Dining around Cincinnati
I've got about 6 days next week in Cinci with a group of other folks who will be looking for some places to eat. I don't think any of us have ever been there before. We are foodies but are looking for places we should not miss out on, from casual to really special places.
What do you all suggest?
I highly recomend Boca. If you go you need to try the Scallops with Brussel sprouts. Nada downtown is relatively new (upscale Mexican - same owner as Boca) and is excellent as well. For a great steak you can't miss at Jeff Ruby's steakhouse. Finally Jean Roberts at Pigalls is one of the top restaurants in town. If you like ice cream then you need to try Graeters Ice Cream.
For a casual lunch, I suggest Floyd's and Myra's in Clifton (a few doors away from each other on Calhoun St., across from UC's campus). Floyd's has a smaller, mostly Lebanese, menu. Delicious garlic lima beans and moussaka. I'm told the chicken and stuffed peppers are amazing too. Myra's has a more extensive menu -- more soups, salads, rice and bean dishes. I had lunch at both places last week, and, as always, both were good meals. Just FYI -- these are both small places, so a group of 6 will probably need to pull a table or two together. Might be best to go early or late for lunch.
Enjoy Cincinnati, and let us know where you end up!
Okay so Cincinnati was certainly a cool experience!
We were staying at the Netherlands Plaza Hilton so we were well located to move around.
First off, the happy hour with half priced martinis was a great introduction. Happy hour is banned in NH, where most of us were from, so we were more than happy to indulge.
Before cocktails we started off at the Rock Bottom Brewery for lunch. I had been to the Denver location before so no big Chow moment. The beer was decent and the food was questionable. The service left much to be desired.
The good thing was the close location to Graeter's. Yum! We all liked the Black Raspberry Chip, Coffee, and Cookies and Cream. The chocolate left a little to be desired, but we are from Ben and Jerry's land. The shop employees were so friendly and answered all of our questions, smiling all the time.
For dinner we went to JeanRo's bistro. It was great! What a great layout, good staff and excellent food. The greens and salads were heavily salted, but I think the other food made up for it. The pot du creme was a little broken but tasty and the price was right. The tarte tatin was such a sight with the giant ball of vanilla i.c. by the time I got a photo of it it was mostly crumbs.
Our server recommended Tucker's (?) for breakfast, but we were wary when the Concierge warned us that Liberty St. was not the best neighborhood to be wandering around as tourists in. Instead we hit up Hathaway's which I had read about on roadfood. The waffle iron is still broken (at least 5 years by my count) and the service was REALLY slow, but the food was hot and the eggs were cooked perfectly. The goetta was so yummy I at most of the side myself.
One person in our group was really into Brazilian steak houses so we hit up Broi Na Braza. The food was decent enough, but not worth the $70 apiece we ended up shelling out. I've been to other restaurants that were similar concepts that had more interesting meats to offer, not to mention roasted pineapple and the like. I was a little disturbed that we were never even offered a menu for food, just a wine list and drink cart.
The next time we had a chance to go out was on Sunday. I spent a lot of time researching places, searching the boards and so forth. The one thing everyone forgets to tell visitors is that (almost) everything is closed on Sunday.
We ended up at Cafe Istanbul in Covington. The food was pleasant, not too expensive and the Baba Ganoujj (sp?) was the best I've ever had. I work with a girl from Istanbul and her Baklava tastes exactly the same. I saved a piece to bring back to her. It was delicious and satisfying. The appetizers were the best part, most of us had some kind of kebab.
I feel the need to apologize that none of us could muster the appetite to eat at Skyline Chili, although just about everyone recommended it. Maybe next time.
If I had to do it all over again I would pick somewhere nicer to eat before Sunday and saved JeanRo's for the Sunday meal. It was certainly the best overall eating experience we had, and I'm sorry I missed so many places due to being closed on Sunday (I think I wore the concierge out having him call about 10 places to see if they were open) :)
The Montgomery Inn is the place to go to, and you must eat ribs! I'm not a big rib fan, but I loved these! My Dad raves about this place and he's only been to Cincy on business trips. There is also a Hofbrau House just over the bridge in Newport, Kentucky- great food and great atmosphere, and beer, of course.
Do a search on the Midwest board; there have been a number of good discussions recently. For local flavor, you have to try Cincinnati chili, at any one of several hundred Skyline locations, or the single Camp Washington Chili. Camp Washington also has great breakfasts, where you can sample the local mystery breakfast meat called "goetta". Otherwise, consensus here seems to be that Boca is the best restaurant in town.
Where will you be? What's your price range?
I realized this morning when I read a bump from another posting...will do the search and look forward to the goetta!
We're staying at the Hilton downtown; our price range is completely open. We will most likely look for the most impressive restaurant and a hip scene as well, plus some really good lunch. Like I said we're across the board. I'm sure it will be a "chow hound" week!