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Best Restaurants 2012

The Palace

“How often does trout look that sexy?”

Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar

Is there anything we love more than a great neighborhood bistro?


Willpower is usually what I need when dining at Nicola’s.


Chef Owen Maass’s menu inevitably has a couple of dishes that raise an eyebrow.


Phone message overheard being left by a man sitting next to me at Senate’s bar: “Yo bro, what up? I am in a restaurant in Cincinnati eating something called poutine. Fries, topped with short ribs, cheese curds, gravy, and an egg.”


We love Chef Sean Daly’s elegant and slightly bad-ass Low Country food.

Best Restaurants 2012: Boca

Chef/Owner David Falk has sustained a velocity that’s rare in a business that demands it.

Sichuan Bistro

The pleasantly numbing huajiao—the keenly aromatic, citrusy peppercorn indigenous to China—is the star of this family run bistro.

Best New Restaurant: Abigail Street

Where Senate, its older sibling next door, has a penchant for street-smart food and chaotic energy, Abigail Street possesses a more easygoing spirit. The imaginative and original menu of small plates with a Middle Eastern lean owes a debt to co-owner (with her husband Dan) Lana Wright’s Jordanian heritage.

Best New Restaurant: A Taste of Belgium

Jean-Francois Flechet claims Belgians can find a beer for every palate. For this wine lover the Liefmans Cuvée Brut proves his point. Aged with cherries, the sweet-tart, effervescent ale is an able partner to the hot cheese croquettes or boulets Liégeoise—meatballs glazed in the fruity sirop de Liège and served with salty frites.