Theory of Evolution

Cincinnati’s dining scene has become quite a melting pot (or hot pot, if you prefer).
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Illustration by Maïté Franchi

Our annual top 10 list regularly includes the best multicultural dining this city has to offer. Dosas, pozole, and unagi have all graced these pages, their presence a great barometer of a vibrant, evolving dining scene. But the soothing bowls of ochazuke we went gaga for at Miyoshi are just the tip of the iceberg. Be it savory gyros, hand-pulled Chinese noodles, tender beef tongue tacos, or spicy pig’s ear, authenticity is the new watchword. “There are more ethnic restaurants and more locals that want ethnic food served like it’s served in the mother country, not Americanized ethnic food,” says Wassim Matar, owner of Phoenician Taverna in Mason. The key, Matar points out, is to never underestimate your guests. “Assuming locals don’t know is not a healthy attitude. Being honest to the cuisine itself is a key factor in the success of the business.” Junko and Masashi Nishizume have cemented Miyoshi’s reputation as the spot for some of the area’s best Japanese cuisine by approaching Western diners as they do their own countrymen: with the freshest fish (like sanma, a mackerel pike found in northern Japan that Nishizume has flown in when it becomes available at the advent of autumn), half day simmered pork bones for ramen stock, and house made tamagoyaki, a rolled egg omelette. “We don’t do any short cuts,” says Nishizume. “We try to serve [everything] like they do in Japan.”

Check out our Best Restaurants 2017 review of Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant

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