WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Matthew Cranert (Profile)

Chef Matthew Cranert infuses his life of travels into menus at M and Cumin

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Matthew Cranert can’t sit still. He’s got a million menus in his head and he wants to write them all down. The new executive chef at Cumin, Cranert also holds the same position at sister restaurant M, both in Hyde Park. Between running two kitchens, he’s found his Zen in balancing the high-end dining at Cumin with M’s rustic eats.  

Mazunte Taqueria (Review)

Mazunte Taqueria brings authentic Oaxacan cuisine to Red Bank

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 11, 2013
At Mexico’s southern tip lie three small coastal fishing villages: San Agustinillo, La Ventanilla and Mazunte, whose combined population tops out at just more than a thousand. Thatched roof huts of dried palm overlook golden sandy beaches, frolicking sea turtles and stunning ocean views, luring eco-tourists who seek the last of the world’s pristine, undeveloped lands.  

Green B.E.A.N. Delivery EcOhio (Profile)

Green B.E.A.N. delivers local produce to private residences and beyond

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Having homegrown veggies and fruit delivered to your house seems like a luxury, but for 6,000 Cincinnatians/Northern Kentuckians, receiving a green bin filled with a mixture of both locally and nationally grown produce actually supports the community, reduces carbon footprints and advances environmental initiatives for future generations.   
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.
 
 

New Fall Bakeries and Coffee Shops

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 25, 2013
There are four new and noteworthy places to fuel up this month, whether your fuel of choice is caffeine, sugar or joie de vivre. French Crust Café and Holtman’s Donuts are two much-anticipated newly opened Vine Street destinations downtown and are definitely worth a special trip.   

I Brake for Tacos

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 4, 2013
There are some great, hip taco joints in town, but sometimes I like to get my lomo on the down-low. Warning to drivers: Do not tailgate in the vicinity of taquerias. I have been known to spot salsa verde with my peripheral vision and slam on my brakes.  

Django Western Taco (Review)

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
For Chef David Bach, Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, Django Unchained, can’t come soon enough. The movie, which opens in December, pays homage to the same ’60s Spaghetti Western that had inspired Bach and a posse of established local culinary artists to open the new Northside restaurant, Django Western Taco.  

Summer Food Favorites and Can’t-Miss Events

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
We’ve already passed the middle of summer? Someone put on the brakes! I’ve barely scratched the surface on my summer must-eats list.   

A Tavola Expands, Eli's at Neons and Other Dining News

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
One of Over-the-Rhine’s most popular destinations, A Tavola (1220 Vine St.), is opening a second location in Madeira. The new shop, at 7022 Miami Road, will open in December. I think it’s great that the center of the city has so much goodness going on that we can export it to the ’burbs.   
by Jac Kern 06.21.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 6/21-6/23

It’s the 12th annual Paddlefest weekend, when more than 2,000 locals and visitors will descend onto the Ohio River on kayaks and canoes to paddle along the scenic route. It’s an all-around nature weekend with the Ohio River Music & Outdoor Festival Friday; the second annual Pedalfest (a part bike-part paddle ride) Saturday; and Global Water Dances Saturday — check out feature on this culture choreography event here. Constella Festival, a local chamber music and fine arts collaboration organization, celebrates the official start of summer with a night of Jazz, art and food Saturday. Constella Summer Solstice features music from the Benjamin Thomas and Peter Gemus Jazz Duo and violinist Tatiana Berman, an exhibit from Essex Studios’ The Art Circle and bites from Silverglades, S&J Bakery and Madisono’s Gelato. The party runs 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Venue 222 in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. Has Pinterest got you starting crafty projects that never seem to make it to completion? Bring your D.I.Y. supplies, incomplete projects and inspiration along as Fabricate and Crafty Supermarket join forces to present an Etsy Craft Party Saturday. Meet fellow creatives at the patio behind Fabricate in Northside from 4-7 p.m. Saturday and work on your own project or make Girl Scout-style crafter badges with provided materials. It’s free to join, but RSVP here. Concert:nova returns with its annual Food + Music festival, pairing international music with creative dishes at some of the city’s best restaurants. This Sunday at Kaze, chefs Cameron Bloomer and Hideki Harada will prepare a Japanese-style brunch following a c:n performance of Takemitsu and Debussy. Cocktails and appetizers will be served at noon, followed by music at 12:45 p.m. and brunch at 1:30 p.m.; go here for tickets. For more art openings, summer festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.
 
 

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