In Cincinnati’s constantly changing dining scene, it’s always nice to stop and take a breather to recap all the new and now food news.
New and Now
• If you’re sick of $5 footlongs, Grind on the Rhine, an artisan sandwich shop, opened last weekend at Findlay Market. Chef Tyler Retyi-Gazda and manager Joshua Dickerson, Grind’s owners, hail from Northern Kentucky and are operating with help from the new Findlay Kitchen incubator. “With the Findlay Kitchen, we are able to keep our day jobs and run our startup food business without having such a huge risk,” Retyi-Gazda says.
The current menu — which will change with ingredient availability — features grinders and other sandwiches in the $6 to $10 range, including a fried egg sandwich with white cheddar cheese and bacon; a shaved sirloin grinder with caramelized onion, honey-balsamic Dijon mustard, smoked provolone cheese, tomato and arugula; and a pulled pork grinder with habanero-mango barbecue sauce and apple slaw.
Grind sources its bread from nearby Shadeau Breads and meat and cheese from Findlay vendors like Mackie Quality Meats and J.E. Gibbs Cheese.
• Dining in the digital age! Elias Leisring of Eli’s BBQ recently launched Saundra’s Kitchen, an app-based delivery restaurant that brings homemade food to residences or offices in the downtown basin via electric scooter. Download the app to scroll through daily menus featuring dishes like veggie lasagna, Korean meatloaf, pot roast, stuffed peppers and more. Each day lists a main dish, plus sides, soup and salads — including vegetarian and gluten-free options — for $3.50 to $7. There’s no delivery fee, and delivery is available 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. saundraskitchen.com.• Rachel DesRochers, founder of vegan artisan graham cracker company Grateful Grahams (which just celebrated its sixth anniversary), has opened a second incubator kitchen in Northern Kentucky. The Hatchery , which opened in April, is a complementary addition to her existing Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen, which has operated out of the Senior Services of Northern Kentucky’s kitchen since 2013. The goal of The Hatchery, based in Covington’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, is to provide space for 15 to 20 small food-related businesses.
“The moment I walked in and saw the space, ‘The Hatchery’ was born,” DesRochers said in a press release. “I knew immediately what it could be, and the impact we would continue to have on the Northern Kentucky business community. …I also knew that this smaller space would be great for food entrepreneurs who were just getting started.”
Current food entrepreneurs that fall under DesRochers’ umbrella include Evergreen Zucchini Bread, Made by Mavis, Firecracker Bakery, Grass Fed Gourmet, Power Pack Meals, Froggy Bear Gardens, Passion in my Pans, Baybay Puree and ai cocina.
DesRochers also recently launched a new podcast called Kitchen Convos, which describes itself as intimate conversations with Greater Cincinnati’s “foodpreneurs” like chefs, producers, writers, foodies, farmers, manufacturers and more. The live convos take place the second Wednesday of each month in the Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen and are open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m., dialogue begins at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $5. May’s program will feature conversations with Lisa Graham, founder of Brewhaus Dog Bones, Tempal Hitt, owner of Grace Green Beauty, and Lauren Schewe, owner of Lola’s Botanicals. Learn more at nkyik.com/kitchen-convos and download past episodes in the iTunes store.
• North Bend’s Carriage House Farm, a five-generation single-family-owned farm, celebrates summer with the return of its popular On-Farm Dinner Series. Known locally for providing herbs, produce, grains and honey to area restaurants and retailers, these dinners allow the public to dine al fresco at literal farm-to-table pop-ups and watch their food being made by area chefs. The inaugural dinner on May 15 ($159) features botanist Abby Artemisia, who will first lead guests on a foraging party, and chefs Mark Bodenstein of The Precinct and Doni Attebery of Nuvo, who will use the foraged finds to create a multi-course meal of wild edibles and mid-spring produce. Alcohol is not served, but you are encouraged to bring your own drinks to pair; ticketholders will be given the menu in advance to plan. The series continues into November. carriagehousefarmllc.com.
• MainStrasse’s growing dining scene has given birth to a new attraction: Riverside Food Tours. This new Saturday activity combines light walking with good eating. The three-hour tour features stops at five local restaurants — Cock & Bull Public House, Piper’s Café, Main Bite, Goodfellas Pizzeria and The Bean Haus. (It also features two alcohol tastings). Soon to be added? Lisse, a forthcoming Dutch-inspired steakhouse. riversidefoodtours.com.
• Daniel Souder, sommelier and wine director at 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, and 1215 owner Joanna Kirkendall have partnered on a forthcoming venture, a new Over-the-Rhine eatery named Pleasantry. Located at the corner of 15th and Pleasant streets, the restaurant will feature local, seasonal fare paired with the region’s first natural wine program.
“Our food philosophy at Pleasantry inverts the usual relationship of food and wine,” Souder said in a recent press release. “So often at restaurants, the wine list is an afterthought. Here, the wine is the driving force. We’re bringing the same mindfulness to wine as any chef worth his salt would with his food. We care about where it comes from, how it is made and what goes into it.”
Evan Hartman, formerly of the President’s Room at The Phoenix, has been named executive chef and will prepare modern dishes like locally sourced duck rillette, served with grilled Sixteen Bricks bread, pickled vegetables and sweet jam or grilled hanger steak with black-garlic chimichurri.
The intimate eatery will seat 45 and feature a morning and lunch crafted coffee program with light bites. pleasantryotr.com. ©