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Cincinnati Recommendations?

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Deb Hall

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Cincinnati Recommendations?

by Deb Hall » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:37 pm

Folks,

I'm going to Cincinnati for a weekend (Sat/Sun) and I'm looking for great eating suggestions from you all (particularly you, Ron :D ). Thinking about staying downtown: going to the Underground Railroad Museum one day, and Art Museum & Mt. Adams area the other. Meals will probably be Saturday night dinner and Sunday lunch/brunch. I'm thinking one meal downtown, the other possibly in the Mt. Adams area, with museums then shopping.

I'm looking for GREAT food, not too expensive or dressy, at places where I can feel comfortable dining SOLO (both neighborhood-wise and lighting-wise; I greatly enjoy reading when I'm eating by myself). I'm used to major cities so I'm very comfortable getting myself around- both by car and on foot, just don't want to stumble into a truly bad neighborhood ( or have to wait an hour or more for a table in an over-crowded bar).

I've done very little restaurant-wise in Cincy, so I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks!
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by NWalker » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:25 pm

I'm a fan of Red at 2724 Erie Ave. in Hyde Park square (very trendy neighborhood). They have a great raw bar and prime steaks. I may be biased because I'm friends with the exec. sous, but we've always had a wonderful time. Also, you can't go wrong with JeanRo's downtown.

http://www.red2724.com (the website doesn't do the place justice)

http://www.bistrojeanro.com
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by Ron Johnson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:34 am

Those are two solid recommendations.

RED was opened by some former Jeff Ruby's employees. The steaks are as good, if not better and the raw bar is always spectacular. I took my wife there for her birthday.

Jean-Ro is a fairly authentic bistro serving the classics. It is in my regular rotation. I wish the wine list was better.

Boca is the best restaurant in Cincinnati. Pigalls is a close second, and it very expensive. Along those lines there is a new chef, Romy Jung, at the Palace restaurant in the Cincinnatian Hotel. he is supposedly doing some amazing and very expensive cuisine. The Orchid Restaurant in the Plam Court of the Hilton has lost its superstar young chef so I am not sure where the cuisine is today.
Nicola's in downtown's Over the Rhine neighborhood is home to some very authentic Italian cuisine, focusing mainly on Tuscany.
Daveed's is a tiny place up on Mt. Adams where the chef does really amazing esoteric dishes. It is similar to Boca in that regard.
Pho Paris is french/vietnamese fusion cuisine across the river in Convington. Also in Covington is Riverside Korean, an excellent Korean restaurant on Madison.
In Mt. Lookout I would recommend Nectar and Aqua. In Clifton I would recommend Tink's. In Northside I like Honey. Nectar, Tink's and Honey are all doing modern American cooking.
Cumin is a very good Indian fusion restaurant in Hyde Park.
There are many other well-regarded restaurants in the northern part of Cincinnati that I have not visited because it's just too far to drive.
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by Ron Johnson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:35 am

I just realized that this is in the Louisville forum. We have a Cincinnati restaurant forum also. There are many posts there about where to eat in the Queen City.
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by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:47 am

Ron Johnson wrote:I just realized that this is in the Louisville forum. We have a Cincinnati restaurant forum also. There are many posts there about where to eat in the Queen City.


Good point! Just to keep things tidy, I'm moving this topic over to the Cincy forum, but left a "marker" in the Louisville forum so people who were following the thread there can still find it.
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Narrowing it down....

by Deb Hall » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:11 pm

Thanks for the recommendations!

So how fancy are these places? I've decided to make it a one day trip (I waited too long for the Hotwire deal on a hotel, and I only live 1.25 hrs from Covington) I'm thinking I'll be walking /sightseeing all day and then going some place for dinner in nice attire, but certainly not fancy dressed up for the evening. Also, not interested in sitting at the bar SOLO for a couple of hours (getting hit on- or am I dreaming?) waiting for a table at the hottest place in town. Does that narrrow things down at all, folks?

Read all the Cincy post comments and your recommendations and so far, JeanRo, Boca, Nicola and Daveeds are sounding most promising based on location, food and something diifferent from the fantastic food I can get in Louisville....

Deb
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by NWalker » Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:12 am

I've never been to Boca but all I hear is great stuff. JeanRo's is a full house most nights, so I wouldn't show up without a reservation. We did at 8 on a suday and the bar was the only place to sit. Also, as a woman, I wouldn't venture to Nicola's alone at night. It's on the north side of Over the Rhine neighborhood, which is the GHETTO. It's dangerous. Hope that helps.
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by Deb Hall » Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:59 am

N-

Thanks so much for the info: that was exactly what I was trying to ascertain. I think I' m going to JeanRo very early (6:00) straight from the Underground Railroad Freedom Center: I'll make a reservation on the way there.

Thanks for the help,
Deb
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JeanRo

by Deb Hall » Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:48 pm

Went to JeanRo this evening based on forum recommendations and it's ideal location within walking distance of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center (which by the way is VERY worth the quick trip to Cincinnati , y'all).

I had made a reservation but ended up showing up early. The hostess was very welcoming even though they were not yet open. She offered me my choice of great tables, even though I was dining solo (lots of times I find I get less than great seating in this circumstance). Service was friendly, unobtrusive and right on top of things. Based on the waiter's recommendation, I had the Duck breast with green peppercorn sauce and it was outstanding (and cooked a perfect medium-rare) Lots of very nice touches: the butter for their bread comes from a small Wisconsin farm, apples in my Apple Tart Tatin were still firm and very flavorful.... When asked for a recommendation, my waiter (Michael) recommended a $6 a glass French Merlot (not one of their pricier wines) , and I enjoyed it very much.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the restaurant and my meal. I'd highly recommend checking it out if you travel to Cincinnati and are downtown, (and there is nothing like it in Louisville).

Thanks for those recommendations, guys- it really made for a memorable, enjoyable evening.

Deb
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by Ron Johnson » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:40 am

great! I was going to second NWalker's recommendation of JeanRo based on your criteria. Glad it worked out well. next time you need to go over to Covington and try the sister restaurant, Pho Paris. It's just as good. Nicola's is a great restaurant, but sadly the area around it has just gone downhill so bad in the last five or six years. It is dangerous.
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Limestone #2

by Deb Hall » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:03 am

Ron,

Didn't think of it until after I came back....

What's the name of Mike Cuhna of Limestone's second restaurant outside of Cincy? He was telling me about it last time we got together, but never (as far as I remember) told me the name. Do you know?

Deb
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by RebeccaWebb » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:59 pm

Deb --

You are thinking of Mike and Jimmy's. They are located at 2809 Dixie Highway in the Crestview Hills Town Center. To get there, take exit #83 off of Intersate 275. After turning right from the exit, the center will be on your left.

Also, I'm glad you enjoyed JeanRo's ... they are one of our restaurants up there and everyone is always so nice!
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by Deb Hall » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:16 am

Rebecca,

I had their sauteed mushrooms as a side and now I'm guessing some of those were yours. No wonder they were so good.... :D

"Mike & Jimmy's" makes me chuckle: somehow I can't picture Jim Gerhardt as a "Jimmy". :lol:

Deb
Last edited by Deb Hall on Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Ron Johnson » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:20 pm

It is Mike and Jimmy's. I have very mixed feelings about this place. I think Limestone is a great restaurant, and I have very high respect for Cunha and Gerhardt, but I've had some very poor meals at M&J's. I have had a couple decent meals, but those have been overshadowed by meals with downright horrible service that was both incompetent and rude. There have been occassions when the food was not consistent either. On on occassion the macaroni and cheese was truly bad. I kept going back because I wanted so badly to like this place. It is very close to my house and I have a gift card for a meal there, but I haven't been back if that tells you anything. It seems that this restaurant is being developed as the prototype for a concept of chain steakhouse restaurants.
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September Dinners

by RichardM » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:31 am

Hello Cincy Foodies,

I have read this thread over and made notes and looked at the web sites.

We are having a family reunion in September the weekend of the 14th, in Cincy. There are 12 of us cousins who are meeting there. Some are coming Friday evening and some not till Saturday. For those of us coming in on Friday I am looking for a place for us to go out for dinner. Right now it appears that we going to be staying at the Hampton Inn Cincinnati-Northwest.

I am not interested in the world-wide chains. I must admit I do like the Pappadeaux family of restaurants and we may end up there on one of the nights. I have looked at Grande Finale - so tell me about it. Other 'original' types of places not already mentioned here on the thread.

For our reunions we bring desserts and appetizers usually. Usually outdoors no less. Already have a line on a shelter on a park from a cousin who lives in town. Altho most are home made, are there any places where you can get just OUTSTANDING appetizers? For those of you familiar with Louisville, think of the Bristol's Green Chili WonTons - local favorite. A Cincy favorite that 'everyone' knows about and enjoys? No, cincinnati chili is NOT an appetizer, <deep>. :) I may have a new favorite from here in the Louisville area tho, with the Westport General Store's Hot Brown Points as an appetizer... those were phenominal.

So, where do you go when you are having a birthday dinner, that anniversary dinner, when you want to tell the one you're with, I think enough about you to bring you here.

You can post here, or e-mail me directly.

Thanks,
Richard
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Hacker Hostel Of Louisville

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