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Donna Covrett


Hot Seats: Metropole

The restaurant in the 21c Hotel keeps its regional and seasonal hearth lit with an ever-changing menu of sensual minimalism.

Hot Seats: JimmyG’s

Chef Jimmy Gibson loads it, locks it, and rocks it with a big beefy menu of muscular steaks, killer fried chicken with a Singaporean slant, pristine seafood, wood-grilled kabobs, and butter, butter, butter.

Hot Seats: Quan Hapa

A mash-up of Asian street foods—crispy pig ears, poke (marinated fish salads), and hearty noodle bowls—from the team that brings you Pho Lang Thang.

Hot Seats: M

A simple menu of gratins, vegetables, hand cut primal portions of meats, and thin-crusted pizzas.

Triple Threat

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 of the Asian continent and have been central to maritime trade routes for hundreds of years.

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?

Books for Cooks

A few of the food and cookbooks I’ve been reading and cooking from over the past several months. Most of these make great gifts and are available at local bookstores or amazon.com.

Chef Shuffles

After four years as Executive Chef of The Cincinnatian Hotel, Jose Salazar has left to pursue new projects. While his own restaurant is in the works for the near future, Salazar will be overseeing the kitchen at Abigail Street (Over-The-Rhine) for the next few months.

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.

Zab Thai

Forgive my dessert-first excitement, but this little Thai restaurant carries the best macaron in the city. Let me break that down: Thai restaurant. Strip mall. French confection. The best.