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Green Food in Cincinnati

by The Cincinnati Team

Green Food news for Cincinnati                                                    

Veg News' has listed Cincinnati as one of its "5 Surprising Veg-Friendly Cities in an article by Samuel Hartman of Louisville.  One of those reasons was Park and Vine in downtown Cincinnati.  Their emphasis is on "veganism, sustainability and good food down pat," he noted.  He also recognized Loving Hut in Pleasant Ridge, Melt Electric Deli in Northside, Myra's Dionysus in Clifton Heights and Shanghai Mama's downtown.  Other cities mentioned in the 5 named are Anchorage, Alaska; Kansas City, Missouri; Detroit, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Base Camp Cafe - Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

The Green Restaurant Association has designated the Base Camp Cafe at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens as the greenest restaurant in the country.  It is one of only 15 restaurants across the nation to receive the highest rating by the organization.  The restaurant opened this year after being remodeled and retrofit.  One quarter of its power comes from the Zoo's solar electricity array.  These improvements are expected to save the restaurant $10,000 per year.

Other programs within the restaurant that add to its designation include composting of food waste, full recycling program, energy saving kitchen equipment, and the amount of locally grown foods.  The Base Camp offers grass-fed burgers, made-to order salads, and a healthy kids' menu.

Urbanspoon's Outstanding Restaurants in Cincinnati

by The Cincinnati Team

Local Restaurants Take Honors                                            

Urbanspoon released its list of top restaurants in Cincinnati.   The crowdsourcing restaurant review site regularly produces a list of 200 nationally popular restaurants.  Included this year are Terry's Turf Club, Nada, Adriatico's Pizza, A.Tavola, Bakersfield, Senate, and Taste of Belgium.

Travel and Leisure Magazine also listed Jeff Ruby's Precinct restaurant among the "Best Steakhouses in the U.S."  They were lauded for their location in a former police patrol house and for their popularity with local sports stars and visiting celebrities. 

Best of Taste Awards Given at Taste of Cincinnati

by The Cincinnati Team

Taste of Cincinnati USA - May 26-28                                             

The Nation's longest running Culinary Arts Festival,  Taste of Cincinnati USA,  will again be held Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati.  It is held on Fifth Street between Race and Broadway. Yearly, the event attracts approximately 500,000 people to the food extravaganza.  Over 40 restaurants will be participating with their favorite menu items, while vying for the "Best of Taste" Awards.

On Saturday and Sunday evenings, there will be both Beer and Wine Tastings. Music stages are set up to provide continuous entertainment, including Hot Stuff, 4th Day Echo, and  DV8. Click here for a complete lineup


Daniel Wright Wins Great Lakes Region Best New Chef

by The Cincinnati Team
Cincinnati Chef Named Best in the Great Lakes                      
​Food and Wine Magazine seeks the most brilliant, up-and-coming new chefs on a regional and national basis, yearly.  Cincinnati had two chefs nominated in the 10 chef field for the Great Lakes region.  Chicago has 7 of the 10 nominated.
Food and Wine best Cincinnati chefJose Salazar of the Palace was nominated for "reinterpreting humble ingredients in brilliant ways"  They specifically mentioned his roasted chicken breast with poached cranberries and broccoli rabe.  He recommends that aspiring chefs keep things simple by using the best ingredients and not over manipulating them.
Daniel Wright of the Senate and Abigail Street won the contest for the Great Lakes region.  At the Senate, he is best known for the hot dogs served in a multitude of ways.  In fact, they serve over 500 hot dogs a week.  Basically he wants to be know for upscale comfort food whether it is hot dogs at the Senate or Mediterranean small plates at Abigail Street. 
Congratulations Daniel...we've been to Abigail Street and enjoyed both the atmosphere and the food!  Now, if we
could ever get in at the Senate!

Four Diamond Award for Cincinnati Restaurants and Hotels

by The Cincinnati Team

Cincinnati Restaurants and Hotels honored

AAA travel guides have awarded 10 area restaurants and hotels their coveted Four Diamond Award for 2012.  It is the highest rating given by the guides.  AAA conducts physical, on-site evaluations of all the restaurants and properties that they rate.
Restaurants include Boca in Oakley (soon to move downtown), Daveeds at 934 in Mt. Adams, Celestial in Mt. Adams, Nicola's in Over the Rhine, Orchids at the Palm Court and the Palace Restaurant in the Cincinnatian Hotel, both in downtown. The Palace has received the honor for 24 consecutive years. 
Hotels awarded the honor are the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, The Cincinnatian Hotel, and The Westin, all of which are downtown, plus the Marriott River Center in Covington.

Right here in River City...Mecklenburg's Named to "Best Beer Gardens"

by The Cincinnati Team


America's Best Beer Gardens                                     
Mecklenburg Gardens has been honored by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the best Beer Gardens in America. They insist that the country is in the midst of a beer revival, with the flourishing of beer gardens and more domestic breweries than at any time since Prohibition.
Having also visited one of the other honorees, Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego, I would have to agree that Mecklenburg's can't be beat.  There's something about the history of the place that will get my vote every time.
Mecklenburg Gardens was founded in 1865...just think 147 years ago...and is the oldest continually running restaurant and beer garden in Cincinnati.  I was surprised to learn that in the early days it was the site of groups of German immigrants being taught about the American political process.
Obviously, Cincinnati is a city with such a strong German tradition that it is easy to see why the assembling continues.  If you decide to visit Mecklenburg's on the afternoon or evening of a University of Cincinnati football or basketball game, the place will be going strong.  Filled with Bearcat supporters, the restaurant offers bus rides to the game, so you can avoid the hassle and expense of parking.
But, my favorite time to visit is on a lovely Spring day when you can sit outside under the 100-year-old grapevines and enjoy a lite lunch with one (or more) of the crafted beers.  They have 15 German and American craft beers on tap and 80 by the bottle.  Quite a choice!

Foodies Delight in Cincinnati Restaurants

by The Cincinnati Team

Zagat Guides have released "America's Top Restaurants 2011."  The organization uses diners input as they rate restaurants in big cities around the country.  According to Zagat Guides, Boca and Nicola's are recognized for having the best food in the Cincinnati area.  They gave Orchids the distinction of top restaurant overall.

The Zagat system uses input from a large number of diners who grade food, decor, and service on a 0-30 scale.  Boca and Nicola's each received 28 for food.  Orchids received 27 for food, 28 for decor and 25 for service.  Daveed's came in at number 3 for food.

Other top rated restaurants are Jeff Ruby's Precinct, 27, Bonbonerie, 27,  Palace, 26, Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, 26, Carlo and Johnny, 26, and Cumin, 26.

Try a New Cincinnati Restaurant This Week

by The Cincinnati Team

Take advantage of a perfect opportunity to try a new Cincinnati Restaurant this week.  The Greater Cincinnati Independent Restaurants have declared March 22-28th as Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week.  Local restaurants are offering three course dinners for $26.10 per person or in a few cases dinner for 2 for that price. 

Over 40 cooperating restaurants are participating.  Some of the ones participating are often ranked as among the best in the area.  They include: 20 Brix, Cumin, Daveeds at 934, Embers, Hugo, Local 127, and VIEW. 

Each restaurant in this group has an opportunity to showcase their most innovative dishes for first-time customers as well as their regulars.  Under the website,, the restaurants have displayed their menus and can take reservations.

Greater Cincinnati Independents is a community of independently owned and operated restaurants. Their mission is to celebrate, support and promote locally owned and operated independent restaurants by providing unique dining experiences for patrons and collaborative services and benefits for its members.

By banding together, they raise awareness of the individual restaurants original cuisine and local flavor.  They also consistently make a difference in the community through contributions of time and financial support.Aren't we lucky to live in Cincinnati where the eating is sooooo... good!

Irish Honored in Cincinnati

by The Cincinnati Team

Irish St. Patrick's Day hat for Cincinnati ParadeAs St. Patrick's Day approaches, there are so many ways that the Irish backgrounds of so many Cincinnatians are honored.  Check out some Irish information to enjoy the day even more! 

Cincinnati Irish History

Before the American Civil War, most immigrants arrived in the United States from Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland.  People of Irish heritage were among the earliest white settlers of Ohio. Many migrated from Pennsylvania during the late 1700s and the early 1800s along Zane's Trace. Others came later to help build the numerous canals constructed during the 1820s and 1830s.

Many of these people came to Ohio as a direct result of the potato famine in Ireland during the 1840s. Unable to pay mortgages for their land due to the poor potato crop, many of these people hoped to come to the United States to start their lives again. Many arrived with nothing more than a few pieces of clothing.

While most of the Irish immigrants hoped to become farmers, without any money, they took whatever jobs they could receive. These jobs were usually among the least desirable ones in the United States, because of the hard work and the poor wages. Many of these people who came to Ohio first served as Irish Girl for Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day Paradelaborers on canals like the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal. Once railroads arrived in the state, many of these same workers helped lay the track.

Trouble for the Irish Immigrants

Other Ohioans did not always receive the Irish migrants with open arms. Most Ohioans were from Protestant faiths and opposed the Irish, who usually followed Roman Catholicism. Struggling Ohioans also did not like competition from the recently arrived migrants. During the 1850s, many Ohioans joined the new Know-Nothing (American) Party. This political party vehemently opposed new immigrants—especially the Irish—from coming to the United States. Hatred of the Irish was so deep during this time period that many communities required deceased Irishmen and women be buried in Irish-only cemeteries. Despite their difficulties, many of the Irish migrants succeeded in establishing successful lives in Ohio.

Irish Heritage Census Information

By 1850, Cincinnati had an Irish population of 13,616, 12 percent of the city's residents. The only larger group of foreign immigrants was the Germans.  Today, 31,880, or 10.6 percent, of Cincinnati's residents are of Irish-American ancestry, according to the latest estimates of the U.S. Census Bureau. It's still the second-largest national ancestry in Cincinnati, trailing only the Germans. The percentage of Hamilton County residents of Irish ancestry is even higher. The county has 126,924 residents of Irish ancestry, nearly 15 percent of the population

Reserve these Dates to Celebrate Your Irish Heritage

  • March 13 and 14th, 10 am -5 pm -Celtic Lands Culture Fest at Duke Energy Children's Museum.  Download the program. Music, dancing and storytelling in the Irish traditions.
  • March 13, 11 am - St. Patrick's Day Parade - Cincinnati's St. Patrick Parade began in 1967. Members of the St. Patrick, Division 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians decided to have a parade in St. Patrick's honor. "Big" Jim Murphy secured a religious procession permit for Friday March 17th. 

Catholics of the city and others left work, stores and bars to join the procession. What started out as a small religious procession with members of the AOH and their families became a large parade. Traffic on the city streets did not move for over 2 hours. Since then, it has become a true parade with street closings, floats, pipers, step dancers, Irish Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day Paradefamilies, marching bands, etc. 

Start at Fifth and Sentinel Streets, travel west on Fifth St. to Plum St, turn south on Plum St. go to Third St. and turn west on Third St. and continue until ending at Third and Central Streets.

  • March 14 - 2-6 pm Irish Rhythms at the Camboni Mission.  A celebration where everyone in the family is Irish. Don't miss the Irish Pot 'o Gold Raffle, music, dance, Irish Carnival Games and more.
  • March 17 - noon - Rising Phoenix Theatre is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a reading of plays by George Bernard Shaw and W.B. Yeats at Play With Your Lunch.  Readings by Dale Hodges, Kevin Crowley and Charlie Clark and directed by Herb DuVal. Held at the Wyoming Civic Center.  Tickets include lunch.
  • April 30, May 2 at 7:30 pm and May 1 at 2 pm - "Moll" presented by the Irish American Theater at the Irish Heritage Center 
  • June 25 - Irish Heritage Night at the Great American Ball Park.  Game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians. Gates open at 5:40 pm
  • June 27- Irish Feis - Irish Dance competition presented by the Cincinnati Irish Cultural Society at Northern Kentucky Convention Center

Happy St. Patrick's Day Cincinnati

Irish Eating Establishments and Pubs

  • RP McMurphy's Irish Pub - RP McMurphy's Pub, located in Cincinnati Ohio, offers live Music on Friday and Saturday Nights, RP McMurphy's Pub is one of Cincinnati's finest pubs. Address: 2910 Wasson Rd Cincinnati OH. 45209 Phone: 513-531-3300
  • O'Bryon's Irish Pub - Since 1994 O'Bryon's Irish Pub remains as one of Cincinnati's award winning Irish Pub and Restaurant. 1998 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH. 45208 Phone: 513-321-5525
  • Hap’s Irish Pub, located at 3510 Erie Avenue in Hyde Park, has been voted Cincinnati’s Best Overall Irish Bar by the Best of Cincinnati. The most authentic Irish bar in the Cincinnati area, Haps definitely pays homage to the true Ireland. The original owner, Gordon Thomas, built this bar to mirror the Irish bars he saw during his travels. Pictures of the Pope and Ireland dot the wall and it is not unusual to hear an Irish accent or two at this pub. Hap’s was named after Gordon’s father and the tradition of memorializing the patrons continues with brass plaques on the bar stools that humor long time patrons past and present. Corned beef and Irish stew are favorites on the menu here, especially on St. Patrick's Day.
  • Pub at Rookwood Mews, located at 2692 Madison Road, is more of an upscale Irish Bar, if there should be such a thing. Millions were poured into this bar to create an American interpretation of what a perfect Irish bar should be. This is a bar where people come to see and be seen. In the center of the pub is a massive wooden bar. Old world charm oozes from this masterpiece and literally cries for patrons to come up and take a seat while they sip on their refreshing lager. This bar definitely transports you out of Cincinnati, if only temporarily, into a world of Ireland as it was meant to be. Beyond all the hoopla though, the food is great here and you can find a full bar with an amazing beer selection, all the liquors, and a great wine list. Traditional Irish beers, like Guinness and Old Speckled Hens are the favorites here, as well as black and tans
  • Molly Malone Irish Pub - Pleasant Ridge. A fun, local Irish Pub that caters to all your needs, with a great beer selection and traditional Irish fare. join them on Tuesday night for trivia, or on Sunday morning for brunch
  • Crowley's Highland House - Crowley’s is Cincinnati’s oldest Irish Pub and the only Irish Pub in Mount Adams, once home to many of the Irish immigrants.  It offers a great selection of beer with its specialty being the ever-popular Guinness. It is a well-liked spot that is always hopping Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Dingle House Irish Pub - West Chester.  Dingle House offers authentic Irish atmosphere, as all of its furnishings hail from the Emerald Isle. There's plenty of above-average pub food to choose from, such as crab-crusted filet or fish & chips. Dingle House also has 20 beers on tap, and 65 in bottles, including plenty of Irish and domestic micro-brews.

Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati 

Newly establishIrish Heritage Center - Cincinnatied center in the old McKinley Elementary School.  3905 Eastern Avenue, 45201.  A fulfillment of a long-pursued dream for the Cincinnati's Irish Americans, the center intends to serve as a home for numerous Irish groups around the city.

The Center will be home for the Irish American Theater. In addition to plays and musicals, the center will offer concerts, dance recitals and story-telling. Eventually the center plans to have an Irish library, a museum, art and artifact displays, and classes for Irish-related activities.




Irish Dance, Music and Theater

  • Riley School of Irish Music opened for classes in January of 1996. The founder of the School, Susan Cross, started the school in memory of her mother, Elsie Riley Goodman. Students aged 8 to 80 are taught how to play music in the Irish traditions.
  • Dark Moll - This traditional Irish music, firmly rooted in the centuries-old tradition of Irish dance music, features a unique sound with ballads, lively Irish reels, jigs, slip jigs, hornpipes, polkas and airs. Dark Moll's name is taken from the traditional Irish song "Moll Dubh A' Ghleanna" which translates to "Dark Moll of the Glen," includes fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bodhran, bouzouki and more!
  • Irish American Theater Company next presents "Moll", a play, at the Irish Heritage Center
  • Erickson Academy of Irish Dance  Dancers have competed on local, regional, national and world states and perform throughout Cincinnati at such venues as the Appalachian Festival, Celtic Festival, Fine Arts Fund Sampler as well as at a variety of schools and senior centers. It is the goal of the Academy to teach Irish stepdancing in a positive, fun way. 
  • McGing School of Irish Dance, has been in existence for 28 years. From its humble beginnings with 28 dancers, the school has established a rich history in the city of Cincinnati and is widely recognized around the world. Dancers have performed in Hollywood for the late great Gene Kelly, danced in the Soviet Union, and toured with the Cincinnati Pops.  

Shopping for Irish Products in Cincinnati

  • Celtic Corner Store - Scottish Bagpipe and Drumming Supplies, Highland and Irish Dancing Supplies, Celtic Jewelry, Gifts and more. Address: 502 Old St. Route 74, Cincinnati, OH. 45244 Phone: 513-528-5578. After teaching dane, it became apparent to the owners of this shop thehat there was a huge need for somewhere to buy supplies, kilts, and beautiful costumes at a reasonable price.  So grows a business.
  • Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day ParadeErie on Erie - "purveyors of all things Irish" -  lovely gifts that are very authentic.  You can also get Hap's Irish Pub Tshirts and other St. Patrick's day memorabilia.
  • Churchill's Tea Room -It's hard to know whether to classify this as a tea room or a shop.  For the tea drinker you will welcome the many varieties of tea available and appreciate the fact that someone still celebrates an afternoon of leisure complete with clotted cream. Their gift shop sells Celtic jewelry, Irish trivia games, tea accessories and more.


Hoist a Sudsy One at Cincinnati's Arnold's Bar and Grill

by The Cincinnati Team

"Sometimes you want to goArnold's Bar and Grill - Cincinnati

Where everyone knows your name

And they're always glad you came"

Do you remember the theme song for "Cheers?"  You can't help but know you've arrived at Cincinnati's version of the Boston bar, Cheers, when you enter the doors of Arnold's Bar and Grill in downtown Cincinnati.  The oldest saloon in the City of Cincinnati, Arnold's was opened in 1861. You'll find it at 210 E. Eighth Street.

The buildings - actually two buildings - are even older than that.  They were originally built in 1848 and housed a barbershop and feed store.  The courtyard behind the feed store served as a stable and carriage house.

When Simon Arnold opened the saloon, he and his family lived above the bar.  This was common in those days when everyone crammed into the basin area created by the hills of Mt. Adams, Mt. Auburn, Clifton, Fairview, Price Hill and the Ohio River.  Everyone struggled to catch their breath in the coal dust- clogged air and lived close to where they worked and could get necessities.

Times have changed.  Local legend says that the bathtub on display upstairs was there for making gin during Prohibition...or perhaps its strange location is due to the fact that when the buildings were built in 1848, no one had ever thought indoor plumbing was a possibility.  Women were banned from bars back then, but times changed even more when they won the right to vote; they could come in the front door.  Beer costs more, too.

So, imagine living back in those days, and you'll realize why the new downtown residents, urbanites of today, love a place like Arnold's.  They have all the alcohol - beer on tap, wine and spirits -you could imagine in their stocked bar.  Plus the food is good, something not all bars can say. I can count on the salads to be fresh and my husband always wants something containing their homemade Italian tomato sauce.

Arnold's Bar and Grill - CincinnatiThe bar itself is a handsome example of the woodworking abilities available in the 1880's.  It's stately walnut style is commonly referred to as Eastlake furniture. You'll find a special ambiance of wood booths for dining in the original building.  Or you could go out to the courtyard where an urban oasis awaits.  The courtyard that once housed the horses now is covered over and heated to use year round.  This space is used both for dining and as a music and theater venue.Arnold's Bar and Grill - Cincinnati

Music is one more reason the neighborhood shows up.  It is always a surprise what band or group might be there, but it consistently leans towards the folksy/bluesy side of music.  Probably the band you'll hear most often is the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs, appropriately playing the first Saturday of each month in the city whose mascot is a pig.

You might also be surprised at who you see there.  Maybe it is the Playhouse or Symphony crowd, before or after a show.  At lunch you'll see lawyers straight from a courthouse trial mixed in with P&G'ers. Other times it will be filled with those who came especially to hear their favorite band.

Today's owners (they call themselves "stewards of the restaurant"), are Ronda and Bret Androski.  They'll be glad you came.  You'll be glad, too. 

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