Are your leftovers gone already?
Just don’t feel like cooking?
Head to Lavomatic for one of my favorite sandwiches, simply called “Turkey”. It’s pretty typical Josh Campbell: house roasted turkey, cranberry chutney, cinnamon goat cheese, black pepper gravy all made on house-made sage foccacia. It is great if you want Thanksgiving without cooking it, or if you are missing leftovers. A total winner.
After all, it’s Shop Local Saturday, and you’ll need a break– so hit up a local restaurant, too.
One turkey is smoking, the other is roasting. Cranberries are done and dressing is in the oven (two kinds, of course). So what’s missing? The traditional WMDM posting of…
Happy Thanksgiving. I’m very thankful for all of you.
Thanks for tuning in this morning– 8:50 AM cocktails? Sure, why not.
This cocktail was developed for Falcon Theatre’s fall fundraiser (where it was a hit!), but I’ve continued to drink it all Fall. If you don’t want the alcohol, just do about half and half ginger ale and apple cider with a little cinnamon syrup– it’s just as good!
1 oz apple cider (preferably from a local farm; I like Beiersdorfer)
1 oz Absolut Orient Apple vodka
1 oz spiced rum
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz cinnamon syrup
dash of angostura
Pour everything over ice and stir.
For the cinnamon syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 cinnamon sticks
Bring to a boil, then allow to cool, store in a Mason jar. Should keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks!
(Photo by the amazing Mikki Schaffner.)
Cafe Lang Thang, the latest venture from the Lang Thang Group (of Pho Lang Thang and Quan Hapa fame) opened for previews last week. Their location, the former Enzo’s, is close to Washington Park and SCPA. Last week, they were training their crew, and I got an opportunity to preview the menu when I stumbled across their preview week.
The cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch currently, features Vietnamese food as well as general Asian and non-asian groceries. Think of it like a bodega– pick up a few necessities on the way home, but this one also serves banh mi. A winner, if I do say so myself.
Vietnamese food has a lot of influences– French, aboriginal, and Chinese, in particular– and the (limited) menu reflects it. I decided on a cauliflower banh mi, with a mushroom duxelle and a coconut-based mayonnaise. Yes, it’s vegan. The bread is certainly a French influence, nice and crusty, and a fun variation on the often-meaty banh mi. It’s served with crispy ramen chips. I asked The Better Half if he’d ever just eaten ramen without cooking it, and he looked at me like I was nuts. That’s essentially what it is, though: uncooked ramen, with savory accents. Please don’t put a bowl of these near me– they’ll be gone.
With soup, you have a full meal (and a half of a sandwich to take home). The soup I chose that day was crab-asparagus, which again shows off the French influence with a delicate balance of crab and asparagus. It tastes rather springy, which is welcome in dreary November.
The Cafe is still in its opening stages, so consider this a preview and not a review. Still, go and try it out– the food is high quality, delicious and different.
Jungle Jim’s is sort of like heaven for me. So many different, interesting local and international foods (and an animatronic lion dressed as Elvis). They also have a few surprising things– like an events center, where they’re holding their International Wine Festival this weekend.
They have two levels of admission: Connoisseur and Grand Tasting, at $100 and $65 a piece. If you’re the designated driver or a non-drinker, you can still enjoy the bites at $65 and $25 respectively. The Connoisseur level includes a VIP area, dinner by the bite, and an additional open bar. The menu includes some delicious Fall-inspired dishes, including slow roasted pulled duck, mini braised veal and onion tarts and apple and butter poached roasted beets.
The Grand Tasting level includes 400 wines, as well as additional food pairings. At either level, you won’t go hungry. You might not eat for a couple of days after!
The event is from 7-10 PM on both Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9. Click here for tickets and more information.
Taste of the World is a darn cool event.
When else can you have cocktails with jellyfish, or crudite with penguins (careful, they’ll steal your jicama).
Sponsored by The Party Source and benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Taste of the World features a variety of restaurants and two levels of experience: a $100 general ticket and a $150 VIP Top Shelf ticket, which includes an exclusive lounge, cocktails by Molly Wellman and food by David Cook.
Want to go? I’m giving away two standard tickets. Enter below!
When it comes to things like buying clothes or electronics or houses or cars, I am all about the deal. Full-priced clothing? Never. My laptop? A refurb. Car? Certified used. I don’t pay full price.
When it comes to food and activities, though, beyond things like event tickets, I don’t look for a deal. So when I was challenged with weekend activities for under $50, it took me a minute to figure out exactly what I’d do – and how I’d tie it in with food.
The easiest, most interesting way for me? Engage with the arts.
Cincinnati, in case you didn’t know, has a huge arts scene. From a nationally-known art museum to different neighborhood gallery events throughout the month, there’s something for everyone, and a lot of it is free or inexpensive.
First stop? Final Friday in Over-the-Rhine. While this was not part of my official #LivinInTheCin adventure due to time constraints, if you want an art-filled, under-$50-for-two weekend, this is the place to go. Stroll up and down Main Street, grab some cheese and wine at any of the galleries or other businesses that open their doors on Final Friday, and grab a couple of slices for dinner at Lucy Blue. Price? $6 (for the pizza).
On Saturday morning, get up and head to Holtman’s Donuts and ask, politely, if they have any warm glazed donuts. Warm or cold, these delicious, sweet homemade confections are worth the $1.25 each
Your next stop? The Cincinnati Art Museum. Due to generous gifts, including one from The Richard and Lois Rosenthal Foundation, admission to the museum as well as special events are free! It does cost $4 for parking, but if you purchase $10 worth of food or gifts, that fee is waived.
The CAM has something for everyone. When we went, we focused on its best-known pieces of art, housed in the Schmidlapp Gallery. It’s a diverse collection: Andy Warhol’s soup cans; Eve Disconsolate by Hiram Powers (one of my very favorite sculptures; versions of it can be seen in museums around the world, including the Smithsonian); Frank Duveneck’s Whistling Boy; Greek and Roman statuary: a Tiffany and Company Loving Cup, among others. Just going through this area is a great introduction to all that the museum has to offer.
Then, decide what else you’d like to see: African art? Modern art? Renaissance paintings? We chose to see their latest exhibition on Fashion and Contemporary craft, which features some very interesting, unlikely pieces of art that are recent additions to the collection, such as spiraling, alligator-inspired shoes by Zaha Hadid (best known here for her design of the Contemporary Arts Center) and beautiful clothing made out of pleated, laminated fabric created by Hishinuma and famed designer Issey Miyake. For anyone who’s into fashion or contemporary art, this is the exhibition you must see.
Since this is #LivinInTheCin, you really shouldn’t miss an exhibit that might be easy to miss, very close to the cafe. The artist is Courttney Cooper, a local man, who created intricate, detailed maps of the city on pieces of discarded paper with a Bic pen, based on his own knowledge of the city and maps from phone books. It is both surprisingly accurate and moving: it is accurate down to the construction work being done in various areas, and also includes commentary based on the seasons. Each piece is well-worn, having been folded and unfolded enough to give the paper a fabriclike textures. It really must be seen to be believed,
Hungry? Good. Head into the Terrace Cafe for lunch. A lunch for two will run around $20: they have a wide variety of sandwiches and salads. I loved their butternut squash hummus and the delicious Asian salad, with a perfectly cooked chicken breast on top, all eaten within view of the lovely Museum terrace. Lunch will easily cover the $10 minimum for parking, and you’ll be full enough to brave your next stop!
Head south towards downtown, where you’ll find, nestled in Lytle Park, the Taft Museum of Art. This historic home now houses an interesting collection of locally- and nationally-known art, including art from the Sinton-Taft collections and Nicholas Longworth’s collection.
Charles Phelps Taft, brother of William Howard Taft, was the publisher of the Cincinnati Times-Star, later the Post. Anna Sinton Taft funded what is now ArtsWave, and has left a legacy including their home and art collection, both donated to the city after their deaths.
The art here is a fantastic walk through both Cincinnati and world history: in the foyer, check out the paintings by Robert Duncanson, an African-American painter hired by Nicholas Longworth (another influential Cincinnatian: former Speaker of the House of Representatives, arts supporter and son-in-law of Teddy Roosevelt). You’ll see Dutch masters, including Rembrandt van Rijn, works by Goya, Sargent, and Farny. You’ll also see work by Frank Duveneck, arguably the most famous Cincinnati artist, including his painting “The Cobbler’s Apprentice,” which was recently turned into a mural near Great American Ballpark by ArtWorks. My very favorite painting is “A World of their Own” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, which depicts two lovers on the beach. The best thing about the Taft? You’re likely familiar with their collection, through their public art projects and advertising. It’s even better to see everything in person.
So, for Friday and most of a Saturday…
Final Friday: Free
Pizza at Lucy Blue’s: $6
Doughnuts at Holtmann’s: $2.50
Admission and parking at the Cincinnati Art Museum: $0
Lunch at the Terrace Cafe: $20
Admission to the Taft Museum of Art: $18 (The Better Half is a teacher so he received a discount. Admission is free if you visit on a Sunday.)
Grand total? $46.50 Not bad for two people. Cincinnati has such a vibrant – and affordable – arts community that shouldn’t be missed.
Want more opportunities to experience art? Check out ArtsWave to see what is new and interesting in Cincinnati.
This is a great thing– I love that mobile dining is really taking off. I had the opportunity to try Waffo at a recent Retrocentrics event. Everyone who had a Waffo raved about them, so at the end of the day I headed over.
Waffo is a traditional, soft Belgian waffle, served in both sweet and savory varieties. You can get it with a choice of toppings (think: chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries) or as special Waffo sandwiches. I had the Greek BLT: a savory Waffo, with lettuce, tomato, a really nice tzatziki sauce, and bacon. Incredibly filling (two could easily split that sandwich) and surprisingly good. Others had the pulled pork waffo and raved about it (I didn’t have room to try, unfortunately).
Waffo announces where they’ll be on Facebook, so if you’re looking for a creative twist on the sandwich, follow them there.
- NuVo, the reboot of the all-local restaurant helmed by Mark Bodenstein, formerly of Nicholson’s, is set to open on October 17. It will feature an entirely prix fixe, six-course meal at $45 per person. Its location? The former Greenup Cafe spot in Covington.
- Doug Faulkner, co-owner of Take the Cake Cafe, has left to pursue other projects. The restaurant closed on September 26 for vacation, and reopened for lunch last week. Unfortunately, they are only doing “light brunch” on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays and Mondays, but their Facebook page promises a return sometime in the future.
- FUSIAN, the quick-service sushi concept, has opened its fourth store, located in Hyde Park Plaza,. This makes Oakley, in my estimation, the center of the Cincinnati Sushiverse (it also holds the title of the center of the Cincinnati Pad Thai-verse).
- Goodfellas Pizza, in the former Mayberry space on Main Street, will be the latest addition to the Over-the-Rhine restaurant community. Interesting: it’s next door to Cincy by the Slice, and across the street from Lucy Blue’s. I am thrilled to see more affordable food choices in Over-the-Rhine, but I wonder if there’s market for that many places in a one-block area.
- The former Enzo’s will soon be home to Lang Thang, a bodega/deli concept from the group behind Pho Lang Thang and Quan Hapa. No word on an opening date– but should be before the end of the year.
Photo: Goodfellas Pizza
Mark your calendars for September 12 and 13, 2014 for the inaugural Cincinnati Food + Wine Festival in Washington Park. Courtney Tsitouris and Donna Covrett of City Stories are bringing the best of local, regional and national food and wine to Cincinnati in just a little less than a year.
Details are still being finalized, but here’s a sneak peek:
- Friday evening’s grand tasting will celebrate Cincinnati’s “Porkopolis” and brewing heritage with a pig roast, craft beer, and fine wines.
- Saturday’s grand tasting will feature exceptional fine dining with inspired dishes by local and national chefs.
“It’s time to showcase Cincinnati for the vibrant culinary community it is,” says Donna Covrett, City Stories Co-Director and former dining editor of Cincinnati Magazine. “We’re hand-picking the city’s very best talent and pairing them with national chefs in a really exciting format.”
I can’t wait to see the final roster, which is coming soon.