Where to Drink Now: Restaurant Bars

Food and drink worth your time.

Photograph by Carly Garner/Shutterstock

→ FRIDA 602
Sample a mezcal flight—the sister spirit to tequila ranges in flavor from smoky to sweet. Too potent? Test the waters with their Smoky and spicy Frida margarita, with jalapeno-infused mezcal. Or switch gears entirely and sip a peppery michelada—think Bloody Mary, but finished with Victoria (a Mexican lager) instead of vodka. When To Go: Weekday lunch, if you can take your time. Pro Tip: Don’t drink mezcal on an empty stomach. Who’s There: Heavily tattooed to stay-at-home dads pushing prams. 602 Main St., Covington, (859) 815-8736, fridaonmain.com

TASTE OF BELGIUM, ROOKWOOD
Find insider brews—think hometown heroes MadTree Sprye and 50 West Coffee Please alongside Euro favorites like Tripel Karmeliet and St. Bernardus Abt. 12—in an upbeat, well lit gastropub conveniently (perhaps cursedly?) close to your I-71 commute. When To Go: Nothing says blissful brunch like beer and waffles. Pro Tip: Seize the chance to try a new brew. Who’s There: Well-heeled urbanites and beer aficionados. 3825 Edwards Road, Suite 110, Hyde Park, (513) 396-5800, authenticwaffle.com

SOTTO
Boca-based wine director and consultant Kevin Hart trains staff to steer Boca Group guests toward stunning small production bottles, especially at the grotto-gorgeous Sotto. Falanghina, a lesser-known white grape, is prized for its clean flavor and balanced acidity. Or embrace the chocolate-cherry ancient Basilicata (located in the instep of Italy’s “boot”) varietal aglianico with a glass of Grifalco aglianico del vulture. When To Go: The earlier the better. Pro Tip: They don’t call it a “super” Tuscan for nothing. Who’s There: Couples, the expense account set. 118 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 977-6886, sottocincinnati.com

MITA’S
Be prepared to be absolutely bewitched by this bar. Bros, besties, and business associates all rub shoulders come 5 p.m. at this central business district hot spot as they quaff caipirinhas heady with lime and mint, flutes of sparkling rosé cava, or bottles of 2014 Graffito and 2014 Luca. And while we’d never be ones to over-imbibe, it’s good to know that slices of cheese and chorizo are just a quick order away. Y’know, just in case. When To Go: After dark. The Moorish lanterns lend a certain magic. Pro Tip: It’s hard to go wrong with white wine or bubbles here. Who’s There: The industry crowd—chefs and somms on their nights off. Mita’s, 501 Race St., downtown, (513) 421-6482, mitas.co

 

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