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Apr 11, 2011 01:00 PM

Cincinnati Dining Info

It looks like I'm going to be there for a weekend in early June and will be arriving Saturday morning and leaving Monday afternoon. I haven't been to Cincy in 10 years and when I went I was still in college so I was just eating anything cheap...

I'd love some info on:

-Saturday Lunch preferably downtown since that is were I will most likely be staying (I'm wide open for lunch; ideally it would be something unique to Cincinnati)

-Saturday Dinner - I'd like to go to the best restaurant Cincy has to offer

-Sunday Lunch/Brunch - Preferably sit-down

-Monday Lunch - Something easy like a sandwich shop

Any input will be greatly appreciated.


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  1. For lunch on Saturday, how about a hot dog & popcorn at the ball park? If the Reds are in town, that would be fun in early June.

    Will you have access to a car? You could pick up a picnic lunch and go to Eden Park, which should be lovely at that time of year. There is a beautiful conservatory located in the park. If you are interested, I will make some suggestions to pick up lunch in the Mt. Adams area, or you could visit Rookwood, their burgers are yummy.

    The Delta Queen might be running day excusions. It's a river boat on the Ohio. There are little places for lunch near the boat landing as well.

    What kind of food are you looking for Saturday night? Expense account type places? Jeff Ruby's steakhouses are always great, but what type of cuisine would you prefer?

    Write back with more details like whether/not you have a car, whether/not you like sports, museums, attractions and we can better help you.

    Delta Queen
    8109 N State Road 3, Muncie, IN 47303

    The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant
    1077 Celestial St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diane in Bexley

      Definitely going to the reds game on Saturday but it's a 4:10 first pitch so lunch there is out.

      I won't have access to a car but I don't mind taking cabs anywhere outside of downtown if it is worth it.

      My wife isn't big on boats so the Delta Queen is probably out.

      Price isn't an object for dinner on Saturday night but I'm always leery of steakhouses because they all kind of seem the same to me. Some are better than others but I find the difference negligible. I'm looking for what is to be considered the best restaurant in Cincy whether it be French, Italian, etc... I really have no idea what Cincy is known for, food-wise, besides sweet skyline style chili

      I love sports, museums, and pretty much anything fun/interesting. We are wide open except for the Saturday game and an event on Sunday night.

      Thanks for the input.

      Delta Queen
      8109 N State Road 3, Muncie, IN 47303

      1. re: klebb

        I tend to agree with you on Steakhouses, which is why I didn't suggest it below, but I wouldn't rule Jeff Ruby's out. He has a really great bone-in Filet, that is not always found. Plus some really great sides that you don't find at Morton's, Ruth's, Palm, etc.

        Jeff Ruby is the guy who famously refused to serve OJ Simpson at his steakhouse in Louisville. Kicked him and his entourage out! On that alone he deserves a chance.

        Good luck.

    2. I enjoy Grand Finale ... Far north of downtown. I also enjoy ribs at Montgomery Inn.


      Grand Finale
      3 E Sharon Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45246

      6 Replies
      1. re: rainsux

        Klebb, the Montgomery Inn is very famous for its ribs, which are sweet. The late Bob Hope and that crowd used to fly them to LA, if that is a recommendation to you. This is in the suburbs and would be an expensive cab rid. Might be worth it to rent a car if you are going to really do this.

        On the subject of "real Cincinnati", but again in the suburbs Jungle Jym's is a somewhat semi-famous market. If you are a real foodie, this might interest you. It is HUGE. they have a ginormous fish tank with live fish, which is something to see. I realize you won't be cooking in Cincinnati, but it might interest you.

        Montgomery Inn
        11314 Tamarco Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45242

        1. re: Diane in Bexley

          Montgomery Inn Ribs are inedible for anybody who has had actual barbecued ribs in KC or NC or SC or.....

          Montgomery Inn
          11314 Tamarco Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45242

          1. re: jmckee

            To paraphrase Calvin Trillin... you can get good BBQ at a place owned by a white guy, but you aren't playing the percentages.

            I would agree that Montgomery Inn does not have ribs like you would get at a great pit-smoked BBQ place. I also agree that since they are billed as BBQ, that is what people expect. A buddy of mine used to work there and says that they are pressure cooked to get them tender.

            I am blessed with the ability to enjoy different types of rib preparations and therefore sometimes enjoy Montgomery Inn. I also like asian and hispanic preparations.. Kind of like Chicago style stuffed pizza. Is it pizza? I guess. Is it great NY style pizza? No, but it isn't supposed to be. IMO you have to have a different scale for different variations.

            I never recommend Montgomery Inn without ensuring that people understand the what it is. If their expectations are set and you're not dealing with a BBQ afficianado, then you'll be fine. Nice place, decent food, good sweet and citrusy sauce.

            klebb, I don't recommend it unless you come here for several weeks.

            Montgomery Inn
            11314 Tamarco Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45242

            1. re: Uncle Luigi

              I prefer Pit to Plate, Jim Dandy's (in Sharonville), BBQ Revue (Madisonville -- although there's a seasoning in their sauce that's a tad offputting I can't quite identify), and Woe Is Me (Eastgate area, where I live).

              1. re: Uncle Luigi

                I'm coming in from Memphis so ribs aren't at the top of my list...

                1. re: klebb

                  Yeah, if you're from Memphis the only thing that comes close is Jim Dandy's in Sharonville. But if you're able to get Willingham's where you live than don't bother with anything else. The man is a BBQ god.

        2. As far as Saturday Night:
          I recently had a tasting menu at Boca in Oakley. It was really good, truffles were in season and had a few add-on dishes that had fresh white truffle. I also have been wanting to try the Orchid. Menu looks great. I believe it is in the Carew tower.

          1. On your Monday easy lunch, may want to try one of Cincinnatis several chilli shops. Cincinnatti has it's own style of chilli, unique in flavor (includes Greek spices as well as unsweetened chocolate in some recipes) that it is famous for. I prefer it served 5way which is over spagghetii, with onion, kidney beans, and cheese. (the traditional way) it's definitely a flavor of cincinnatti you won't find elsewhere.


            1. For lunch or even late night, I love the Cincinnati Classic, "Camp Washington Chili". It is an old diner with good chili as well as regular food. It is out of downtown a bit. If you want to try the most popular chili in town, go to any Skyline.

              2 Burger suggestions, since I am a burger fanatic:
              1 in Mt. Lookout has the classic "Zip's Cafe". Not a "medium-rare" gourmet place, but I love it. 2 is out East called "Terry's Turf Club". Awesome gourmet burgers, etc. (It has been on Man v. Food or some other TV show) I have eaten a lot of burgers in a lot of great places and this place is in the top few.

              Best Restaurant:
              - "Nicola's" is my favorite restaurant in town. Awesome Gourmet-Style Italian. Good tasting menu, great cocktails, wine, etc.
              - Jean-Robert de Cavel is a French Chef that used to work at the Maisonette (our 5 star place, now closed) and then opened a series of amazing places. He now has a new place called "Jean-Robert's Table". He is a rockstar.
              - "The Celestial" is an Old School place with an amazing view of downtown from Mt. Adams. Older crowd that dances to a band on the weekend. I would recommend it as a place to go have a drink other than dinner. (The Cincinnati Art Museum is up there, so you could combo it, if you are into that.)

              Brunch: Nada is an upscale Mexican place across from the Contemporary Art Museum.. it's kinda-like Frontera Grill in Chicago. They have been serving brunch for several months. You order off of the menu, as opposed to a buffet and my wife and I love it! They have these stewed meats in little iron pots called cazuela's that apparently are "Mexico City" style. Not having been to Mexico City, I will take their word for it, because they are awesome! Good fish, pork and pork-belly tacos... also great margaritas.

              Happy Eating!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Uncle Luigi

                Thanks for all the input.

                After some research it looks like my Saturday dinner will come down to either: Nicola's, Boca or Orchid. If anyone thinks I'm making a mistake let me know.

                I'll definitely have some Cincinnati chili while I"m in town and Nada looks great for brunch.

                Again thanks.