile than any other city in the United States, eating more than 2 million pounds of chili each year ... topped with 850,000 pounds of shredded cheese. If you're one of Cincinnati's chili freaks and enjoy speed eating, this contest is for you. In the contest, 12 people compete against each other in a timed event. The object is to eat as many cheese coneys as possible in three minutes.

Noon-1 p.m. Friday, June 13. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown. Register here.
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<![CDATA[Avery Brewing Tap Takeover ]]>
Boulder, Colo.'s Avery Brewing takes over the taps at The Lackman at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 12. 

On tap will be the brewery's Avery IPA, White Rascal, Karma, The Maharaja, plus a special tapping of their 21st Anniversary, Lilikoi Kepolo and a limited amount of their sour release, Rufus Corvus, by-the-bottle.
 
The Lackman, 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. More info here.  
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<![CDATA[12th Annual Taste of the NFL Tackles Hunger]]>
The Cincinnati Bengals host the 12th annual Taste of the NFL, a celebrity dinner, to benefit the Freestore Foodbank. 

The dinner-by-the-bite event combines food, football and fun at Paul Brown Stadium. Hosted by Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (#42) and chef Stephen Williams of Covington, Ky.'s Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar, the event pairs chefs from more than 40 area restaurants with Bengals players, coaches and alumni. The evening will also include a silent auction of sports themed items, a live auction of dinners and other Bengals experiences and a raffle featuring gift certificates to favorite Cincinnati eateries.

6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 11. $150 individual ticket. Paul Brown Stadium, Club Lounge West, Downtown, freestorefoodbank.com


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<![CDATA[Mediterranean Food Fest This Weekend]]>
Prep for Panegyri by enjoying the incredibly diverse Mediterranean menu at the St. James Orthodox Church's Mediterranean Food Fest (which also includes authentic music as well as games and all the other fun summer festival activities).

The homemade Middle Eastern cuisine features everything (pretty much literally) ranging from appetizers (hummus, baba ghanouj, fattoush, tabbouleh, olives, spanakopita, falafel) and Tabbikh (cabbage rolls, grape leaf rolls, mujadarah, fassoulia, mahmuseh) to grilled dishes (shish tawook, lamb kabob, kefta kabob) and pita sandwiches plus desserts (kunafa, baklava, hereesah, zalabia, assorted cookies).

Experience the flavors and culture of the Mediterranean without having to cross the ocean.


5-11 p.m. Friday, June 6; noon-11 p.m. Saturday, June 7; 2-9 p.m. Sunday, June 8. Free. St. James Orthodox Church, 6577 Branch Hill Miamiville Road, Loveland, stjamesfoodfest.org.

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<![CDATA[Park + Vine Celebrates Seven Years]]>
Local green general store Park + Vine is celebrating seven years in Over-the-Rhine with a party.

This family-friendly party will feature live music, food, a phototbooth and a DJ — all coinciding with OTR's Final Friday gallery walk. The celebration, officially titled the "Seven Year Itch," starts at 7 p.m.

“Seven years seems like a very long time and at the same time, not long at all,” says shop owner Dan Korman in a recent press release. “When we opened on Vine Street, we were one of the very first merchants. Main Street is reemerging. We’re ready for more. Like most people, I appreciate the creative and independent spirit of Main Street, so it makes so much sense to celebrate on Final Friday.”

Music kicks off with Roots rockers Pike 27 in front of the shop at 7 p.m. and the fun continues inside, throughout the store and into Goetz Alley outside. Inside, there will be food samples from local foodie friends and a vegan anniversary cake from Happy Chicks Bakery. MadTree Brewing and Rhinegeist will both be on hand to pour beer. And artist Derek Scacchetti’s latest installation BUILDINGS will be on display. As an added bonus, Queen City Bike will be offering free bike valet.

Donations to the Lily Mulberry Fund will also be accepted. (Mulberry, founder of 1305 Gallery, recently passed away. The closing reception for Thank You Lily, Part II will be on view at 1305 Gallery on Main Street tonight.)

7 p.m.-midnight Friday, May 30. 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, parkandvine.com.

(P+V will also be hosting a three-day anniversary sale 10 a.m. to midnight May 30; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 31; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1. Take 25 percent (with cash or check) or 20 percent (with credit card) off everything from cleaning and gardening supplies to baby items and books. Excludes beer, lunch and brunch purchases, bumGenius diapers, Cincy Rain Barrels, Inspired by Finn amber jewelry, and groceries. Applies to in-stock items only, not special orders. No refunds, returns, exchanges. Not combined with other offers. No coupon necessary.)
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<![CDATA[Hofbräuhaus Keg Tapping Tonight]]> Hofbräuhaus Newport taps their seasonal June selection tonight — their summer Marzen. The amber-colored beer offers a rich, malty character with a hint of hops and a 5.8 percent ABV. 

The beer will be paired with Ofenfrischer Leberkase, a grilled pork and beef loaf featuring Munich-style finely textured sausage topped with a sunny side up egg and served with German potato salad.

The evening's festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with a tapping followed by German entertainment, jugglers, magicians and a ceremonial keg tapping parade. 

Free. Hofbräuhaus Newport, 200 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., 859-491-7200, hofbrauhausnewport.com.


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