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Dinner in Cincinnati

My wife and I just moved into the Cincinnati area. We want to go out on the town for dinner, anybody know of great places to eat for around $40-$50 a person

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  1. i had a great bowl of dolsot bibimbap at DANCING WASABI. it's a sushi bar, but entrees typically run between 17 and 20 dollars.

    my other cincinnati favorites:

    THE PRECINCT - awesome old-school steakhouse in a former police precinct. it's a jeff ruby thing. best steak i've ever had to be sure, but pricey. $50 a person would be about right.

    MONTGOMERY INN (boathouse) - the ribs are not the best you'll ever taste, but there are a few things that can make this a great dinner: [1] order the potato chips as an appetizer. they're made in-house and are exquisite. [2] order the barbecued chicken sauce on the side, and dip it in ranch and the sauce. unbelievable. [3] the scenery. if it's nice, sit on the patio and look out at the river. think about how much you love your wife. etc. and so on.

    enjoy cinci. i think it's a great city for someone who loves good food.

    1. What area of town are you in and what types of food do you prefer?

      9 Replies
      1. re: JohnE O

        Eastside of Cincinnati Mt. Washinton, We enjoy pretty much anything and places that have a really good atmosphere. I have been told Nicholson's Tavern & Pub downtown is good.

        1. re: scrook2818

          Ah, you're on my side of town! Welcome to Cincinnati! I'm a former chef and there are some great places to eat here.

          I'll give you a range of places, from inexpensive to a bit over your range, just to give you some ideas.

          Inexpensive: Dewey's (local pizza chain, really good; Oakley is closest), Zip's (best burgers in town, in my opinion; Mt. Lookout square), The Echo (diner; Hyde Park square), First Watch (breakfast/brunch/lunch only; Anderson Township on Beechmont is probably the closest, there's also one in Rookwood).

          Mid-range: Ambar Indian (SO good; Clifton area on Ludlow), Shanghai Mama (Thai/Chinese; downtown).

          Expensive (but not always, and it depends sometimes on what you order): The Summit (the fine-dining restaurant at the Midwest Culinary Institute - really, really good), Boca (ecclectic Italian in Oakley - highly recommend; I'm actually going there - again - for my upcoming birthday), Slim's (hard to pin down; Northside), Jag's (steak and seafood; West Chester).

          I would suggest the former Jean-Robert de Cavel restaurants (Greenup Cafe, Chalk, Bistro Jean-Ro, Jean-Robert at Pigall's) but since Jean-Robert has left I haven't been back to any of them. I can't speak to the quality any more. I'm sure they're fine, I just can't personally vouch for them.

          I know I've left out tons of really great restaurants. This is just off the top of my very tired head!

          1. re: cmj

            Former chef, and you think zips has the best burgers in town??? It's definitely Terry's Turf Club. Zips has a cool old-timey ambiance, but the burgers are pathetic small things (but cheap).

            1. re: JASfood

              I've always found Zip's to be one of the most overrated places in Cincy. My sens is that its undeserved reputation is based on being in Mt. Lookout on the Cusp of Hyde Pahk.

              1. re: JASfood

                Pretty sure I said "in my opinion." So sorry this former chef doesn't live up to your expectations.

                1. re: cmj

                  Sorry you took exception to my comment. I am not casting aspersions on your skills. I am a veteran burger eater and I simply disagree. No offense meant.

                  1. re: jmckee

                    I think cmj was responding to JASfood and not jmckee. We'd all be better off if we'd agree that the food we like is a matter of taste and not make this in any way personal.

                    BTW, in CityBeat's new restaurant guide, a woman from the family that owns Oriental Wok chose Zip's Girthburger as the best thing she's eaten in Cincinnati.

                    1. re: johnbycz

                      Something can be overrated and still be really tasty. I like Zip's but I wouldn't go out of my way to get a burger there (unless I was dropping some $$ at the Boardwalk next door). Personally, my favorite burger in town is Sammy's in Blue Ash. It doesn't hurt that they're just down the street or that they serve 32 oz. draft beers, but they have great burgers.

                      Just don't call Graeter's overrated, or there will be blood. ;-]

            2. re: scrook2818

              Nicholson's is my favorite place to eat, casual with good food and beer. The Tavern at Rookwood Commons is basically the same (same owner). I second cmj's recommendation of Dewey's but if you're that close to the U.C. campus then try Adriatico's. I like both Arthur's and Teller's in Hyde Park Square though the latter is somewhat noisy if it's crowded.

          2. When you are ready for brunch head for the Grand Finally in Tri-county. We have been out of Cincinati for 10 years but just stoped in for brunch a couple of months ago good as every. About the only Buffet we will do. Great deserts in those little glass bowls so you can a will take several then head back for seconds!! Eggs benidic over arichokes my favorite and its only $14 a person. Only negative is no real maple syrup so bring your own. Also their sister property across the street the Friendy Stop great place for burger and a beer and sometimes cheese steak make with the filet trimming from the Finally.

            Enjoy

            dc

            1. When you are ready for brunch head for the Grand Finally in Tri-county. We have been out of Cincinati for 10 years but just stoped in for brunch a couple of months ago good as every. About the only Buffet we will do. Great deserts in those little glass bowls so you can a will take several then head back for seconds!! Eggs benidic over arichokes my favorite and its only $14 a person. Only negative is no real maple syrup so bring your own. Also their sister property across the street the Friendy Stop great place for burger and a beer and sometimes cheese steak make with the filet trimming from the Finally.

              Enjoy

              dc

              1. Since you're in Mount Washington, I'll stick to that side of town. These are all in your budget.

                The single best place might be Nectar in Mount Lookout. Good chef, innovative food. That would be at the high end of your budget, 'specially with a bottle of wine.

                Others, in no particular order.

                -- Foreign Exchange on Beechmont Avenue for Thai and sushi.

                -- Pelican's Reef, also on Beechmont. A bar that features seafood. Love their calamari, and the linguini with mussels is a bargain at $9. But all the best dishes I've had there have been specials.

                -- The Iron Skillet in Newtown. Stick to the Hungarian page of their large menu (schnitzels and paprikash) and you'll do fine.

                -- El Coyote in Anderson Township, on State off Five Mile. Not the most authentic Tex-Mex you'll ever have, but I love the fajitas carnitas, the empanadas and the mac-and-cheese. And I'll take the $24 ribeye over the $40 steaks at the Precinct anytime, especially since El Coyote will cook their steaks Pittsburgh and the Precinct can't. El Coyote also has the best margaritas in town.

                -- Allyn's Cafe, on Columbia Parkway not far from the Precinct. Great selection of wine and beer, and also good margaritas. Weird menu with lots of Mexican and cajun and Italian. I love the catfish, and the Mardi Gras pasta.

                Cincinnati doesn't have great Italian, but nearby I like Bella Luna in Linwood, which is kind of the foot of Mount Lookout. I've had many good meals there. The owner, Harry, is a pistol.

                Near Bella Luna is Terry's Turf Club, which is getting a reputation for the best hamburgers in the area, and was even mentioned in some article somewhere as one of the best in the country. Not a big place, though, so it can be hard to get into. The burgers at Anderson Township Pub on Clough Pike are also very good. The bugers at Zip's in Mount Lookout are not as good as their reputation but are not bad.

                Further away, I'd make a special trip for the Knotty Pine on the Bayou, in Wilder, Ky., maybe 20 minutes from Mount Washington. Cajun/Creole and the best oysters in town.

                1 Reply
                1. re: johnbycz

                  I failed to mention Cafe Mediterranean (I can never spell that) tucked into the Anderson Towne Centre (or that). Really really good kabobs, great appetizer plate, and a few Turkish wines. Everything is prepared with great care.