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In town for Spring Training fun. Need some recs pls.

We are visiting the area taking in some ball games and having some fun. But would like some more guidance on good places to eat. We have already visited a variety of places including:

"Cork" on Alma School Rd. near Chandler (the concept is a little odd and I could use a good explanation for that place.)

The restaurants at The Phoenician Resort. All the food here was very good. (And I was glad I wasn't paying!)

'Boca' in Tempe. Nice cafe for pasta. And 'Four Peaks Brewery' and tried 3 ales and their sandwiches on their 'beer bread' which was highly recommended by the waitress.

Arcadia Farms in Scottsdale. We had a very nice lunch on the porch and wine was 1/2 price by the bottle!

And a few other places whose names I can't remember.

We have a car and can travel. Will be in Tempe and Scottsdale area for a few more days and out in Goodyear for the Reds games. We could also use a hotel recommendation for that side of town. (Is the Wig Wam any good these days?)

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks so much

Mar 25, 2010
dumas in Phoenix

Cinci: Hyatt-Oriental Wok, not cheap but I liked the food. ^L^

I'm glad you found a good Chinese place. But I guess I don't know where the Hyatt Regency is in Hyde Park? Are you thinking of the downtown Hyatt?

We moved from L.A. a few years ago and have yet to find a chinese restaurant that sells fresh good food in an attractive atmosphere. But we'll keep looking and maybe try Oriental Wok..

Mar 25, 2010
dumas in Great Lakes

Jamie Oliver's Wish: To Teach Children About Food

I am glad you posted about Jamie Oliver's message.

I wish everyone on Chowhound would pay attention to what he is trying to say about our children's nutrition, both in the speech and on the ABC "Food Revolution" series airing this month.

Mothers and fathers need to become better informed about good food for their families. They need to implement the change in their homes. Then they need take that message to their schools and to their friends.

There is nothing like a WOM* campaign to make change. And Jamie Oliver has begun the discussion.

* 'word of mouth'

Mar 24, 2010
dumas in Food Media & News

Jamie Oliver's "Food revolution" on ABC. Watch it if you are concerned about the obesity epidemic.

I watched the show all the way thru and I hope all the congressmen, school admins and 'cafeteria ladies' in school districts across America sit up and take note of the message Jamie is trying to get across: We NEED a 'food revolution' for our children, in schools and at home.

In many school districts school lunches can be construed as child abuse: They are chock full of fat,. carbohydrates, salt, and highly processed foods often provided by the self-serving Governemnt Surplus Foods Program which is set up to benefit and subsidize big Agribusiness.

Most often menus are not designed in the students' best interests to provide the best nutrition to develop a healthy mind and body. Or even to give the students enough energy to pay attention in class for the rest of the afternoon. Menus are designed to the USDA 'politicized' requirements and/or to satisfy the easiest preparation and most uninformed childish tastes.

Yes, maybe Jamie was naive, maybe brash, some West Virginians may be insulted, but Jamie launched a discussion that needs to take place in America. Our obesity is of epidemic proportions and we need to start somewhere, and why not with our schools, families and children?

Here's a link to the ABC preview: http://abc.go.com/shows/jamie-olivers...

Next "Food Revolution" Friday on ABC at 8 p.m.

Mar 24, 2010
dumas in Food Media & News

Roy Rogers - east of Cincy

Well, I'm here to report that my husband and I drove over (4 miles) to the Roy Rogers at Eastgate for lunch. He ordered a hamburger (I think with bacon?) and I ordered the fish sandwich (it's Lent). Both were good and I especially liked it that they had bins of lettuce and tomato so you could use as much as you like.

My husband fell in love with the place and has been raving about it to our kids. I think it was all the photos of Roy and Dale on the counters that he connected with. The funny thing was that everyone in the joint were men his age (50 to 60) except for 2 women my age (and we won't tell that). I don't think I recognized any of you Chowhounders there, though!

And another observation: the place must be a cash machine for the family that owns it. They were really busy with a line of about 15 cars at the take out window (and of course they haven't spent a cent on capital improvements or redecoration since Roy was alive so everything must be profit).

Anyway, fun place to eat lunch.

Mar 13, 2010
dumas in Great Lakes

Dayton Area - Seeking Affordable Non-chain Restaurants

Yes, have to agree. We lived and worked in SF ( off Clement, and on Jackson, and in the Marina) for 30 years and found lots of great food. It's a different sort of life here, but you will find lots to discover as well~~not always so apparent as in SF (we think much goes on under the radar in homes and clubs here in SW Ohio too). You are off to a great start checking for good tips here on CH.

As others have said, Rue dumaine is one for the list. If you are inclined to stick to your budget, they offer an 'early bird menu' that is quite a deal. Anne, the chef there, won the James Beard Award and she is very 'hands on' still.

I don't know if you go far south of Dayton, but if you have a hankering to cook, stop by the grocery 'Jungle Jim's' between Dayton and Cincinnati. And Dorothy Lane Markets are nationally recognized for their innovative market displays. Both have lots of food to go and you will find everything you need for cooking.

One more thought:
One place I recall from many years ago that probably falls into the 'kitchy' category is The Peerless Mill Inn in Miamisburg. I don't know if it's any good (but I noticed somebody gave it 5 stars on another site) but it is quaint. Also, the Clifton Mill especially at Christmas is a nice little site-seeing jaunt when it is all lit up. I don't know about the food, though.

When you find some good places, be sure to tell us about them!

(I'm going to copy and paste this thread in my private file. Very good info here!)

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Great Lakes

Roy Rogers - east of Cincy

thanks for giving us the tip on the Roy Rogers.

~~have driven by it several times but had no idea it had such a fan club! so it pains me to know we have been missing out on it these past 6 years we've lived here in Anderson Twp!

Will check it out tomorrow!

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Great Lakes

Louisville, KY - long report

Just saw 'Lynn's Paradise' featured on Bobbie Flay's 'Throwdown' last night. The place looks like a lot of fun for families. Lynn beat Bobbie Flay with her French Toast and Strawberries laced with bourbon, and I forget what else. (Not low-cal for sure!). I always like to see the locals beat Bobbie!

Also, our college kids love it when we stop at 'Proof' (which is down the block from the Louisville Slugger Museum on museum row). We eat salads and sandwiches at the bar and sample the 40 kinds of Bourbons. "Proof" is one stop on the 'Urban Bourbon Trail". And their bathrooms won first prize in a contest for best bathrooms in the country. Who could ask for more?

And we are thrilled they are going to build a "Proof" (and hotel) here in Cincinnati in 2012, I think.

And if you're in Louisville, don't forget to stop at the Zappos Outlet for shoes! Great deals!

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Kentucky & Tennessee

ALDI Stores: Quality Products at Deep Discount??

I bought 2 of the 'Cuisinart-style' covered red enamel casseroles (for $29.99 each) to bake my 'no knead' bread in. What a steal! So far they have worked beautifully (even though others online have had some difficulties with them). I bought the covered plastic containers too, and we love them.

Now I am buying my everyday olive oil from them. Also chocolate, frozen peas, raisin bran (the best!), havarti cheeses, sugars, pickles, black beans and lots of other stuff. A very good resource, I think. Also that German beer (my son and husband thought I had paid premium for it) and some eiswine that was excellent.

I believe Trader Joe's is owned by just one of the two Albrecht brothers. And this particular brother also owns either the 'North' or the South' Aldis Company (The original company split into two companies (North and South) over a dispute over whether to sell cigarettes some years ago). At least this is what I recall from an article in the NYT. So TJ is owned by one of the brothers from the same family who started Aldi's. And this brother also owns one of the Aldi 'splits'.

I loved TJs when the Coulombs owned it. Not so much now.

I wish we could buy stock in Alsis, but it is all privately held. So too bad!

Thanks again for all the tips!

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Chains

ISO cheap, fun, takes reservations near Convention Center

Hi, bgavin, Hope you have a great time!

We just returned from the Flower Show last night.

Here's one more 'must do' recommendation while visiting Philadelphia this spring:

Be sure to go to the "Picasso Exhibit" at the Art museum. You can buy your tickets on line before hand. http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibition...

Very beautiful and impressive. And a rare chance to see so much of his work together.

We loved the Flower Show, too.

For anyone interested, scroll down on this thread for out trip review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/690294

Have a great time!

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Philadelphia

Saturday Night in Center City

Hi, Friendly Philadelphians,

Just wanted to follow-up with youon our few days in Philly (since I always want to know how those who ask about Cincinnati fair in our town)...

So, we arrived Monday evening and met our business acquaintances and they took us to 'Capital City Grille'. We were a little disappointed that they didn't choose a 'local' establishment, but we were in for some excellent steaks (I ordered sliced filet with wild mushrooms and my husband had the veal chop). For starters I had a very nice king crab with remulade cocktail (the special) and my husband had the caesar salad which he always orders at Capital City Grilles (in D.C. and Baltimore). So that was that. Martinis were excellent, of course.

The next day we ate breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel restaurant, and I highly recommend that to anyone who wants a luxurious place for an early meeting with clients, etc. (Always better if someone else pays!) I had 'toad in the hole'~~a slice of brioche (from Hudson Bakery in NYC) with a baked egg layered on cured salmon. Divine. Coffee and other normal breakfast stuff was excellent and service was impeccable. For those who want local fare, they did feature scrapple, and other (scary sounding) Philly breakfast food, but I didn't have the nerve to try it! 0-: I am sure it was good.

For lunch we ate at the Flower Show Food Court and I think the deli service was provided by a deli called 'Bossi' (?) if I'm not mistaken. Gourmet cheeses, hard salamis, pasta various, all very good. We had a lovely casual lunch.

And the Flower Show was spectacular, by the way.

Then we walked over to Rittenhouse Square and had St. Germain Frappes and Creme Brulees at 'Parc' bistro on the square at tea time. We stayed and chatted (my sister was with me) for a good hour and two more frappes. The waiters were very hospitable to our lingering. We of course had no idea it was so late!?!

Then back to the hotel where we found the concierge made us reservations at 'Melagrano' for 6:30. Later we set off by foot (with umbrellas in the rain) so that we could stop at a wine store (on 20th and Chestnut, I think) and found a cheap bottle (12.99) of Italian red (which was surprisingly good) to take along. At Melagrano we split an order of fried smelt, then split a Spaghetti Carbonara and finally I ordered a Mixed Seafood Grille~~salmon, octopus and prawns. Husband had shortribs. But we ran into a glitch with our last two courses: beautifully prepared, but way-way-way too much salt on the carbonara, fish & shortribs. So much so that we had to mention it to the server so that the chef pulls back on the treatment for later diners. They did send out a comped dessert which was nice.

Then we stopped at Tinto's (which was packed) on the way back for a drink (fun) and Tria, too, which was crowded and busy. These last two are definitely the places to be seen! Then we headed back to the hotel for Amorettos and Coffee~~ my new drink of choice for rainy days.

Next day we were off to the Picasso Exhibit at the Art Museum (You must go! The PMA has a very impressive Picasso collection thanks to the Annenbergs). After spending a couple hours there, we walked through the parking lot to the gazebo and down the lovely stone stairway through the gardens to the Waterworks Restaurant on the river. It was a picturesque place to stop for wine and lunch~~I ordered a Pinot Gris from Oregon and my husband had a Pinot Grigio, then I had a Waterworks Salad (not particularly good) and husband had the Lobster Club Sandwich, which he said was OK. Mostly we were there for the wine, the scenery and the nice upholstered banquette, so that worked out just fine for us. There were a lot of other Picasso visitors there enjoying the ambiance and food, too.

So, I can't tell you what a lovely time we had on our visit. And from your recommendations for good restaurants and the avenue of museums we passed along on our walks, I can see I'll have many more reasons to return. Luckily, my husband goes there every six or eight weeks, and from now on I'll make it my business to go along!

Thanks again for all the tips!! (t's so fun to have friends on line!)

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Philadelphia

Caesar Salads Are Out, Grilled Lettuce Salads Are In

I am so glad someone is bringing up grilled lettuce salads again. They are so delicious and easy too. (Alton Brown has one recipe to try, but it's quite easy to do on your own.)

We used to have Grilled Romaine with crumbled bleu cheese and balsamic vinegar at the Crocodile Cafes in Glendale and Pasadena CA way back in the 80s (I think). We loved it and then they took it off the menu. Boo hoo.

We make it for friends now and it's a never fail favorite.

Mar 04, 2010
dumas in Features

Saturday Night in Center City

Just went through all the links above and checked the websites. So many great looking recommendations.

It's very interesting that there are so many BYO places~~I suppose we'd better find a good wine store in the area, too!

Thanks for the tips and details, everyone!

Feb 26, 2010
dumas in Philadelphia

Saturday Night in Center City

THANKS so much for all the suggestions.

I am copying them down and plotting out a map. I expect we will have lots of good choices from the sounds of it!

I suppose I should get busy and make some reservations.

Will let you know where we end up. Bon appetit!

Feb 26, 2010
dumas in Philadelphia

Saturday Night in Center City

Good question!

I'm interested in a good place to eat in the area too. We are going to the Phil. Flower Show Monday, March 2 thru March 4 at the Convention Center and will be staying at the Four Seasons on Logan Square.

We like all kinds of food, anything from casual to fancy is fine for us.

I haven't been to Philadelphia for forty years, so I am excited about it.

Thanks.

Feb 24, 2010
dumas in Philadelphia

Heritage or farm-raised turkey nearish Cincinnati

I just wanted to thank you all for the Bowman & Landes fresh turkey recommendation. We found a B & L 18 pounder at Bigg's Market at Skytop and brined and roasted the bird for TG (yesterday) and it was delicious. One of the best turkeys I have ever made (in 37 years).

I reserved the turkey last week and the butcher at Biggs put it in cold storage until Wednesday noon when my son picked it up. When we got it home, we made up a brine, put the turkey and cold brine in a strong plastic bag and set it in an iced up cooler outside (protected from curious racoons) for overnight. Using the cooler saved us trying to fit the large bird in our over-crowded refrigerator.

We tried to do a 'locavore' Thanksgiving this year and we found some interesting food growers and purveyors located in the tri-state area, and all of us 'round the table thought it was a really good meal. Next year we might drive up to New Carlisle and get the turkey at the farm, just for fun. Gobble gobble!

Nov 27, 2009
dumas in Great Lakes

Foods I still buy regardless of the recession

1. Switched to chocolate from Aldi's (and it's very good) rather than high-end super market or boutique choc.
2. Switched to bulk artisanal butter from the 'covered market' here (Findlay Mkt)~~ butter is only $1.39/lb.
3. Completely cut out buying bakery products and we learned to make our own (and they are much much better, if I do say so myself!)
4. Buy our spices and herbs in small quantities from the spice dealer (at Findlay Mkt) ~~way way cheaper than buying from Pensey's or from the grocery (fresher and a lot better).
5. Cut out random eating out and now cook at home much more~~so much better, too!
6. Smoke our own salmon.

It took the recession for us to discover some new sources and new skills/talent. In a strange way, it's been fun.

p.s. and this year we are doing Thanksgiving for 15 on $100 budget. It's kind of like doing a scavenger hunt this past week gathering the ingredients. Hint: Aldi is a good source. Also the local turkey farmer.

Nov 18, 2009
dumas in General Topics

ALDI Stores: Quality Products at Deep Discount??

Thanks so much for your detailed responses. I really appreciate it.

Looks like a good source for some holiday baking items. And I read elsewhere that the chocolates they carry are excellent and very inexpensive.

I'm going to add Aldi's to my list of good discount sources.

If any other good Aldi items come to mind, pls. let me know!

Nov 02, 2009
dumas in Chains

ALDI Stores: Quality Products at Deep Discount??

Hi, Hounders,

With the holiday cooking season approaching, perhaps you have some opinions...?

I made my first visit to our local Aldi's (after an absense from Aldi's shopping since we lived in Europe many years ago) and was amazed at the low prices for staples compared to Kroger's.

I thought the prices were too good to be true, but maybe not? So I ask: What is your experience with the quality of your food purchases at Aldi.

I would like some comparisons especially for butter, eggs, bacon, cereal, crackers, spices, bottled sauces.

What would you specifically recommend and what would you stay away from?

Thanks so much.

Oct 28, 2009
dumas in Chains

prepared foods at costco?

I love the rot. chicken at Costco too. And the roasted garlic breads, etc., too.

And I have tried some of the other items, too, and found them good to delicious.

But, does anyone know~~Are the pies, soups, pizzas, and prepared main dishes made in each individual store?

Because I have found the Chicken Pot Pie at the store in Mason Ohio terribly salty and likewise the 'homemade' soups, a pasta dish, and the a pizza. If they are made store-by-store, maybe I'll try to buy at another location. Maybe the Mason chef is salt crazy!?

Thanks.

Oct 28, 2009
dumas in Chains

Eastern Indiana for tourism and Sunday Dinner??

Hi, chowhounders,

We will be returning from South Bend to Cincinnati taking a scenic route down the eastern side of the state, stopping at Shipshewana, then on to Fort Wayne (route 27), Portland, Berne, Geneva, Richmond, continuing south thorugh the Whitewater/Brookvill Lake area into Cincinnati for a Sunday drive home in November.

And we would like recommendations for 'tourist stops' and Sunday dinner (keeping in mind many places along in here are closed for church-going that day).

Some of those towns are quite quaint (i.e. Berne, Shipshewana and the Brookvill Lake area down south) and must have some nice restaurants?

Any thoughts to make our drive fun and interesting?

Oct 24, 2009
dumas in Great Lakes

Good Mexican in Cincinnati

Thanks for the address on Taqueria Maya. Will definitely try that one on our way to Costco!

Oct 24, 2009
dumas in Great Lakes

'Locavore' dining in Cincinnati/Northern KY/Dayton area??

Thanks for all the good tips for 'locavore' style restaurants. Thanks to your recommendations we had a very nice meal at Chalk in Covington (after a very lovely walk around the picturesque historic riverfront district) with our friends from Chicago and I recommend that to everyone who is looking to entertain out-of-towners with a little casual local color.

A few days later we took our San Francisco guests out to a Sunday dinner of fried chicken, hot slaw, corn pudding, etc. followed by a bourbon tasting at The Tousey House in Burlington, KY, just off Interstate 275 (20 minutes from downtown Cincy). This eiteenth century restored stagecoach inn (was definitely a change of scenery from Nectar, Chalk, and Local 127 and) made for a very charming and delightful evening, which we ended with coffee on the moonlit deck. Tousey House was not exactly 'modern' locavore food, but southern regional dishes and many of them featured local ingredients. And the friends from San Francisco loved it!

I recently drove down Columbia Parkway and saw The Green Dog Cafe in the strip shopping center and made a note to try it this week. And definitely Honey is on our list. Whenever we go to Slim's I walk by Honey and think 'we MUST try that', and we never do. Will have to fix that. And Meadowlark has a great reputation: once I tried to go there but the line was too long and we ended up once again at Rue DuMaine, another favorite of ours in Centerville area that features local finds.

Any more??? Let's hear about them?!

Oct 24, 2009
dumas in General Midwest Archive

'Locavore' dining in Cincinnati/Northern KY/Dayton area??

Hi, Chowhounders...

We're looking for recommendations and I know you will have some good ideas...!

We are expecting two sets of out-of-towners to visit in the next couple of weeks, and we wanted to take them to restaurants featuring local/regional farm products.

We became interested because we recently read about the opening of 'Local 127' in the old Pigalle's space on Fourth Street so we tried it this past weekend and I have to say we had a lovely fun dinner for the eight of us. (The new chef from Las Vegas stopped by our table twice to make sure we were welcomed and well cared for.) So now we want to try some other 'local' focussed places. And we will definitely go back to 'L. 127' too.

So, any recommendations??

Thanks.

Oct 05, 2009
dumas in General Midwest Archive

Cincinnati riverfront diners drive-ins and joints?

IE, thanks for the links above and the tip on Anna Ree's Andouille. We will be sure to try that one since we live way out in Anderson Twp. and are always looking for a good place this far east. After we try it, we'll make a note of it here.

And thanks for the link to Grailville, too. I have heard about it but didn't realize it served food. In any case, it looks interesting for a visit.

We did try 4 Season's Marina 2 times. The first time we took out of towners and had a couple of rounds of drinks and several appetizers. I wish we had refrained from ordering the appetizers, since they spoiled a rather lovely afternoon along the waterfront. The second time we ordered beers and hamburgers, and again we wished we had skipped the food. We do like the place for drinks, though.

We haven't yet tried the other bars listed, although we expect to, soon,.

One more place I want to mention here (that is really off topic, but somehow apropo, is the Restaurant/Bar at Lunken Airport. We were out there for a flight and then decided to drop in for lunch and found it an interesting place to spend some time. The architecture is interesting and you can sit on the terrace and watch the planes come in. Club sandwich was good, too. A pleasant surprise for us.

Oct 05, 2009
dumas in General Midwest Archive

Greek food in Cincinnati?

Thanks for the tip about the Greek festivals. We will watch for them next year!

Sep 07, 2009
dumas in General Midwest Archive

Malabar Farm Restaurant along I-71 nr Mansfield Ohio

Thank you for your recommendation for the Cabin. I had read the recommendations for the Cabin in the link you provided and wanted to try that too, but of course we can't do everything in one trip. We will add it to our 'potentials' list for when we go back. We really enjoyed passing through the area and I know there are other touristy things to do around there for us..

It is too bad your dinner at Malabar wasn't pleasing to you, but I can see how the place may not quite reach expectations for an evening dinner. I think of it more as a lunch or daytime place. For us it was the whole experience at the Malabar Inn and tour of the Farm Park that caught my fascination and that we liked. It was a beautiful day out and the food itself was pleasantly nice for us~~I had a green salad followed by filet cooked perfectly with some ratatouille. My husband had a nice pasta with fresh vegetables and a salad. And the Inn and its staff were such an unexpected travelers experience compared to usual highway alternatives.

We always like to support independent establishments, especially those who are trying to do something a little different from the norm. We will definitely try the Cabin next time.

Sep 07, 2009
dumas in Great Lakes

Malabar Farm Restaurant along I-71 nr Mansfield Ohio

Just wanted to share this delightful dining experience we came upon while driving from Cleveland down to Cincinnati this month! So, if you have done the drive, you know the situation: highway dining choices seem limited to the chains and fast food joints (and other sketchy looking establishments), but I was looking at the Ohio map and saw that the Malabar State Park was just minutes off the exit and might be worth a stop for a wanna be 'foodie' like me! And we were pleasantly surprised.

This park is actually the site of Louis Bromfield's (the Pullitzer winning writer and friend of Hollywood film stars who re-invented himself as a reform agrarian back in the 40's and 50's) country estate and experimental farm. Since we think of ourselves as (sort of) foodies, we wanted to learn more about Bromfield's ideas so we took the wagon and 'Big House' tours given by the state park rangers of the 875 acre property. Then, since it was past time for lunch, we ambled down the farm lane to the Malabar Farm Restaurant which is outside the farm fences and operated by a private goup in partnership with the park.

There we enjoyed a very nice mid day dinner in the picturesque old stagecoach inn. The eclectic menu features produce and meats raised on the farm or from local sources, such as pasta with tomato and mushrooms, pork loin, filet steaks, ratatouille and fresh vegetables. The food is simple French style food (somewhat akin to Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" fair) and sandwiches. The wines were from the region, and they offered some of the popular regionally brewed beers, too. The sunny terraces provide a casual place outdoor lunches and refreshments.

While I wouldn't classify this place as a 'fine dining' experience, the dining room and terraces did offer good food and comfort for the travellers in this quaintly restored early 19th century stagecoach inn. The wait staff was helpful although somewhat inexperienced and the chef visited the tables to introduce himself. It seems like it would be a lovely place for a family Thanksgiving dinner or a bridal shower kind of event, too.

We will definitely stop in again when we are en route on I-71.

Please have a look at the links for pricing and details:

Malabar Farm Restaurant Link: http://www.malabarfarmrestaurant.com/
3645 Pleasant Valley Rd
Perrysville, OH 44864
(419) 938-5205

Malabar Farm State Park link: http://www.malabarfarm.org/

Sep 05, 2009
dumas in Great Lakes

Dinner in Cincinnati

Hi scrook, welcome to Cincinnati from me, too! I hope you like it here~~we're sort of new to the area too (five years) and have had some fun exploring and finding new dinner places and I hope you will have some fun, too,

Two that haven't been mentioned and might be fun to try are The Summit, that's the Cincinnati State Restaurant School's Dining Room which is under the direction of Jean Robert Cavel, one of the best chef's in the area; and, Virgil's Cafe, across the river in Bellevue Kentucky, which features a bistro menu with lots of local fresh ingredients.

I just wrote a review of Virgils here on Chowhound that you might want to look at for details. Maybe this link wiill take you to my post about it:: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/650171

And I confess, I haven't been to The Summit, but I think it would be a fun dining adventure, and I'm sure some others here can comment about it for you!

Good luck. And let us know how your dining experiences here in Cincy are going!

p.s. I'm looking forward to Restaurant Week coming up, too!

Sep 05, 2009
dumas in Great Lakes

"Virgil's Cafe" in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky! Try it!

My husband and I discovered a delightful neighborhood place for dinner last night and I just wanted to share! (It's not very often that we both come away from a dining experience here and both share positive thoughts about it!)

So, here's a recommendation for delicious 'cafe style' food at reasonable prices in a unique location ( we took a little bit of an 'adventure' just over the bridge in to 'Bellevue', a Northern Kentucky neighborhood that we ordinarily wouldn't have visited).

Virgil's Cafe has been open for about 7 months and is located along a quaint shopping street in an attractive redesigned Edwardian house. It is the creation of the chef who used to cook at Jack Quinn's Pub which was known for its good food. The menu features a cafe/bistro menu~~ frog legs and duck spring rolls for starters, and Steak au Poivre, Baby Back Ribs in a brown sugar BBQ sauce, and grilled Mahi Mahi, etc., for entrees (and I think they have hamburgers on the dinner menu too). The chef also features delightful fresh vegetables and salad greens, many of these grown in the garden just behind the restaurant. My husband raved about his Strip Steak served with roasted potatoes in a blue cheese sauce, and my Baby Back Ribs were very good, too. (OK, I admit what I really liked on my plate was the absolutely delicious corn on the cob which must have been picked just minutes before it was served!)

My husband ordered a glass of Salmon Creek Pinot to drink with the Spring Rolls and decided he liked it well enough and ordered a bottle to drink with the rest of the meal. I chose a Knob Creek bourbon to go with my ribs. (The bartender is knowledgeable and fun and has created a number of 'cocktails' to entertain you while you wait for a table.) The place was really busy last night, but the Maitre d' was friendly (although harried) and our waiter was attentive.

We skipped dessert and coffee so I can't comment on that, but we will definitely return to this place. While at the bar we met several 'regulars' who really liked it, too. And the bartender mentioned that they are open on Sundays for Brunch and laterin the afternoon, with a regular menu, which is good to know about. Be sure to make reservations, although we called the same night and were too late for those, so we just went and waited for a table at the bar which is possible for a couple, but I wouldn't try that with a bigger group. .

This is a fun place if you are looking for a unique cafe for friends to gather, or a nice dinner for two,, with good food and a lively atmoshphere, and it's pretty affordable, too.

Sep 05, 2009
dumas in General Midwest Archive