Local Flavor

News you can digest.

Hometown proud, yes I am. Inspired by the great energy, talent, and commitment in our community.

Congratulations to Chef Sean Kagy, Executive Chef of Summit Restaurant at the Midwest Culinary Institute, who has signed on as the new Corporate Executive Chef for Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment. Kagy replaces Jeremy Lieb, who left this past spring to join the Boca Restaurant Group.  ~~~

In March I told you about M, the new sibling restaurant to Cumin, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Named after owner Alex Mchaikhi and Chef Owen Maass, the restaurant will feature a wood-fired menu, specialty beverages, and late night hours (for more info, check out the original post: http://bit.ly/AgaHx5).

After a break from the industry, the original owner / chef of Cumin, Yajan Upadhyaya, has returned to open his second Cincinnati restaurant. Similar to the early Cumin, Upadhyaya’s menu for Mantra on the Hill will celebrate several regions of Indian cuisine as well as Indochine specialties. He expects to open in late May, and is taking over the space recently vacated by Daveed’s in Mt. Adams. After more than ten years at 934 Hatch Street, David and Liz Cook are moving their award-winning restaurant to the northern suburbs, closer to their home. We wish them much continued success. ~~~


The Gateway Quarter in Over-The Rhine continues to blow up. Jon Zipperstein, owner of Embers restaurant in Madeira, has announced plans for a new restaurant in Over-The-Rhine. Scheduled to open in October in the historic Cincinnati Paint and Color building at Vine and 14th St., the restaurant will be modeled after a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant that features a menu built on small plates – grilled specialties, sushi, sashimi, and more – plus an extensive beverage menu of sake, shōchū, Japanese whiskey and beer.

Zipperstein’s partner, Chef Hideki Harada, trained at Nobu in New York City before working as Ember’s sushi chef and several other area restaurants. In 2008 he moved to Osaka, Japan to reconnect with family and further his training in culinary arts with Chef Horiuchi at Sushi Roku.  

The new restaurant (the name is still being finalized) will be designed by architect Don Beck and feature three separate rooms in one: an intimate comfortable dining room with exposed kitchen and circular sushi bar; a bar / lounge, and a four-season, landscaped beer garden.  

Zipperstein’s restaurant joins A Tavola, Lavomatic, Venice on Vine, The Anchor, The Lackman, 1215 Wine Bar, Bakersfield, Senate, Abigail St., and Taste of Belgium as the area neighboring Washington Park in Over-The-Rhine continues to dramatically transform.

There are more exciting restaurant / bar concepts currently in negotiation for downtown. I’ll share the Who+What+Where details as soon as all parties have signed off. In the meantime, get out and enjoy our wonderful, growing, restaurant community and Cincinnati’s beautiful neighborhoods. Your support matters.

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