Last week we covered family-friendly dining suggestions to accompany holiday activities. Date night is a little different. I don’t want to be the one to say that Scuba Santa’s not sexy — hey, roly poly people in wetsuits might be just the ticket for some. But when you’re fueling up for fun under the mistletoe, I think I have some better ideas.
Maybe it’s the elevation, but to me, Mount Adams is always romantic. Cozy and sophisticated, yet fun. If that’s your description of an ideal holiday date night, I’d suggest Daveed’s (934 Hatch St., Mount Adams, 513-721-2665), which currently has an amazing mid-week deal going on. Short Rib Wednesdays feature everyone’s favorite winter dish, red wine-braised beef short ribs, for only $19. For a small up-charge, Chef David Cook will add “tantalized toppings” like foie gras, garlic shrimp or spicy mushrooms if you wish. But with buttermilk crushed potatoes and French beans on the side, the ribs alone should warm you up enough to want to stop at the Ohio River overlook and make out — er, I mean, gaze at the holiday lights. Right.
If making out is not your idea of a holiday activity, then how about ice skating at Fountain Square? It’s right across the street from Tiffany’s, so you can stare in the window at diamond rings, talk about the future and make out. Oh, sorry. Anyway, skate up an appetite and then dine downtown. You can’t go wrong at Jean Robert’s Table (713 Vine St., Downtown, 513-621-4777), Jean Robert de Cavel’s new, casual eatery that’s an easy stroll up Vine Street. I loved the foie gras appetizer and the amazing skate entrée, and the desserts are impeccable. As a special holiday treat, they will be open for lunch on two December Saturdays (Dec. 11 and 18) a great time to give them a try.
Just a few blocks uptown and you can catch a comedy and a great plate of Greek spaghetti at Arnold’s (210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, 513-421-6234). Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is putting on Every Christmas Story Ever Told through Dec. 28, and it sounds like a really fun show, especially in a bar/restaurant setting. They’ve got a Guinness Swiss steak on the menu that I’ve got to try the next time I’m there — sounds superb.
Another edgy comedy’s playing in town, this one at the New Edgecliff Theatre. The Santaland Diaries, based on storyteller David Sedaris’ adventures as a department store elf, is playing through Dec. 18. The Edgecliff is right down the road from beloved burger place Terry’s Turf Club (4618 Eastern Ave., Columbia-Tusculum, 513-533-4222), where one of Santa’s elves will make you a Christmas cheeseburger that will kick the sugarplums to the curb. You will have fun, I promise.
If, instead of an actual fun date, you decide to torture each other by going gift shopping together, do not compound your error by eating at the mall. Go to a nice neighborhood shopping area to spend your holiday bucks. CityBeat’s all about buying local this year, and while I am a total Grinch whose heart is very small, the part of my heart that’s not devoted to making out is totally devoted to dining locally. If you’re at Kenwood, go to Trio. If you’re at Rookwood Pavilion, go to Gordo’s.
Over-the-Rhine, Hyde Park, Bellevue, O’Bryonville — they’re all full of charming shops and tasty eateries, locally owned and operated. Happy holidays to them … and to you.
CONTACT ANNE MITCHELL: