August 07, 2020

Westwood's New Upscale Eatery Ivory House Honors an Influential Past Mayor

Named after James N. Gamble, former Westwood mayor before the West Side was annexed to the City of Cincinnati and also inventor of the floating ivory soap, Ivory House is nestled on Harrison Avenue, close to several other main street businesses that have cropped up recently.?  Ivory House proprietors Frank Eversole and Rick Pouliot have been involved in the growth of the neighborhood through their property group, EP Investments, since 2009, redeveloping several homes, focusing the bulk of their energy on the Town Hall District and stabilizing that area with increased economic inflow.?  “We just felt we needed something a little more upscale,” says Eversole. “(Ivory House is) still kind of casual. At the end of the day, it’s just a beautiful environment with very approachable dishes that people can come and enjoy in the neighborhood.”?  Opening a restaurant during a global pandemic might seem daunting, but if anything, the ability to adapt the dining room to social distancing regulations before it opened proved a blessing. Capacity was reduced inside, and an outdoor patio is in the works.?  Self-described as “familiar food, elevated,” the menu is a fresh take on nostalgic-feeling dishes. Executive chef Dana Adkins, formerly of the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, came on board earlier this year, bringing with him an invigorating vision that reimagines well-known dishes and familiarizes unconventional and surprising ingredients.?  “Rick and Frank wanted to allow myself and our team to bring our vision to life — that’s what’s beautiful about this relationship,” Adkins says. “We approached them about how we wanted to be mindfully sourcing and supporting partners. There was one vision Frank did express that I really wanted to see, that was to really embrace the grill. And that’s why we’ve found fun ways (to incorporate) smoke and grill.”?  The menu offers nearly a dozen small plates like the ham and bean agnolotti, mussels diablo and Appalachian shrimp and grits, as well as shareable 34-ounce angus prime ribeye Tomahawk for two, and lunch dishes like the vegan club, pork belly tacos and Ivory House wagyu and cheddar. They also recently rolled out a brunch menu. One of the dishes Adkins is most excited about is the BBQ Louie’d Quail, named after his grandfather who taught him how to grill and brine chicken. In addition to eats, Ivory House offers an extensive wine menu "with something for every palate." They also have local brews on tap, including the "Ivory House Amber" by nearby West Side Brewing, plus bottled and canned beers. Guests can expect a seasonal cocktail menu with fresh juices and fruits, house infusions and handcrafted shrubs and syrups.
Photos by Hailey Bollinger

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Exterior of Ivory House
Hailey Bollinger

Exterior of Ivory House

Westwood's New Upscale Eatery Ivory House Honors an Influential Past Mayor
Hailey Bollinger

The bar with wrap-around seating
Hailey Bollinger

The bar with wrap-around seating

Johnny Cake Benedict, with fried bologna, poached eggs, brown butter hollandaise and cornbread gremolata
Hailey Bollinger

Johnny Cake Benedict, with fried bologna, poached eggs, brown butter hollandaise and cornbread gremolata

Bar and dining space
Hailey Bollinger

Bar and dining space

The Queen City Bees Knees, with Plymouth gin, wildflower honey syrup, lemon juice and a pinch of raspberry shrub
Hailey Bollinger

The Queen City Bees Knees, with Plymouth gin, wildflower honey syrup, lemon juice and a pinch of raspberry shrub

Upon entering, guests are greeted with tall bistro tables and a classy white piano
Hailey Bollinger

Upon entering, guests are greeted with tall bistro tables and a classy white piano

Grilled peach and heirloom tomato salad, with house cottage cheese, local greens and paw paw vinaigrette
Hailey Bollinger

Grilled peach and heirloom tomato salad, with house cottage cheese, local greens and paw paw vinaigrette

Private dining space for larger parties
Hailey Bollinger

Private dining space for larger parties

Bread pudding French toast with weekly seasonal presentation
Hailey Bollinger

Bread pudding French toast with weekly seasonal presentation