If hickory smoke were a sacrament, The Classy Pig would be a chapel. It's a little small to be an actual church, but at Classy Pig, there’s true devotion to barbecue. This unpretentious new dining spot in a classic storefront in beautiful downtown Ludlow, Ky. has got a whole lotta smokin' goin' on.
I will definitely see you at these events coming up as autumn kicks into high gear. Yum. Let's start with two incredible words: "Chocolate Festival." Mark your calendar for the first ever Cincinnati Chocolate Festival on Oct. 24, noon-5 p.m. at the Mayerson JCC in Amberley Village.
We have two new Asian-inspired lunch options downtown — one with crowds queued up out the door and the other that hasn't quite been discovered yet. Both benefit from friendly staffing and fresh ingredients. The buzz belongs to Soho Sushi, near the Fourth Street entrance to Tower Place, but I also suggest trying Rice Rocket Asian Grill, the new "build your own bowl" spot on Main Street.
The opening of Jean-Robert's Table was a much-anticipated event in Cincinnati dining — so much anticipated, in fact, that I think we might have visited a bit soon. Sooner than we usually do for a CityBeat dining review. So with that caution in mind, how was master chef Jean-Robert de Cavel's new adventure? Very good.
On a recent trip to Lake Michigan, I skipped the interstate and added an hour or two to my trip. What was my reward? A crazy little wooden shack by the road in Kokomo, Ind., with a hand-written sign that said “PIE.” The blueberry pie I bought sat on the seat next to me for the rest of the trip, sparkly with sugar on top, still warm from the oven, smelling like an angel’s pillow on a blueberry bed in heaven.
Paula Kirk, owner of Downtown's Paula's Cafe since 1989, is loyal to her fellow chefs. When I tell her that Jean Robert de Cavel honked angrily at me for jaywalking at lunchtime, she rushes to defend him and eventually makes me feel grateful that he taught me a lesson in good citizenship. Hey, wait a minute, here! Well … maybe she's right.
Cocktails before breakfast! What could make that better? How about complimentary cocktails before breakfast made by one of the country's top mixologists? That Black Paloma I enjoyed on the mezzanine of the Hotel Monteleone last Friday before heading up to the rooftop for fresh bagels with vodka-cured lox was just one of the excellent perks of Tales of the Cocktail.
If there were ever a perfect vantage point to watch the kind of moments that make city life so fascinating, it's at ForkHeartKnife, the tiny kitchen at Main and Liberty that's owned and operated by some of the friendliest and most creative women in Over-the-Rhine. After two visits to ForkHeartKnife, I'm a big fan. It's just such a personal experience, like dining with friends.
Robin Wood was the silken voice of WEBN's Dawn Patrol and 25-year radio/TV veteran until 2000, when she retired to pursue a more genteel life as a florist, a second career that she's enjoying even more than her first. Wood dines out on weekdays, not weekends, because her husband, Lee Ferguson, is a weekend cook.
All you Blue Oven Bread fans should try the other family ventures located in the happening little business district of Bellevue and Dayton, Ky. We gave Buona Vita Pizzeria a try and loved the friendly atmosphere and nice beer selections. The salads were noteworthy in that they hadn't been pre-made and pulled out of an ice-cold walk-in box. The pizza crust was excellent, and the big, delicious basil leaves on top were a plus.