Best Of 2018

Best Bar Blue Plate Special: Longfellow

Best Bar Blue Plate Special
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

Longfellow is Over-the-Rhine’s coolest neighborhood “dive” — a comfy Cheers with a U-shaped center bar, easygoing bartenders and great music (you’ll hear everything from classic Punk to ’80s Pop and Hip Hop). The cocktails are killer and so is the food menu. Both showcase the life of the owner, Mike Stankovich, who has a Southern and Italian background — he grew up eating cornbread and rolling out homemade ravioli. Combine that with his experience traveling through Europe and Japan and his stint in New York bartending, and there you have it. For cocktails, there’s the super popular Spruce Goose, a wicked mix of barrel-aged gin, honey, lime, bitters and tonic — a recipe Stankovich brought with him from Brooklyn; and the Shiso Painkiller, an islandy combination of navy rum, shiso, orange, coconut and nutmeg. There’s also a nice selection of sake, cider, wine and beer from across the globe. And we haven’t even gotten to the food. The menu is subject to change but offers late-night Babushka Pierogies, peanut butter and tahini sandwiches, cottage cheese (great!), Francophile radishes with scoopable butter and a Blue Plate Special during happy hour Tuesday through Friday: a 16-ounce tall boy beer with your choice of a scrap sandwich or liverwurst with potato chips. If you want more white collar than blue plate, do the caviar service for $10 with bowfin roe. Longfellow, 1233 Clay St., Over-the-Rhine, longfellowbar.com.