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To the growing list of world cuisines settling in the southern Ohio Valley, you can now add Malaysian. As much of a melting pot in the far east as the United States is in the west, Malaysia bridges the flavors and culinary traditions of two land masses that reside south ...
On a Roll
The answer was firm: “Twenty-seven dollars. It’s awesome. And award-winning.” A moment of silence was followed by the server shifting her weight from one foot to the other and furtively glancing away from the table. Was it impatience or uncertainty? Surely both—an acknowledgement that $27 is quite a lot for ...
The River Rises
The second indication—the first being its name—that the five-month-old gastropub called BrewRiver is a beer-forward establishment is the antique bar of obsidian mahogany. Twenty-three taps line the back bar. Growlers (for neophytes, a half-gallon glass to-go jug), steins, and beer glasses stretch as far as the eye can see. The ...
Round and Round
There is no local restaurant that commands a better view of Cincinnati than the 360. It is so named because the entire restaurant—atop the 18-floor Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront in Covington—makes a complete 360-degree rotation every 65 minutes. It is one of many revolving restaurants that were built in the ...
Stand by Your Mantra
I’m naturally suspicious when a server throws around too many superlatives, and a little cheesed-off when his or her eye on the check total is obvious, especially within the first few minutes of interaction. There’s upselling, and then there’s this: No thank you, I don’t care for a cocktail. Really? ...
Café Society: York Street Café
Five blocks from the Newport riverfront, York Street Café sits on a quiet, leafy corner. A rambling four-storied establishment built in the Queen Anne style and packed with charm and eccentricity galore, it has stood on this corner for more than 130 years. For the past 15 years, the building ...
Sit Back, Relax
I am immediately drawn to the long table that sits in a slightly sunken portion of Europa Bistro’s patio. It is covered by an arbor of shade trees and vines; its surface is weathered, the chairs mismatched. Though it is about 10 yards from the busy street where pubs, a ...
Rip Sidhu has little respect for most Indian restaurants in America. The chef and owner of Bombay Brazier, a native of Bhopal, India, tells me this emphatically with a raised pitch to his voice. “They come here and open restaurants in [former] Hardee’s and Chinese restaurants. No care for the ...
A Pub, Reborn
Maybe it’s because he is delighted to have a new chef, all of seven months on the team. Maybe it’s because the menu has taken a new farm-to-table direction, a trend the new chef is noted to feverishly support. Or maybe it’s both. Because when we ask our server “What ...
Surely you’ve noticed the changes in Cincinnati’s culinary landscape, not the least of which is an influx of new eateries in the urban core. Along with them come new culinary heroes to worship and admire. But before Daniel Wright (chef/owner of Senate and Abigail Street) was hot doggin’ it, before ...
Where There's SmoQ, There's Fire
On a typical Saturday night at SmoQ, 270 pounds of St. Louis ribs, 200 pounds of baby back ribs, 150 pounds each of chicken and wings, 100 pounds of pulled pork, 65 pounds of brisket, and 35 pounds of rib tips exit the kitchen door for the dining room. That’s ...
Kung Food Fighting
Master Chef Chu circles the dining room, stopping at every table to raise his glass of beer to each customer, tipping it back with each toast. His smile is wide, his laugh boisterous and unrestrained. He doesn’t speak of word of English, and it doesn’t matter—the language of celebration is ...
We lingered for a few minutes just inside Enoteca Emilia’s suggestion of a foyer, contemplating the hour-plus wait for a table versus our desperate need for sustenance. We perused both rooms, quietly assessing how far along each table was in their meal. Plates of meats and cheeses, bowls of pasta, ...
Walnut Street Grill has a prize address. It’s smack in the middle of the downtown area that has been trying to brand itself as the arts and entertainment district since the Aronoff Center put down roots in 1995 and the Contemporary Arts Center moved into its new home in 2003. ...
Four people order four different meals, each with two courses—eight separate plates of food. You enjoy the synergy of wine with food, but there are a lot of contrasting flavors and textures—a creamy bisque, a bruschetta topped with woodsy roasted mushrooms and a baked egg, a cheddary risotto, and a ...
The Pelican Brief
New England clam chowder is a dish subjected to abuse. The famous stew (attributed to French-Canadian fisherman before it became an icon of American regional cuisine) is more often than not a glutinous pudding encumbered by potatoes and slight on clams, even in respectable eateries. Yes, it should be thick, ...
The Royal Touch
Esma’s kitchen had very little in common with ours. Where our pantry shelves held long square loaves of sliced bread from the grocery store waiting to be layered with cheeses, meats, and peanut butter for sandwiches, the shelves in Esma’s pantry were stacked with thin rounds of yeast-raised flatbread, handmade ...
Let the Good Times Roux
One hundred and forty okra plants. That’s how many are planted in the second-year garden that Chef John Moore is standing in, which runs a third of the length and width of the acre of yard behind the New Richmond restaurant kitchen he commandeers, Anna Ree’s Andouille. The word restaurant ...
One of the best tables in the city for people-watching resides on the second floor of Nada. It is positioned so that both the sweeping staircase—the nucleus of the bi-level restaurant—and the intersection of Sixth and Walnut are in your direct sight line. During the course of your dinner, whether ...
Peel Away the Layers
“Hey! Hey! Hi!” A blonde woman is waving madly at me from a bar stool as we enter Red Onion Café. At least I think she’s waving at me. I look at the line of people pressing in behind us from the entrance of the small, dark, narrow bar. No ...
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