Do Downtown Restaurant Week

Starting on Monday, August 10 you can find some great dining deals downtown! The Do Downtown Dining Group is putting on this week long event to encourage a night on the town as the summer starts to wind down. Twenty-two different restaurants are offering special deals for $35. Depending on where you go, you can get either two dinners or a three course meal for that price and while the menu selections are somewhat limited there is definitely something for everyone.

Check out an old haunt such as Arnold’s and build yourself a three-course dinner from their menu (pdf) for the week. Start with the Arnold’s Crabcackes, followed by Drunken Salmon, and topped off with the Super Brownie. Looking for a vegetarian option? You could try some Eggplant Bruchetta, a Wild Wild Wild Salad, and the Pasta Androski.

Get dressed up for a night on the town and head to Orchids at Palm court which was named by Cincinnati Magazine as the best restaurant in town for 2009. There are two choices from each of their courses (pdf) which will get you a salad, a great looking entree, and a dessert. Or be a little adventurous and head up into the Gateway Quarter and try out Lavomatic (pdf). Start with a Rabbit Salad, enjoy a Sea Trout for dinner, and have the wonderful Chocolate Macadamia Tart for dessert.

Try a candle lit dinner at Scotti’s or head to the uber-colorful Bootsy’s. Try some Korean or Indian or go a little more traditional and head to Montgomery Inn or Morton’s. Give downtown a go this coming week, your taste buds and the local economy will thank you for it! (It should be noted that this is a separate event from the semi-annual one hosted by Greater Cincinnati Independent Restaurants. Their fall Restaurant Week is coming September 14-20.)


What the ‘outsiders’ are saying

Just recently there have been three wonderful write-ups about what is happening in Cincinnati by out of town newspapers and magazines. One from the Big Apple, one reminding folks that they don’t have to go to the Big Apple to enjoy a thriving arts scene, and finally one praising Cincinnati for its urban structure, parks, and access to other great outdoor activities.

The article from The New York Times has made the rounds but is worth a second look. While it mentions a few of the more fun areas in town, it should be recognized that they started with Spring Grove Cemetery which is an often overlooked local jewel. The nice part about the article is that they hit Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport and recognized how all three pieces fit together. They also make special mention of the Southgate House which is booking a tremendous amount of high quality shows these days.

“Colorful Sunrise” by ChrisIrmo on Flickr

With such high praise from the New York Times, it was easy to overlook this article from the Lexington Herald. With a special focus on our thriving and extraordinarily diverse arts scene featuring visits ranging from the Taft Museum to the wonderful Contemporary Arts Center we should see art buffs cruising up I75 the rest of the summer.

And finally, this week Outside Magazine came out with rankings of their 10 best cities in America, and guess who was number nine?! Yep, Cincinnati! Right there among Austin, Portland, Atlanta, and others is our little city that could. Why? Among other reasons: architecture, a walkable urban core, great parks, the possibility of streetcar addition, and the fact that Cincy is the gateway to many natural escapes.

So let’s see, the New Yorkers like us for being Midwestern with an artsy flair. The mid westerners like us for being like New York. And folks that want to spend time outside and being active like us because we support that culture and have are close to many great getaways. Talk about having a little bit of something for everyone! Clearly, many outsiders believe in the developments that have occurred over the last few years here. Now, all we need to do is convince the insiders.



Suddenly a lot of cars around town drive by with stickers that say ILOVECINCINNATI on them and I wondered where they came from. Today, I found the answer out by asking someone who had one. So, I’m not going to share the answer here (it’s easily found out by asking a few questions) but the conversation that followed sparked some thoughts that are definitely appropriate in this forum.

If you are reading this, you likely care deeply about Cincinnati, and also genuinely believe that with some hard work, dedication, and an updated way of thinking it can be a much better place to live. I, too, am of that thinking, but sadly I would think that we are in the minority, especially when you start to read the comments on other media outlets around town.

So, my question is why? Why is it that many other cities around this country, some of which we aspire to be like and even others, that we don’t have a much greater sense of civic pride than we do? When I stopped and thought about it, it made even less sense. Isn’t Cincinnati mostly made up of people that grew up in the area, and if so shouldn’t it hold true that our civic pride should at least match that exhibited in other cities mentioned on this blog and elsewhere?

I’ve noodled this around all night and have come up with three ideas:

  1. Our Region Breeds Separation – Between different suburbs, counties, cities, and even states that make up the region we actually only identify ourselves as Cincinnatians by our mailing addresses envelopes and when we are out of town.
  2. A Unified Stance – While we’re never going to reach a point where every citizen agrees on priorities, we are set up in such a way that our “leaders” fight amongst each other more than they work together. One could argue that competition is good, but to me, a unified stance is better.
  3. Lack of That Signature “Thing” – Be it an industry that our city was founded on, a specific food that is actually eaten outside our region, or something similar. We don’t all have that one positive thing we can each identify with, and just as importantly, the nation identifies us with.

I put this out there less for my voice to be heard but more to spark conversation. So what have I missed and why is it that you have the pride you do in Cincinnati?


Cincy BeerFest 2009

Coming this weekend to Covington’s Roebling Point is the 2009 Cincy BeerFest. From the creators of The Midwest Winter Beer Festival, this outdoor festival will feature 2 sessions where over 84 craft beers (full list) will be up for tasting. There will also be live music at each session, and food will be available to purchase from vendors or from any of the 5 establishments in the neighborhood.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Big Joe Duskin Foundation whose goal is “to produce as many in-school educational music presentations as possible, in as many schools as possible, to reach as many children as possible, using local professional musicians” and is all done in memory of Big Joe Duskin who passed away in 2007. Developing our youngest citizens and helping them reach artistic potential is one way to ensure that the Cincinnati region grows into a vibrant, diverse, and artsy area. By coming out and having a good time on July 25, you will be doing your part in making that happen.

Additionally, The Roebling Point Bar Association for Community Improvements will also benefit from the event. The area along Greenup Street in Covington at the base of the Roebling Suspension Bridge has been rapidly improving over the last few years and the bars and restaurants have bonded together to bring a unified approach to neighborhood improvements.

Session passes are available for $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. To order your wristband now, and save, go here.