So who was lucky enough to land the big, bold
location with wrap-around windows at the corner of Vine and 12th, right
next to the Ensemble Theater? I’m glad to say it’s Taste of Belgium
Bistro. With their origins in Findlay Market, Jean Francois Flechet’s
Taste of Belgium is an Over-the-Rhine original, and they deserve this
spotlight location in the hottest dining district in town.
If you feel like we’re heading into the
New Year in survival mode, you’re not alone. These are wicked times,
dear readers, and it’s hard to keep yourself from worrying about whether
you ought to stockpile canned goods or raise chickens in the backyard.
I’ve thought about both. The chicken idea got nixed when I saw a possum
the size of a Smart car strolling along the top of my fence one night.
When I was growing up, my dad insisted
that on every New Year’s Day we eat sauerkraut and knockwurst. He’d cook
a giant roasting pan full of it. Jumbo sausages, bursting with fat,
surrounded by kraut, apples and onions and god knows what, and we had to
dig in or else.
to think ham was the furthest back piece of the pig I’d ever eat, since
trotters don’t appeal to me. But, no! I’ve had pigtail. And I liked it. Don’t let the image of a curly pink
spiral deter you. The pigtail I ate at the newly opened Abigail Street
in the Gateway Quarter was discreetly uncorkscrewed into bits of
delicious porky goodness.
What’s cooking in December? For a start,
there’s the new cookbook from Chef Todd Kelly of Orchids at Palm Court.
Kelly, the American Culinary Federation’s 2011 Chef of the Year, teamed
up with local food blogger/Midwest Culinary Institute graduate Courtney
Tsitouris of Epi-ventures to share recipes from one of my favorite
restaurants in the city, scaled down to prepare at home.
When the word gets out about Mad Mike’s
Burgers & Fries (6420 Dixie Hwy., Florence, 859-647-6444), you’re
not going to be able to push your way through the crowds to get in. Put
the paper down now and go, and you can finish reading this when you get
“If you don’t know meat, know your butcher”
is advice I read on a butcher shop window a long time ago. It came back
to me recently when I read an article in The New York Times
titled “The Lost Art of Buying From a Butcher.” The bottom line: An
experienced butcher will gladly tell you more than a package ever will.
Barresi’s has been around for ages — since
1963 — and I remember being very impressed back in 2005 when I heard
that the original owners had sold the business to a young woman who’d
started her career there bussing tables. Eventually she worked her way
through culinary school and came back, loving the tradition of this
neighborhood trattoria. She was right — there’s a lot to love at
Barresi’s. Cutting edge it’s not, but for a cozy Italian dinner, it’s a
For those curious (and we know you are), here's the recipe for Morton's The Steakhouse's Sparkling Cinnamon Apple holiday cocktail I mentioned in last week's Dish column. Created by Morton’s Vice President Wine & Spirits Tylor Field and Mixologist/Certified Sommelier Sara Fasolino, it just might be the cure for seasonal panic attacks.