Review: Dilly Deli

I love Mariemont. I also love Get In Mah Belly‘s post about Mariemont. It’s very true: it’s so white bread, Wonder is inspired by this little burg. It’s also quaint and cute, and as much of a city girl as I am, I often miss living there merely for the beautiful surroundings and inherent walkability. That Mary Emory sure could design a great town; we’ll just ignore its racist and anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic background.

One of my very favorite spots anywhere in Mariemont is the Dilly Deli. They have some of the best outside dining in the city: lots of tables and chairs, a fire in the fall, and big umbrellas in the spring and summer. Their menu is eclectic but simple: they do simple meals that are simply delicious. I usually end up with one of their sandwiches, served with their killer sweet potato fries and apple butter, or sometimes just do wine (they have an incredibly extensive wine selection, and a wine and gourmet store attached) and an appetizer: my favorite is their beer cheese and bread.

So Saturday, as I notice Terry responding to a blog that isn’t mine (you must understand, my darling boyfriend isn’t very Web 2.0, so this is a big deal), I also notice that it’s one of my favorite local blogs and that she’s reviewing one of my favorite restaurants. Sheepishly, Terry turned to me and said, “I wanted to go there today anyway…” so, we did!

The downfall of the Dilly Deli? Their service isn’t organized. It was “sit where you want” inside, while it was “there’s a waiting list” outside, which wasn’t terribly clear, causing confusion. We ended up inside, where one harried waitress was serving the whole inside seating area. She did a good job, but boy, it seemed like she needed a break– or at least some help. The waitresses also run the gourmet shop’s register, so I think they were just short-staffed on one of the prettiest Saturdays we’ve had in a while. However, I’ve had similar experiences the numerous other times I’ve eaten there. Still, the food is good so I keep coming back.

I got my usual: the Mariemont Gobbler. French bread, turkey, gouda and cherry-cranberry compote. Yum, yum. The only thing it could use might be an herbed mayonnaise– turkey itself can be dry, and the compote is not particularly moist, so a little added moisture might do some good. It comes with sweet potato fries, which, for not being in sweet potato season, are great.

Terry got the crab cake sandwich. He liked the seasoning, but the texture was overmixed for his tastes, as someone who spent four years near Chesapeake Bay and became spoiled by crab cakes there.

The Dilly Deli really is best for sandwiches and appetizers– I’ve had their entrees and they’re just not spectacular, and compared to their sandwiches, downright disappointing. Their desserts, however, are another story: my favorite bread pudding in town is their almond croissant bread pudding. We didn’t have any today, but it is rich, filled with almonds and marzipan, and so incredibly good.

So some spring or fall evening, get a glass of wine (or beer; they also have an excellent selection on tap) and a sandwich and hang out among the who’s who of Mariemont. It’s actually quite romantic and a really fun time. Then, walk around the square and catch a movie at the Mariemont Theater, or drive up Wooster Pike a bit and take in a show at Mariemont Players. It’s a great start (or end) to a fantastic evening.

Dilly Deli Wines & Gourmet on Urbanspoon

  • Ryan Hamilton

    I can’t go there without getting an order of their Beer Cheese & Bread. I need to emphasize that Dilly Deli is a must for Cincy beer connoisseurs.

  • Cin Twin1

    Can you buy a bottle of wine in the store and have it with dinner without paying a corkage fee? What places in Cincinnati can you BYOB? I know of Slims and Asiana. I don’t like to pay for a corking fee that is more than $10. Is there a list out there somewhere?

  • Julie

    I’m not sure, CinTwin– I’ll have to find out. I rarely BYOB.

  • UncleRando

    I have to agree with Ryan Hamilton on this one. If you like your beer…you have to hit up Dilly Deli. They have the best, on-tap, Mt. Carmel beer selection of anywhere I’ve been (although Mac’s, in Clifton Heights is a close second).

  • Chris S

    Also, the pot stickers are nice beer food too. If you are going to get beer on tap at dilly, there are FAR FAR FAR superior choices than Mt Carmel. I love the locals as much as the next guy, but there is absolutely zero comparison between Mt Carmel beer and the fine selection from Belgium and the west coast. Dilly is a Friday tradition for me, the pot stickers paired with the grilled asparagus appetizer, and a few drafts of Stone IPA (one of the only places I can think of in town that has Stone IPA on draft)

    Cin Twin, yes, you can buy some bottles of wine and they will serve withoutout corkage fees. Other have a minimal corkage fee, but its still a great deal on the wine if you check their prices. Its really between Dilly and Indigo for cheap wine nights (Indigo in Hyde Park square does half price wine night on Wednesdays, and at half price of restaurant list, its like a dollar or two over retail). Dilly frequently changes their corkage rules, so just ask, but anything thats in the store you can drink with your meal for a modest fee.

  • Julie

    York Street does a special on wine– I believe half price– on Sundays, too.

    Terry LOVES Dilly Deli’s draught selection– he usually goes with something Belgian.

  • liz

    yay, i am so glad my blog inspired you guys! i am going to have to try one of their sandwiches. i had a salad there and it was good but it didn’t make me want to run back. now the sweet potato fries on the other hand… yum. and brooklyn lager on tap! <3

    cin twin: other places i know that you can byo w/ no corking fee are mekong near kenwood, ruthai in mt. lookout square (actually those are both thai and i think probably other thai places are like that too), and slim’s and the hideaway in northside.