Best Of 2019

Best Nonprofit Restaurant: Social OTR

A collaboration between Findlay Market and CityLink Center, which provides integrated services to help individuals break free from poverty, Social OTR offers a working internship in a fine dining restaurant for the community’s unemployed and underemployed talent pool. Students get fundamental, hands-on culinary training at no cost to them, and all the money the restaurant makes gets funneled back into the program to provide each student with a set of knives and a uniform; it also keeps the stoves on and the shelves stocked. Opened at the beginning of February this year, the space offers two sections: a dining room and a back lounge. The communal dining experience features two large tables for shared seating, as well as several smaller tables and a full bar. Follow an exposed-brick hallway past a kitchen with open windows — where you can watch the chefs and students at work — to the back lounge, The Alley at Social, to find another communal table and bar. The menu — led by executive chef Jennifer Kemplin — consists mainly of snacks and small plates like oysters, charcuterie and a galette, with steak and a duck confit entrée. The cocktail and wine list outpace the eats for an experience that focuses on, as the name suggests, an evening of socializing with friends. Hit up the daily 5-1-3 happy hour for $5 house wines, $1 oysters and $3 draft beers. Social OTR, 1819 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, socialotr.com.