Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Black Forest, Nick's Chops Close Doors

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell gives two stars to the comfort food at Tony's on the River (1329 U.S. 52, New Richmond, 513-553-0482), while Gil Kauffman reviews Cheezburger Café (12092 Montgomery Road, Symmes Township, 513-677-3354), and Stepfanie Romine considers Trio (7565 Kenwood Road, Kenwood, 513-984-1905; trios.webfeat.net) ... Campbell reports on the closings of German-themed The Black Forest Restaurant in West Chester Township and Nick's Chops and Chasers in Oakley, and notes the opening of Gray's Country Cooking (8095 Beckett Centre Drive. 513-860-2665; www.grayscountrycooking), Raja Indian Restaurant in West Chester Township (6188 Tylersville Road. 513-770-0050) and the scheduled February 2008 opening of Eddie Merlot's steakhouse (10808 Montgomery Road, www.eddiemerlots.com). cincinnati.com ... City Beat's Michael Schiapparelli gives an A to Morton's -- The Steakhouse (Carew Tower, 441 Vine St., Downtown, 513-621-3111). citybeat.com ... Cin Weekly's Tabari McCoy notes the reopening of The Stables Restaurant (4210 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, Ky., 859-781-2255, www.thestablesrestaurant.net) after an extensive renovation, while Katie Schmid reviews A Forkable Feast (3363 Madison Road, Oakley, aforkablefeast.com), while Amber Samblanet visits Soho Japanese Bistro (7655 Voice of America Drive, West Chester Twp, 513-759-6876, www.sohojapanesedining.com). cinweekly.com ... The Federal Reserve Restaurant and Piano Lounge, which is moving following the sale of its lease at the end of September, has chosen to relocate to Newport on the Levee because it could not find an affordable downtown location that could accommodate it quickly, the Business Courier of Cincinnati reports. Mike Mastruserio, the restaurant's owner, expects to be open at the Levee between mid-October and Nov. 1, under the name Reserve Restaurant and Piano Lounge. cincinnati.bizjournals.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Riley's Opens New Location in Springdale

IN THE NEWS: The Cincinnati Enquirer's Polly Campbell awards three stars in reviewing Grandview Tavern and Grille (2220 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell, 859-341-8439) and reports that Riley’s Restaurant has opened a second location this week in Springdale. The homestyle cooking restaurant (11568 Springfield Pike, 513-771-3361) anchors the new Springdale Town Center and duplicates the homey feel of the original Riley’s Greenhills Restaurant at 18 Eswin St., which has been there for 26 years. ... Nikki Kingery reviews Martha Jeanne's (511 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-491-9258). ... Campbell also notes the closing of the Cassano's branch on Daly Road in Finneytown. cincinnati.com ... Cin reviews Jerzee's Pub & Grub (926 Monmouth St., Newport, 859-491-3500) and Carrabba's Italian Grill (Crestview Hills Town Center, 2899 Dixie Highway, Crestview Hills; other locations in Deerfield Twp. and Anderson Twp. 859-344-6163 or www.carrabbas.com). cinweekly.com ... City Beat's Chris Kemp gives a B- to Silver Spring House (8322 E. Kemper Road, Mason, 513--489-7044), while Lora Arduser chats with Ron Larkin, co-owner of Ron's Roost (3853 Race Road, Bridgetown, 513-574-0222). citybeat.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Latest Openings Include Apsara, Guru India

IN THE NEWS: City Beat's Lora Arduser features Shirley Copeland, who has worked at Northside White Castle for 41 years, and also reports the openings of: Apsara, the new Thai restaurant owned by Chanaka Delanerolle of Teak, in the space of the former Watson Bros. Bistro & Brewery in Blue Ash; Jessi Singh's fourth Indian eatery called Guru India, in Crescent Springs; Via Vita, from the people behind Nicola's Italian Restaurant, on Fountain Square in late September; and executive chef/owner Travis Maier's new tapas restaurant, Seny, Oct. 11 in Walnut Hills. ... Arduser also chats with Sharon Butler, co-owner of The BonBonerie, and reports that Atlanta Bread Company has closed its Fourth Street location downtown. citybeat.com ... The Enquirer's Cindy Schroeder reports that by next spring, the owner of the Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell hopes to open an outdoor seating area for up to 30 customers, while Jeff McKinney reports that Norwood's Rusty Bucket Corner Tavern, a new concept launched by Columbus restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, will open in February at Rookwood Pavilion. ... Polly Campbell awards three stars in reviewing Olives (342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-221-4200), while Christine Mersch checks out 60-year-old Camp Washington Chili (3005 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, 513-541-0061; www.campwashingtonchili.com). ... Campbell notes the opening of Jaspers (31287 Linwood Ave., 513-871-6789) and the name and menu change of SouthView Restaurant in Newport on the Levee to SouthView BBQ (859-261-3518). cincinnati.com ... Cin's Tabari McCoy notes the openings of Steamboat Bagels (336 Monmouth St., Newport) and Asian fusion eatery Apsara while Gina Daugherty reviews Jimmy D's Steakhouse (7791 Cooper Road, Montgomery, 513-984-2914 or www.jimmydssteakhouse.com) and $2 for $20 considers Matteo's Char-Broil (6600-C Dixie Highway, Fairfield, 513-942-3730, www.matteoscharbroil.com) cinweekly.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Eddie Merlot's Steakhouse Set for Cincinnati

IN THE NEWS: KPCnews.com reports that Eddie Merlot’s is about to grow from two Indiana locations into a national restaurant chain. The third and fourth locations of Bill Humphries’ upscale steakhouse will open in Cincinnati in January and Columbus, Ohio, in February, adding to its existing Fort Wayne and Indianapolis locations. ... Cin reviews Dirty Jack's (5912 Vine St., Elmwood Place, 513-242-2800 or www.dirtyjacksrocks.com), Trotta's Pizza Drive Thru (3501 Werk Road, Westwood, 513-451-5555, www.trottaspizza.com), Kellogg Country House (3742 Kellogg Ave., East End, 513-871-2700), and Morton's The Steakhouse (Carew Tower, 441 Vine St., downtown, 513-621-3111 or www.mortons.com). cinweekly.com ... City Beat's Chris Kemp gives a B grade to Peruvian spot Sabor Peruano (7105 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield, 513-860-0349), while Michael Schiapparelli awards an A to the Russian eatery Red Square (9104 Cox Road, West Chester, 513-755-8942) and interviews Emile Salti, chef/owner of Floyd's (127 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, 513-221-2434). citybeat.com ... The Enquirer's Mary Jo Spiegel reviews The Clermont Inn (180 East Main St., Batavia, 513-732-2174; www.clermontinn.dine.com). cincinnati.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, August 27, 2007

After 5 Years, Jean-Robert Busier than Ever

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Chuck Martin profiles the busy life and upcoming plans of super chef Jean-Robert de Cavel (Jean-Robert at Pigall's, Jean Ro Bistro, Pho Paris, Jean-Robert's Greenup Cafe) on the fifth anniversary of his flagship Jean-Robert at Pigall's, while Polly Campbell reviews Morton's the Steakhouse (441 Vine St., downtown, 513-621-3111; www.mortons.com), Gil Kaufman considers Beef O'Brady's (4895 Princeton Road, Liberty Township, 513-887-9464) and Pama Mitchell visits Bacalls Café (6118 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, 513-541-8804). ... Stepfanie Romine reports the openings of Baba India (2303 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs, 859-341-5858), and Thai restaurant Aspara (4785 Lake Forrest Drive, Blue Ash, 513-554-1040), as well as a new owner and a name change of Bella Luna's deli at Findlay Market to Angelina Fine Italian Food (513-381-2222). cincinnati.com. ... City Beat's Lora Arduser gives an A to Allure (8300 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, 513-891-0120). citybeat.com ... Cin's Keri Wethington reviews brunch at Orchids at Palm Court (Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W. Fifth St., downtown, 513-665-2560 or www.orchidsatpalmcourt.com), while Ronson Slagle considers Mythos (410 Vine St., downtown, 513-281-3601), and Tabari McCoy notes the opening of Jerzee's Pub (708 Monmouth St., Newport, 859-491-3500). cinweekly.com ...

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cincinnati Restaurant Week Begins Sept. 4

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell reports, "Greater Cincinnati Independents, a group of local restaurants, will sponsor a Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week Sept. 4-8. The 25 restaurants in the group will each offer a three-course prix fixe dinner for $25.07. So far, these restaurants are participating: Andy's Mediterranean Grille, Behle Street Café, Bella Luna, Brown Dog Café, Daveed's at 934, deSha's American Tavern and Grille, Encore Bistro and Bar, The Grand Café, Hugo, Jean-Robert at Pigall's, Jimmy D's Steakhouse, Kona Bistro, Mesh, Mike & Jimmy's Chophouse Grille, Nicholson's, O'Bryon's Irish Pub, One Restaurant and Lounge, Pho Paris, Polo Grille, Pompilio's, The Pub at Crestview Hills, Red and Universal Grille" ... Nikki Kingery reviews Mama's Hot Pot (8372 Reading Road, Reading), while Campbell awards two stars in reviewing Gracies (1960 North Bend Road, Hebron), and Gregory Gaston considers Miguel's Restaurant (1340 Ohio 125, Amelia) ... Campbell also reports: 20 Brix, a wine bar, wine store and restaurant, will open in Milford Oct.15 at 101 Main St. www.20brix.com ... The owners of the Pavilion in Mount Adams have opened the Keystone Bar and Grill in Covington, in the former Donna's Diner space at 313 Greenup St. ... Boloco in Clifton (222 Calhoun St.) has become Currito. It's a new company, spun off from the original Boloco chain, but the menu remains the same. cincinnati.com ... Cin's Tabari McCoy reviews Enzo's Coffee (1106 Race St., Over-the-Rhine) and notes the openings of Aromas (6407 Bridgetown Road, Green Township) and Tropical Smoothie Café (7688 Voice of America Drive in West Chester Twp), while Julie Fitzgerald considers Grand Oriental (4800 Fields-Ertel Road, Deerfield Twp.). cinweekly.com
Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ft. Mitchell's Grandview Tavern Opens

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell awards three stars in reviewing Antonio's Ristorante Italiano (7165 Liberty Centre Dr., Liberty Township) and notes the openings of Grandview Tavern and Grille in Fort Mitchell, Spanish tapas bar and restaurant Seny in Walnut Hills in early September, and The Stone Creek Dining Company in Montgomery. ... Uncle Yip's Seafood and Dim Sum has closed in Fairfield and moved back to its previous location in Evendale. enquirer.comCity Beat's Michael Schiaparelli reviews Four Seasons Boatyard Grill (4609 Kellogg Ave., East End). citybeat.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mejana Moving to Tri-County Mall

IN THE NEWS: The Mediterranean eatery Mejana, known for Middle Eastern buffets, shish kebabs and hookahs, has closed its location at Sixth and Race streets and plans to reopen in Tri-County Mall in September, the Business Courier of Cincinnati reports. Meanwhile, a couple blocks away at the former Jalapeños restaurant space at Seventh and Elm, a Korean chef is preparing to take over. Sung Oh, former co-owner of Riverside Korean in Covington, is preparing to open his first solo endeavor at the space. The restaurant, Sung Korean Bistro, will feature many traditional Korean dishes, but they will be fused with more contemporary preparation methods and sometimes combine ingredients from other countries. cincinnati.bizjournals.com ... City Beat's Anne Mitchell gives a B- to Fusion Martini Bar and Grill (2141 North Bend Road, Hebron), while Lora Aruser chats up Jean-Franois Flechet, chef/owner of Taste From Belgium, and reports: Uncle Yip's has closed its Fairfield location and will be reopening in Evendale (10736 Reading Road) later this month. Jean-Robert at Pigall's will add a lounge in the space next door, formerly occupied by Dodd Jewelers. Jean-Robert de Cavel says that the focus of the new, yet-to-be named lounge will be on a champagne and cocktail bar with a limited bite menu for happy hour through a late snack with a selection of caviar and pastries. De Cavel hopes to open the lounge in early November. ... David Falk's latest culinary venture moves into Mexican territory. Nada is due to open in the old Bella space downtown in October. citybeat.com ... The Enquirer's Julie Gaw reports that Graeter's ice cream is opening a new retail store a block from Newport on the Levee, at 342 Monmouth St. in Newport, in the historic (1869) James W. Taylor Jr. Bank Building. The public grand opening is set for Aug. 6. ... Jackie Demaline looks at soft serve ice cream spots, including the 34-year-old The Cone (6855 Tylersville Road.) ... Polly Campbell gives three stars to Allure (8300 Market Place Lane, Montgomery) and reports that Olives has opened in the former Uno's Pizza spot on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, and The Kellogg Country House Restaurant (3742 Kellogg Ave., Columbia-Tusculum) has been under new ownership since January. ... Mary Jo Spiegel reviews Montoya's Mexican Restaurant (2507 Chelsea Drive, Fort Mitchell), while Christine Mersche considers Sun Garden Chinese Restaurant (Beckett Towne Center, 4897 Smith Road, West Chester Township). enquirer.com ... Boston Beer Co., the brewer known for its Samuel Adams brand of beer, has agreed to buy a Pennsylvania brewery for $55 million, the Boston Globe reports. The seller is Diageo North America Inc., whose British parent is a beverage company known for such brands as Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker Scotch, and Guinness Stout, Boston Beer said. The company estimated that the Pennsylvania brewery, which is located about 60 miles from Philadelphia, will initially increase Boston Beer's brewing capacity by about 1.6 million barrels of beer annually, with the potential for expansion to over 2 million barrels. The facility would complement company-owned breweries in Boston and Cincinnati, Boston Beer said. boston.com ... Cin reviews Madison Diner (4761 Madison Road, Madisonville) and Chinatown Buffet (1015 Ohio 28, Milford). cinweekly.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blue Jay Restaurant Celebrates 40 Years

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell gives two stars in reviewing Cadillac Ranch (41 E. Sixth St., downtown), while Chris Klein visits Blue Chip Cookies (200 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland) and Aleashia Walton stops by Garzelli's Grinder & Pizza Company (3025 Dixie Highway, Edgewood). ... Jim Knippenberg profiles Danny and Kathryn Petropoulos' diner Blue Jay Restaurant as it celebrates its 40th anniversary (4154 Hamilton Ave., Northside). ... Campbell also reports: The historic building in Covington (112 E. 4th St., Covington) that housed Jack Quinn's will once again be home to an Irish restaurant. Molly Malone's of Louisville will open its second location there on Aug. 14. This is not affiliated with Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Pleasant Ridge. ... Steamboat Bagels (336 Monmouth Ave) will open in the next few weeks. ... East African Restaurant on Montgomery Road will move a block east to a new home in September. It will have about twice as much space at 6063 Montgomery Road. ... Tony's on the River (1329 U.S. 52, East Richmond) has opened. ... The Universal Grille, downtown, is no longer open for lunch. cincinnati.com ... Cin weekly's Tabari McCoy reports the former Pizzeria Uno space on Ludlow is getting some new life. Scott and Maria Crawford aimed to open Olives Restaurant, 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, on Aug. 1. cinweekly.com ... City Beat's Michael Michael Schiaparelli gives an A to Boi Na Braza (441 Vine St., Downtown) and chats with Cristian Pietoso, chef of Nicola's Ristorante Italiano, while Lora Arduser doles out a B to Enzo's (1106 Race St., Over-the-Rhine). citybeat.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Morton's Stakes Claim on Carew Tower

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell reports on the new location of Morton's The Steakhouse. It will move out of the lower level of Tower Place mall and reopen in the second floor of downtown's Carew Tower on Aug. 6. ... Campbell also reports The Greyhound Tavern, which occupies a historic building in Fort Mitchell, is expanding to another historic location in Burlington. Butch Wainscott, owner of the Greyhound, has bought the Tousey House and will open it as a new restaurant in November. It will feature many of the well-known dishes from the Greyhound, including its fried chicken. ... Campbell awards four stars in her review of Jeff Ruby's Tropicana (1 Levee Way, Newport), while Pama Mitchell considers Damir's Delhi House Tavern and Restaurant (6344 Gracely Drive, Sayler Park) and Gil Kaufman visits Slatts Pub (4858 Cooper Road, Blue Ash). cincinnati.com ... Cin reviews Allure Contemporary Cuisine & Lounge (8300 Market Place Lane, Montgomery. allurecincinnati.com) and Vito's Café (654 Highland Ave., Suite 29, Ft. Thomas, vitoscafe.com). cinweekly.com ... ... City Beat's Anne Mitchell gives a B grade to Thai Namtip (5461 North Bend Road, Monfort Heights). citybeat.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Boca Chef Falk to Open Latin-Themed Nada

IN THE NEWS: David Falk, the chef of Boca restaurant in Oakley, has signed a lease to open his second dining spot, at the former Bella downtown, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Falk plans to convert the space into an almost $2 million, Latin-themed restaurant called Nada. The building sits in one of the most high-profile locations downtown, at Sixth and Walnut streets and next to the Aronoff Center for the Arts. It's been empty since Bella closed in September 2006. ... The paper also reports that downtown seafood eatery and saloon Washington Platform was to reopen July 13 after a car nearly drove into the historic location two months ago and forced it to close. ... City Beat chats up Melt (4165 Hamilton Ave., Northside) owner Lisa Kagen, while Michael Schiaparelli gives a B grade to Encore Bistro & Bar (400 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming). ... Lora Arduser notes the recent opening of Forkable Feast in Oakley, the closing of The Napa Grille in Hyde Park, and the planned fall opening of InCahoots restaurant and bar in Blue Ash. citybeat.com ... Cin cinweekly.com reviews Sorrento's Pizza and Restaurant (5143 Montgomery Road, Norwood). ... The Enquirer's Polly Campbell gives three stars to Wild Bill's New American Grille (20 E. Silver St, Lebanon), while Gregory Gaston reviews Zaraco's Restaurant (321 N. State St., West Harrison, Ind.), and Nikki Kingery considers Mongo's Mongolian Grille (729 Reading Road, Mason). ... Campbell previews Nada and notes that the new Montgomery contemporary restaurant Allure (8300 Market Place Lane) has added lunch. ... Julie Gaw blogs about her visit to Pike Street Press (222 W. Pike St., Covington.) cincinnati.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sorrento's Pizza, Chili Company Reopen

IN THE NEWS: City Beat's Chris Kemp gives a C- to Moy's Pacific Rim (7340 Kenwood Road, Kenwood). ... Lora Arduser reports, "Universal Grille (909 Vine St., Downtown) has a new chef, new menu and new dining room. Owner Peter Laffoon says the restaurant is focusing on more organic fare from new chef David Milot, most recently of JeanRo Bistro and former sous chef at The Palace Restaurant. ... A littler farther north, The Coffee Emporium (110 Central Pkwy., Over-the-Rhine) is expanding. By early August the current cafe space will be used exclusively as a roasting area and the café will move into a space that will provide patrons twice the amount of room. ... Mythos is adding another downtown location for their Greek fare at Fourth and Vine streets. A third downtown location will open in the Chiquita Center at Fifth and Sycamore. On the West Side, the original Chili Company reopened in White Oak after a decade. ... Sorrento's Pizza and Restaurant (5143 Montgomery Road, Norwood) reopened in June. In 2005 the family-owned restaurant was severely damaged by fire that led to the death of 82-year-old founder Enrico DeLuca. In the following year Enrico's son and the restaurant's manager, Willie DeLuca, passed away in the midst of rebuilding. Willie's sister, Esa Stewart; brothers, Ralph and Art DeLuca; and their mother, 85-year-old Santina DeLuca, will carry on the family tradition in the new restaurant." citybeat.com ... A local investor, who with his partners recently acquired the historic Ludlow Garage and several other buildings in Clifton, is reviving the former Pizzeria Uno. The new place, called Olives, is to open in August and will specialize in upscale-casual American fare such as steak, seafood and chicken, with prices ranging from $11 to $22, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. ... The Enquirer's Polly Campbell gives three stars to Boi Na Braza (441 Vine St., Downtown) and reports that InCahoots is going into the former Bilker’s Kosher Grocery at 9708 Kenwood Road. Renovations start this week. ... Julie Gaw notes the closing of Chili Company in White Oak, while Jenny Callison reviews All Day Pita (9385 Colerain Ave., Colerain Township). cincinnati.com ... Cin cinweekly.com reviews Noble Roman's (6064 West Chester Road, West Chester Twp.) and stops by Whiskey Willys Roadhouse (12183 Springfield Pike, Springdale).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Wild Bill's Grille Back By Popular Demand

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Jeff McKinney reports, "Ohio’s no-smoking policy and more competition smothered sales and forced them to close last winter. But Bill and Gayle Schroeder have now reopened their Wild Bill’s New American Grille at the request of customers. The husband-and-wife team closed the restaurant and bar at 20 E. Silver St. in mid-February for about six weeks. It had lost about 30 percent of its business after Ohio began prohibiting smoking in most public places.". ... Polly Campbell awards four stars to Vito's Café (654 Highland Ave., Fort Thomas), while Mary Jo Spiegel reviews Mai Thai Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar (7710 U.S. 42, Florence), while Christine Mersch stops by Jim & Jack's on the River (3456 River Road, (U.S. 50), Riverside). cincinnati.com ... City Beat's Lora Arduser considers the dining options at Kings Island theme park, while Chris Kemp stops by Portofino's in Northside (1609 Chase Ave), and notes that Olive's Restaurant and Bar will be opening in space once occupied by Za on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton. ... The paper chats with Chris Prince, chef at Primavista. citybeat.com ... Cin reviews Encore Bistro & Bar (400 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming) and Wedge Inn (7905 Colerain Ave., White Oak). cinweekly.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Church's Chicken Eyes Cincinnati Expansion

IN THE NEWS: San Antonio-based Church's Chicken, operator and franchiser of more than 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants in 18 countries, announced a new partnership with a business brokerage outfit that will accelerate its new store opening program through strategic franchisee-recruitment methods, CoStar.com reports. Markets targeted for growth include Jacksonville, Orlando, Alanta, Indianapolis, Detroit, Raleigh/Durham, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Nashville. ... The Cincinnati Business Courier cincinnati.bizjournals.com profiles Chris Sharkey, owner of Jet Coffee in Florence. "The former military man spent six months in 2006 renovating his drive-through coffee shop, formerly the Perfect Bean, at the Shoppes of Sycamore on U.S Route 42. He invested $55,000 in plumbing, a stone-and-stucco facade and signs. He did it all, including the name change, knowing Starbucks soon would open nearby." ... Cin cinweekly.com reviews Three Amigos (6910 Burlington Pike, Florence) and rounds up steakhouses, including The Celestial Steakhouse (1071 Celestial St., Mt. Adams). The paper also notes the opening of Red Tree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop (4409 Brazee St. in Oakley), which features fair trade and organic coffee from the locally based Seven Hills Coffee Co. and pastries from Cincinnati's own Embrace Sweets. ... Encore Bistro & Bar in Wyoming (400 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming; encorebistro.com) has now opened in the space once occupied by local luminary Sturkey's, which was sold in March by Paul and Pam Sturkey. ... City Beat's citybeat.com Lori Arduser gives an A- to Hugo (3235 Madison Road, Oakley) and reports, "As of June 23, Chez T in Mt. Lookout will no longer be open for business on a daily basis. Chef/owner Theresa Flaherty will focus on catering and special events. The café also will be available for private rentals and small group cooking classes. Information can be found at chezt.com. . ... The paper also chats with Michelle Brown, the chef at Jag's Steak & Seafood. ... The Enquirer's cincinnati.com Gil Kaufman reviews ot the Chicago-style weiner spot Doggin' It (12082 Montgomery Road, Symmes Township), while Aleashia Watson stops by Bourbon House and Pizzeria (5987 Carlton Drive, Burlington). ... Polly Campbell also reports the reopening of Sorrento's Pizza (5143 Montgomery Road, Norwood) two years after a fire. She also notes the hoped-for late-August opening in Fountain Square of Via Vite restaurant, as well as the addition of lunch at Vinyl (1203 Sycamore St.) and the move of Chef C Gourmet, previously located in Deer Park, to Blue Ash, taking the place of The Baltic at 4924 Hunt Road.

By Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nordstrom Expansion Dooms Panera Cafe

IN THE NEWS: The Panera Bread café in Kenwood Towne Centre closed June 12, a victim of expansion plans by Nordstrom, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. ... Cin cinweekly.com notes the opening of downtown's Brazilian steakhouse Boi Na Braza (boinabraza.com) and reviews Parkers Blue Ash Grill (4200 Cooper Road, Blue Ash; (www.selectrestaurants.com/parkersblue/index.html) and Spicy Pickle (2504 W. Clifton Ave., University Heights; spicypickle.com). ... ... The Enquirer blogs, "Mythos Greek restaurant will open a third location, its second downtown, later this month or in early July. Owner George Psihountakis says that the new location at 410 Vine St. will have a menu that’s less extensive than the Mythos in Newport, but more than the original location in the Aronoff building on 7th Street. ... A new restaurant will open soon in the Marketplace of Montgomery. Allure will be a contemporary American restaurant, taking the space that was Pacific Moon. Dr. Chin Cheng, the landlord of the Marketplace, owns the restaurant. His son Marty Cheng will be general manager. The chef is Ron Perez, who has worked at Jeff Ruby restaurants, and most recently at Napa Grille." ... Pama Mitchell reviews Boswell Alley (1686 Blue Rock Road, Northside). cincinnati.com ... City Beat citybeat.com details the new cookbook Mary Jo's Cuisine from Mary Jo McMillin, chef-owner of Oxford's former foodie haven, Mary Jo's Cuisine, which closed in 2004.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cadillac Ranch Set for June 21 Opening

June 21 is the expected opening date for Cadillac Ranch Rock 'n' Country Bar and Grille, which will feature an outside bar and patio that accommodates up to 75 people, the Cincinnati Post reports. cincinnati.com. Inside, the walls will be lined with saddles, guitars and other country and classic rock paraphernalia. License plates from western states adorn the ceiling above the inside bar and a mechanical bull will give patrons the ride of their lives.
"I felt that in Cincinnati, there were no concepts like this," said Eric Schilder, owner of FS Cincinnati LLC, the company that will run the Cadillac Ranch. And downtown was the place to put it, he said. The location - in the Fifth/Third Building - puts the restaurant close to diverse clienteles - downtown workers, urban condo dwellers, visitors from out of town staying in nearby hotels and sports fans attending Reds or Bengals games - and FS Cincinnati hopes to attract all of them. Schilder said the Cadillac Ranch will be a family-friendly eatery during the day and a rockin' western saloon at night. Schilder opened the first Cadillac Ranch a month ago in Nashville. Cincinnati's will be the second and he said his company is looking at four other cities, including Indianapolis.

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell awards four stars to chef-owner Sean Daly's Hugo (3235 Madison Road, Oakley), while Nikki Kingery reviews Arthur's Café (3516 Edwards Road, Hyde Park), and Gregory Gaston considers Win, Place or Show (9933 Cincinnati-Columbus Road, West Chester Township). ... Campbell also reports, "Anne Kearney has signed a lease on a space for a new restaurant in Dayton that she will call Rue Dumaine. Kearney is a Dayton native who trained and started her career in Cincinnati, then went on to own Peristyle, a celebrated restaurant in New Orleans' French Quarter. She returned to this area several years ago and has been raising organic vegetables and selling products at local farmers markets. The new restaurant - named for Peristyle's street - will be an American bistro using ingredients from very local to around the country. She expects the check average to be $35-$40 per person, and will be open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, and for lunch on Friday. Rue Dumaine will take over a space left by Chow's Asian Bistro at 1061 Centerville-Miamisburg, on Ohio 725. (It's the first exit off I-675 east of I-75). Kearney hopes to be open by Oct. 1."

A brother-and-sister team will create a new upscale restaurant for the Fort Mitchell Station office/retail center, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Grandview Tavern & Grille will open in late July at the center, adjacent to Interstate 75 in Fort Mitchell, according to a release from developer Paul Hemmer Cos. The 4,100-square-foot eatery will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week. ... Cin's Tabari McCoy reviews Hugo, while the Two for $20 column visits Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill (9525 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash.) McCoy also reports, "A new spot recently opened above Hooters on Springfield Pike. Whiskey Willys Roadhouse (12183 Springfield Pike in Springdale) features 50 TVs and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Ribs and pulled pork/chicken are among the specialties offered at the barbecue-themed restaurant, although lighter fare such as salads is offered as well. Desserts include bread pudding and New York-style cheesecake. cinweekly.com ... City Beat's Anne Mitchell awards an A in her review of Vito's Café (654 Highland Ave., Fort Thomas). ... Lora Arduser reports, "Washington Platform is temporarily closed, after its building was damaged by a pair of car accidents. The Mexican chain Jalapeños closed its Seventh and Elm location. Kung Thai also closed, but the sign on the door tells patrons to watch for the opening of the Buddakhan Bar & Grille in its place on Vine and Seventh streets. ... Poppa Joe's Kickin' Chicken Fingers and Fries recently opened on Court Street downtown. Other downtown openings to look forward to include the Boi Na Braza Brazilian Steak House across from Fountain Square on Friday, Potbelly Sandwich Works and a new Graeter's location on the Square. ... The Four Seasons Restaurant on Kellogg Avenue is now called Boatyard Grill." ... Profiled owner Mark Jang of Riverside Korean Restaurant says his last great meal was at St. Elmo's in Indianapolis: "It's a 100-year-old steakhouse that's just off the charts." citybeat.com ... Cameron Mitchell thinks his Mitchell's Fish Market restaurant chain is poised to be the second-largest premium seafood chain in the country. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants LLC, based in Columbus, is exploring the sale of the 16-unit Fish Market chain and has hired Minneapolis-based investment banking firm Piper Jaffray & Co. to help sort out potential suitors, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has 30 restaurants in eight states, including 13 in Central Ohio and two locally, at Newport on the Levee and in West Chester.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Changes Afoot in Bustling Fountain Square

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell awards three stars in her review of Mecklenburg Gardens (302 E. University Ave., Corryville), while Jenny Callison visits the Middle Eastern eatery The Caspian (3299 Montgomery Road, Deerfield Township) and Chris Klein stops by Corner Coffee Café (9440 Main Ave., Symmes Township). cincinnati.com ... Cin cinweekly.com notes the recent opening of Kim's Korean Restaurant (Kmart Plaza in Harrison) and reviews Mongo's: the Original Mongolian Grille (729 Reading Road, Mason), Milford golf-themed eatery Putters Tavern & Grill III, and Karaoke at Old Saloon (7711 Montgomery Road, Kenwood). ... City Beat's Michael Schiaparelli gives a B in his review of Dancing Wasabi (1018 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout) and reports, "Leaving behind its small Court Street storefront, Javier's Mexican Restaurant (100 Eighth St. at Walnut, Downtown) has moved to a much larger corner space, where it's now open for breakfast and lunch." ... The Look Who's Eating column queries Steven Hubbell, the chef at Vinyl, who raves about Daveed's. citybeat.com ... Julia Gaw blogs on the Enquirer's The Foodie Report frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/foodie about the bustling, changing Fountain Square, "McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant helped the cause when it opened late last year. And Boi Na Braza opens June 8, serving up meat, meat and more meat. Perhaps best of all, Graeter's is coming back downtown to the Square, with an opening likely sometime in July. This is in addition to Ingredients, open daily for lunch in the Westin; Palomino, which has stood its ground through all the construction; Bistro JeanRo is just around the corner... Also coming soon to the Square is Via Vite, the new Italian restaurant from the owners of Nicola's. Ditto Cadillac Ranch, the rock 'n' country bar and grill that will have a mechanical bull." ... Gaw also blogs, "Cold Spring Roadhouse in Northern Kentucky has closed, apparently a surprise to its employees. The upside is, hopefully, they'll renovate and reopen in time for Labor Day. Fingers crossed, since it's a 100-year-old landmark. Another landmark "closed for renovation" recently: the 20 Mile House in Landen. But I don't think this one's coming back. ... Polly Campbell also weighs in on Boi Na Braza.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beluga Going Through 'Evolution'

IN THE NEWS: The Enquirer's Polly Campbell reports that Beluga, the trend-setting Hyde Park nightspot/eatery, is in the process of an ongoing "evolution" in the words of owner Mike Hama. ... Campbell also awards three stars in her review of Walt's Barbeque (6040 Colerain Ave., White Oak), while Mary Jo Spiegel reviews Grand Oriental Restaurant (4800 Fields Ertel Road, Deerfield Township). ... Campbell reports that downtown eatery Washington Platform is temporarily closed after its building was damaged recently by a car - twice. She also reports: Fiesta Brava moved into the former Hooter's on Fields Ertel Road. It's the second location; there's also one in Landen; Buffalo Wings & Rings opened May 23 in Crescent Springs at 2440 High St.; Su Casa restaurant in Springdale has closed and will reopen in a few months after new owners give it a remodeling. enquirer.com ... City Beat's Lora Arduser gives an A to Pho Paris (318 Greenup St., Covington) and Deli Seven20 (720 E. Pete Rose Way, downtown) while noting the recent opening of Kim's Korean Restaurant on Harrison Avenue. citybeat.com ... Cin cinweekly.com reviews the Indian restaurant Bombay City (227 Wooster Pike, Mariemont), Ocho Rios (221 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine) and J Taps Sports Bar and Grill (6441 Glenway Ave., Bridgetown) ... The downtown Greek eatery Mythos, which opened on Walnut Street three years ago, is adding a second downtown location on Vine Street and finalizing a lease on a third in the Chiquita Center, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. They will join a fourth in Newport, opened by restaurateur George Psihountakis and his brothers in 2005. ... The Courier also reports the owners of Graeter's Ice Cream have agreed to open a store at Fountain Square. The 1,750-square-foot store will open at Fifth Third Center tower, facing Fountain Square, in space formerly occupied by the Cincinnati Visitor Center. It will offer the same products as at other Graeter's locations, including bakery items and candy, as well as an outdoor dining area. The grand opening is planned for midsummer. Graeter's is among several retailers that have been rumored or have agreed to be a part of the reconfigured Fountain Square, along with Dewey's Pizza, Cadillac Ranch, Potbelly Sandwiches and Starbucks. Graeter's, a family-run chain, was founded in Cincinnati in 1870. It operates 12 stores in Cincinnati and franchises 30 locations in Columbus, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, Louisville and Lexington.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, May 21, 2007

Seny, Gratitude Set Summer Openings

IN THE NEWS: City Beat citybeat.com profiles Paul and Emily Weckman, who own and live above Otto's Deli, 521 Main St. in Covington, and stops by Quatman's Café in Norwood ... The paper's Lora Arduser reports, "Seny, a Spanish tapas restaurant is scheduled to open in East Walnut Hills at the beginning of August. Owner Travis Maier says, "We hope to broaden the horizons of the Cincinnati restaurant scene by giving diners a taste of Spain in the true form of tapas ... not 'tapas style.' " ... Gratitude Restaurant is scheduled to open on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton this summer. The restaurant will offer a completely vegetarian menu and will be the first in the Cincinnati area to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association." ... The Enquirer's Polly Campbell awards three stars in her review of downtown Scottish eatery Nicholson's Tavern & Pub (625 Walnut St.) The paper also reviews Covington's Rima's Diner and Johnny Chan 2 in Symmes Township, and reports that Moy's Pacific Rim in Kenwood now has a liquor license. cincinnati.com ... CinWeekly.com reviews El Rio Bravo and visits Riverside Coffee Mill ... The Enquirer blog The Foodie Report http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/foodie/ praises an $8 a bottle chardonney from Barefood Cellars ... The Cincinnati Business Courier reports sandwich shop Penn Station will join the local food offerings at the Great American Ball Park this year. Penn Station will operate two kiosks at the stadium, featuring its cheesesteak subs, along with its fresh-cut french fries and beverages.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, May 14, 2007

America's Best Restaurant Cities

"Today ... most major cities in the U.S. have the kind of gastronomic diversity and regionality that is rich in every department, and even if you’ve visited recently, you can be sure that next time you go, there’ll be more new and enticing restaurants than you could possibly visit," writes Donald Burnam in a recent ForbesTraveler.com piece, "America's Best Restaurant Cities." "It’s getting hard not to have a great meal anywhere in the U.S.." Burnam continues.

Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
6. Houston
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.

Graeter's One of U.S.'s Top Ice Creams
Just in time for summer, Mark DeCarlo, host of Travel Channel's Taste of America, lists his favorite 10 ice cream and frozen confections joints in USA Today usatoday.com: Pinkberry, Los Angeles pinkberry.com; Angelo Brocato's, New Orleans, angelobrocatoicecream.com; Graeter's, Cincinnati (with other locations in Dayton, Columbus, Louisville and Lexington, Ky.), graeters.com; Leon's Frozen Custard, Milwaukee, foodspot.com/leons; Ghirardelli, San Francisco (for the hot fudge sundaes), ghirardelli.com; Otto, New York ottopizzeria.com/menu_gelato.html; Ted Drewes, St. Louis, teddrewes.com; Bobtail Ice Cream Co., Chicago, bobtailicecream.com; Valentino's, Las Vegas, venetian.com; Waiola Shave Ice, Honolulu.

IN THE NEWS: Cincinnati Business Courier reports that five local restaurants and four hotels have received Four Diamond designations, the AAA's highest rating for travel and tourism venues. The nine were to be honored at a May 16 luncheon, AAA said in a news release. The Four Diamond winners for 2007 are:
* The Cincinnatian Hotel, downtown;
* Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, downtown;
* Marriott River Center, Covington;
* The Westin, downtown;
* The Celestial Steakhouse, Mount Adams;
* Daveed's at 934, Mount Adams;
* Jean-Robert at Pigall's, downtown;
* Orchids at Palm Court/Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, downtown;
* The Palace Restaurant/The Cincinnatian Hotel, downtown.
A team of AAA tourism editors compiles the ratings by making unannounced visits to restaurants and hotels, and judging them for cleanliness, ambiance, amenities and service. ... The Courier also reports after more than a year of searching for new locations, Los Cabos restaurant, the Mexican eatery that entered Cincinnati four years ago, is finally opening its second area store, in Milford. The site, on Ohio 28 at Miami Pointe, will welcome the public as soon as May 14, said José Michel, who co-founded the concept with his brother, Francisco. ... The Enquirer's Polly Campbell awards three stars to chef-owner Shawn McCoy's Brown Dog Café in Blue Ash. The paper also stops by the barbecue joint Hoggy's in Crestview Hills. In Campbell's dining news column: The Jean-Robert French Restaurant Group will be the sole caterer at Currents, the new meeting and special event venue at the Newport Aquarium, to open this fall; Chez T, the French lunch spot on Mount Lookout Square, is now closed on Mondays; Noodles & Company, a Boulder, Colo.-based restaurant, will open in Cincinnati this fall. It will be moving into a building, now under construction, at the corner of Paxton and Isabelle avenues in Hyde Park, across the street from Mio's Pizzeria; Four Seasons Restaurant has changed its name to the Boatyard Grill and has a new, casual menu; Pirate's Cove, the outdoor tiki bar at the Four Seasons Marina, is open for the season; and Kim's Korean Restaurant is open in the K-Mart Plaza at 10548 Harrison Ave. cincinnati.com ... City Beat's Anne Mitchell gives a C- to Southview, Newport on the Levee in Newport. The paper interviews Stefan Kraus, the chef at Aqua in Mount Lookout. citybeat.com ... From wcpo.com: Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby was at his restaurant in Louisville for Kentucky Derby weekend, when an employee approached him, apparently excited that O.J. Simpson was sitting down to dinner. Ruby said he took another puff of his cigar and another sip of his drink and decided, "I don't want him here." Ruby said he found Simpson in the Churchhill room of his Jeff Ruby's Louisville steakhouse and told Simpson, "I'm not serving you." Ruby said he did it for the Goldman and Brown families, referring, of course, to the families of the people O.J. was accused of killing. Simpson was found not guilty in the criminal trial, but liable in a civil trial. After telling Simpson to leave, he said the former NFL football star was "classy" about it, rounded up his party and left. Then, Ruby said, he went into the Churchill Room to be sure they were gone and people at other tables started standing. "They all got up and gave me a standing ovation, started applauding." Ruby said it happened throughout the restaurant. He added that the next day in the restaurant, "Nobody in Louisville was talking about who won the Derby, who lost, what happened to the favorite, or the Queen. They were just talking about 'O.J. got thrown out of the place.'"
Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

James Beard, Taste of Cincinnati Awards

Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org.

Beard Award highlights are:

AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I

Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.

BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago

BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC

BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.

BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY

BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston

BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle

BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco

BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.

BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago

OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY

Taste of Cincinnati Winners Set
Winners of the Taste of Cincinnati "Best of Taste" awards have been chosen, The Enquirer reports. These, along with dishes from about 40 restaurants in all, will be served at the Taste of Cincinnati during Memorial Day weekend along Fifth Street, downtown; noon-midnight May 26-27 and noon-9 p.m. May 28.

Best of Taste - Veggie Wrap with Spicy Chicken, Market Street Grille
Award of Excellence - Steamed Mussels, Bella Luna
Award of Merit - Cabbage Roll, Laszlo's Iron Skillet
Best of Taste - Bleu Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad, Outback Steakhouse
Award of Excellence - Smoked Turkey & Berry Salad, Burbank's Real Barbecue
Award of Merit - Creole Gumbo, Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant
Best of Taste - Chicken Bryan, Carrabba's Italian Grill
Award of Excellence - Chicken Marsala/Carrabba's Italian Grill
Award of Merit - Jambalaya, Market Street Grille
Seafood Entrée
Best of Taste - Wasabi Ginger Glazed Salmon, Mike Fink
Award of Excellence - Seafood Shanghai Noodles, Shanghai Mama's
Award of Merit - New Orleans Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Indigo Casual Gourmet Café
Vegetarian Entrée
Best of Taste - Veggie Mango Spring Roll, Shanghai Mama's
Award of Excellence - Vegetable Pad Thai, Arloi Dee
Award of Merit - Veggie Stuffed Pizza Pie, LaRosa's
Best of Taste - Chocolate Raspberry Crepe, La Petite France
Award of Excellence -Torta di Pane (Bread Pudding), Bella Luna
Award of Merit - Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Sundae, Indigo Casual Gourmet Cafe
Best Damn Dish (best overall dish) - Chicken Bryan, Carrabba's Italian Grill

IN THE NEWS: Cin Weekly notes Proverbs Coffee recently opened a second location at 630 Madison Ave. in Covington, and it reviews: Behle Street Cafe, Embassy Suites, 50 E. Rivercenter Blvd. in Covington; and Daybreak, 3816 Paxton Ave. in Oakley. ... The Enquirer's Polly Campbell gives a whopping five stars to The Palace at The Cincinnatian Hotel, 601 Vine St. as well as reports: The vetetarian Gratitude Restaurant will open this summer in Clifton; A Forkable Feast will be opening in early June in Oakley, featuring good eats to go; Mama's Hot Pot opened in Reading (8372 Reading Road) in March; while the Spring Mix event scheduled by Cincinnati Originals for May 9 has been canceled. ... The Enquirer also reviews: Schoolhouse Restaurant and General Store, 8031 Glendale-Milford Road in Camp Dennison ... City Beat gives a C to downtown's Sully's Saloon, 700 Race St. ... Cincinnati Business Courier reports "Noodles & Co., an eatery with a menu featuring pasta and noodle dishes, will open its first Tri-State location in Hyde Park this fall. The location, at Paxton and Isabella avenues, is the second in Ohio for the Broomfield, Colo.-based Noodles & Company, according to a news release. The first was opened in Grandview Heights, a Columbus suburb, in February. The chain plans to open two to three Cincinnati locations this year. ... The Courier also reports that fines for the indoor smoking ban approved by Ohio voters in November went into effect May 3, the state health department said in a news release. Businesses and employers were required to enforce the ban beginning in December, but since no rules were in place, some continued to look the other way when workers and customers lit up. The Department of Health said it now has enforcement rules, written in collaboration with an advisory committee and public input. Private residences are not affected, but private clubs must enforce the ban until at least May 14, when a hearing is scheduled in Columbus, the department said.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cincy-Cinco Festival Awaits

Authentic Latino food, art, music, dancing and children's activities are on tap at the Cincy-Cinco Festival May 5-6 at the Plaza at Riverbend Music Center. Participating restaurants include: La Mexicana Taqueria, La Nirra, Plaza del Sol, Santo Domingo, Las Mañanitas, El Punto Criollo, El Inka and Kiosco Panameño. Go to www.cincy-cinco.com for details. .... CityBeat gives A grades to The Palace Restaurant in the Cincinnatian Hotel Downtown and New Orleans To Go, 139 W. Kemper Road, Springdale (www.citybeat.com) ... The new sushi joint Dancing Wasabi, 1018 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout, is reviewed by CinWeekly (www.cinweekly.com). ... The Enquirer's Polly Campbell reviews Encore Bistro & Bar, while Mary Jo Spiegel takes on Krishna Indian Restaurant in Clifton Heights. The paper also reports that Walt's Barbeque in White Oak (www.waltsbarbeque.com) has moved next door into much bigger digs, and the openings of Blue Wolf Cafe in Sycamore Township, Starlight Restaurant in the Queensgate Ramaanda Inn, and Sother Trails restaurant in Erlanger. (www.cincinnati.com).

Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. Go to www.jamesbeard.org for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:

-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hill, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.

Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. (http://www.theworlds50best.com/2007_list.html) Here are the U.S. entries:

The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca. (No. 4)
Per Se, New York City (No. 9)
Jean Georges, New York City (No. 18)
Le Bernardin, New York City (No. 26)
Charlie Trotter's, Chicago (No. 30)
Daniel, New York City (No. 32)
Alinea, Chicago (No. 36)
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Ca. (No. 40)
Masa, New York City (No. 56)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, New York City (No. 64)
Peter Lugar, Brooklyn, NY (No. 69)
Nobu New York, New York City (No. 89)
Gramercy Tavern, New York City (No. 90)
WD-50, New York City (No. 91)
Zuni Café, San Francisco (No. 98)
Alex at Wynn, Las Vegas (No. 100)