Dining in the New Year: Fresh Spots and Old Faves

What's old, new and different for the New Year? How about Ko-Sho, the sushi spot that was hidden on Ninth Street downtown, re-opening in Northside, Capri Tavola Calda opening downtown and Mullane's and Senate Restaurant getting ready to open in Over-the-

What’s old, new and different for the New Year? Long-awaited Ko-Sho, the sushi spot that was hidden on Ninth Street downtown, has re-opened in Northside at 3172 Hamilton Ave. Ko-Sho’s sushi was a best-kept secret. I always found it to be top-quality, but the building they were in left a lot to be desired. I hope this new, high-traffic spot brings them the crowds they deserve. Call 513-665-4950 or check kosho-restaurant.com.

Sushi really is healthy food. Italian healthy food? Maybe not so much, but that’s what Capri Tavola Calda (420 Walnut St., Downtown) is offering. Grab a slice of their Vesuvio-style pizza and see for yourself. They’re using fresh buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil on their Margherita for $2.35 a slice and have a good selection of toppings — from arugula to zucchini — that actually are healthier than the average antipasta. Call 513-345-7985.

Also hotly awaited is the opening of Senate Restaurant at 1212 Vine St. in the Gateway Quarter of Over-the-Rhine. The downtown crowd has been watching Senate’s Facebook page since summer, thirsting for cocktails and curious to see what “gourmet street food” turns out to be. Call 513-602-3222.

The longer I live in Cincinnati — which also could be phrased as “the older I get …” — the more I give terrible directions based on things that aren’t there. Like “Oh, you know, over by the planetarium by Eden Park.” Helpful only to other people who are tottering about in an alt-universe where Shillito’s is a place to shop downtown.

Anyway, if you remember a big date night catching Blue Velvet at The Real Movies on Race Street, you probably stopped next door afterwards for some damn fine pie at Mullane’s Parkside Café. If so, you’ll be happy to hear that Mullane’s is coming back in 2010.

Mullane’s was a perennial winner of “Best Vegetarian” honors in CityBeat, with a crowd of devoted fans who loved their red beans and rice and big, beautiful salads with curried yogurt dressing. My personal favorite was the Spinach Sauté, the iced herb tea, the pie (of course) and I loved the staff — including John the waiter, who defended me after a grouchy patron complained that I shouldn’t be allowed to dine in public until I learned how to laugh more quietly. On the patio! Hey pal, who’s got the last laugh now?

Owner Ellen Faeth has not set an opening date yet, as it will depend on how the rest of their building renovation goes. Look for updates on Facebook or at friendsofmullanes.weebly.com. Faeth says that they’re keeping “Parkside” in the name, although the new location will be further north, at 1222 Race St.

You can still stop by after a show at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. You know, where Moviola used to be. Oh, nevermind.