2014 Greater Cincinnati Food Tour: Season Wrap-Up

The summer leg of our 2014 Greater Cincinnati Restaurant and Food Tour has come to satisfied close. We made nine stops all around the Queen City, reviewing Rock Bottom, Tom & Chee, The Rookwood, Keystone, Django Western Taco, Katharina’s Café, Incline Public House, Blinkers Tavern and Sweet Tooth. We’ve gotten to fill our bellies and spoil our taste buds with some of the best grub in Cincinnati.

It was a great run, but sadly our savory summer sojourn has come to an end. We want to go out on a happy note though, so we’re going to use this farewell-for-now post to reminisce and highlight some of our favorite moments from the tour:

Best View: Incline Public House, Price Hill

Best Burger: The Rookwood, Mt. Adams

Best Mac & Cheese: Keystone, Covington

Best Atmosphere: Django Western Taco, Northside

Most Creative Menu: Incline Public House (again), Price Hill

Most Hidden Gem: Katharina’s Café, Newport

Most Underrated: Blinkers Tavern, Covington

Much to our delight, we did not have a single bad dining experience this summer. Cincinnati, you’re delicious and you’re doing something very right. We can’t wait to taste more of you when we pick up our Restaurant and Food Tour next season.

Until our next meal, here’s some food for thought: Where would you like to see us go/review on our next chapter of the tour? Give us YOUR recommendations!

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Wine, Dine, Golf & Help out Some Kids While You’re At It

For Release

Media Contact: Rodger Roeser
The Eisen Agency

Twitter @ EisenHotNews

First Tee of Greater Miami Valley Set For Spectacular September
Group Set to Host International Wine & Dine, TPC River Bend Classic

Cincinnati, OH – August 20, 2014 – If you like golf, enjoy great food and wine, and want to help out a great cause, then First Tee of Greater Miami Valley has teed up a pair of events for you. Their third annual International Wine & Dine takes place Saturday, September 20 followed by their inaugural TPC River Bend Golf Classic on Monday, September 22.

Hosted by Joe and Lorraine Mayernik at their home overlooking the Ohio River, the International Wine & Dine offers a unique opportunity to sample fine wines, enjoy local music, network and take in the scenery, all while supporting a great cause. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and RSVP no later than September 6th can be made at http://www.TheFirstTeeGMV.org/weekend.

Then on Monday, September 22 beginning at 12:30 p.m., the inaugural TPC River Bend Golf Classic kicks off. TPC River’s Bend is Ohio’s only PGA golf course property. Prior to the shotgun start, Dennis Walters, 10-Year ambassador for The First Tee, will be on site performing his trick shot show for The First Tee National School Program students from South Lebanon Elementary. The event is open to everyone and corporate sponsorships are needed and available. First Tee is offering special pricing for attendance.

Individual: $150
Couple: $250

Individuals: $250
Foursomes: $1,000

Individual: $350
Foursomes: $1,400

One hundred percent of proceeds will directly impact The First Tee of Greater Miami Valley Life Skills Experience programs and outreach initiatives. Moreover, by attending and supporting these events, attendees can help their donations go even further by helping our chapter achieve a matching grant in excess of $50,000 made possible by Johnson & Johnson

About First Tee of Greater Miami Valley

Serving youth in Butler, Montgomery and Warren counties, our chapter reached 6,303 young people in 2013 at 11 program locations and 13 National School Programs, and began programming in 2005 by serving 45 area youth in Middletown. Our mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. We believe golf changes kids’ lives. Our The First Tee chapter will impact Greater Miami Valley youth by instilling life skills, core values and healthy habits through the inspirational coaching and mentoring of dedicated adults. More information can be accessed at http://www.TheFirstTeeGMV.org.

The First Tee of Greater Miami Valley hosts two great events in September.

The First Tee of Greater Miami Valley hosts two great events in September.

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2014 Greater Cincinnati Food Tour: Blinkers Tavern & Sweet Tooth

  Friday we were fortunate enough to be under yet another good weather spell, and after our voyage to the west side of I-75 last week, we opted for sidewalk seating on our side of the river and headed over to Blinkers Tavern in Covington.

Part of the MainStrasse Villiage, Blinkers is home of NKY’s “Best Steak” for 2013 and 2014… but none of us got the steak (we figured if it won over NKY two years in a row, we can take their word for it being pretty good). I ordered the Grilled Chicken Club, but without the bun and subbed avocado for tomato because apparently I can never just order a sandwich as-is. Thankfully they didn’t bat an eye at my request, nor Randi’s order of the Salmon Salad with chicken instead of salmon.

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My Grilled Chicken “Club” (Sans-bun)

Another shot, because it looked so good.

Another shot, because it looked so good.

The rest of the lunch menu offers an array of sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups and pastas, as well as one “hot brown” style dish called the Three Cheese Brown, which Emily ordered and we all watched her eat with minor regret having not ordered it for ourselves.

Em's Three Cheese Brown

Em’s Three Cheese Brown

Each of us were more than pleased with our meals. I won’t say Blinkers has knocked anyone off a pedestal with its food, but it was up there with the best of them and the service was excellent. We sat outside, but inside the doors was an adorable set-up. A great place to take a client for lunch or cocktails if you’re on the south side of the Ohio.

Seriously, how cute is this place?

Seriously, how cute is this place?

And because the weather was so nice, we made a BONUS stop at Sweet Tooth just a few blocks over for ice cream! The definition of a Newport “gem,” this charming chocolate boutique serves customers a variety of homemade ice cream flavors (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk for me, please) as well as all the other sweet goodies you could possibly imagine… it was kind of like being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory only better because everything you see is made locally from scratch using only wholesome, natural ingredients and no added preservatives!

If you’re in Northern Kentucky this week, support the local business scene by eating an ice cream… it’s a win-win if you ask us!



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2014 Greater Cincinnati Food Tour: Incline Public House

Last Friday the team ventured west of I-75 to Incline Public House in Price Hill. Named after one of the famous Cincinnati inclines that began operation in 1874, IPH is not only rich in flavor and creativity of menu items–it’s also rich in Cincinnati history and location (with a panoramic view downtown).

I have a lot to say about this restaurant that opened its doors in 2012. First off–the menu. At our table, we ordered entrees ranging from a classic House Burger to a Smoked Prime Rib Dip to a Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese to a Smoked Beet and Portabella sandwich… not to mention hand cut fries and onion rings, Grippos-crusted mac & cheese, salad, soup and a Prosciutto Fig pizza to-go (from their brick oven). I have never been one to use any variation of the phrase “Compliments to the chef,” but seriously, it takes a brilliant and creative mind to not only conjure up the unique food options offered at IPH, but also prepare and cook each dish to literal perfection. Well done.

Another Eisen feast

Another Eisen feast

No problem rolling with my obnoxious requests... No bun, add avocado.

No problem rolling with my obnoxious requests… No bun, add avocado.

I should also mention that in addition to all the classics, staples and favorites, the bar offers an extensive list of local and craft beers–a feature I personally appreciate.

Next, the atmosphere. Inside, the layout and décor is contemporary and relaxed. We were greeted and seated right away, and our server who shares my name was kind and helpful. Outside, where we would have been if not for the rain, is a deck the offers guests one of the best views of downtown Cincinnati. I’m a sucker for a good view…


Even on a cloudy day, the view is outstanding.

Eisen is giving Incline Public House five stars for food, service and general atmosphere. It’s a great place to take clients or just your friends and family–and definitely anyone who might be new to the city… because, oh, that view.

Though we all have different palates and ordered very different meals, the five of us were in unanimous agreement that IPH is our favorite place the 2014 Greater Cincinnati Food Tour has stopped at so far (yes, a mighty claim as we have had some top-notch dining experiences). In fact, our tour may not move onto another stop until we’ve tried everything on the menu here (just kidding… sort of).

IPH bar and brick oven

IPH bar and brick oven

For a restaurant only 2 years old, Incline has made quite a reputation for itself. We see a long and successful future ahead–which makes us happy, because we selfishly crave that food and view in our own futures! Thanks again IPH, we’ll be back soon!


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Pillar Awards Accepting Nominations for NKY/Cincinnati

Medical Mutual Pillar Awards for Community Service accepting nominations through 9/19/2014!
About the Pillar Award program:

The Pillar Award for Community Service was developed by Smart Business and Medical Mutual to honor businesses and individuals that are dedicated to making Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky a better place to live. The program is designed to demonstrate the tie between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds and showcase best practices.

Pillar Award program seeks to:
• Publicize the importance of community service, philanthropy and volunteerism;
• Share creative ideas about how companies have a positive impact in their communities;
• Honor companies and individuals that go beyond the minimum expectation of community service; and
• Build a sustaining fund, which provides grants for local nonprofit organizations in their efforts to build the workplace of tomorrow (The Pillar Foundation).
There are five distinct award categories:
• Pillar Award – Presented to for-profit businesses for their community service efforts
• Medical Mutual SHARE Award – Presented annually to one company that best exemplifies employee-driven community service, philanthropy or volunteerism.
• Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Award – Honors contributions by for-profit business executives who serve as members of nonprofit boards
• Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year Award – Recognizes nonprofit executive directors who effectively apply for-profit business principles to their organizations.
• Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award – Recognizes the top executive of a for-profit company for creating a culture of giving.
The Pillar Award program consists of a nomination and judging period, followed by an awards banquet. Judging is based on information provided in the nomination form and conducted by an independent panel comprised of members who represent a variety of positions in the community as well as Pillar Award alumni.

Award recipients will be notified in early October 2014. We will also be developing videos to accompany the program and may ask honorees to make themselves available to participate. Honorees will be featured in the January 2015 editions of Smart Business Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. Award recipients will also be invited to attend a special banquet in January 15, 2015 and are encouraged to purchase a table for the banquet to help support The Pillar Foundation. All nominees receive two complimentary tickets (a $150 value).

Nominees must have a physical presence or headquarters in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Region.
Community service defined
The Pillar Award embraces a broad definition of community service. It may consist of charitable giving, volunteerism, pro bono work or other forms of giving back. Service may also be limited to a single organization or cause or spread across numerous organizations and causes. Each nominee will be judged based on the impact relative to its size and strength rather than overall size of contribution or effort.
The Pillar Foundation

The Pillar Foundation’s mission is to support nonprofits that provide services around educating the workforce of tomorrow. This includes, but is not limited to, nonprofit organizations that foster workforce training for youth, support entrepreneurship, and provide mentoring opportunities for primary and secondary education students.
For more information or to submit a nomination for the Pillar Award, please contact Carmen Pescatrice at cpescatrice@sbnonline.com or (440) 250-7039.

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Afidence IT Featured in Dayton Daily News

Afidence IT is opening a brand new office in Miamisburg, and the Dayton Daily News featured the Open House announcement on their website today. Read more here: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/business/it-firm-opens-dayton-area-office/ngwjH/

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2014 Greater Cincinnati Food Tour: Katharina’s

On the corner of Overton and East Sixth Street in residential Newport, Kentucky sits Katharina’s–a café of German heritage serving fresh breakfast, lunch, desserts and coffee. We discovered this gem just a few weeks back while taking a walk during a mid-week lunch break. Curious about the name, we stepped inside. Smitten by the interior, we asked for a business card. It was only a matter of time before our Food Tour would stop here!


Everything about the corner café is charming. Our bubbly waitress with her German accent, the presentation of each dish, the décor inside and out. We made the comment that we felt as if we had left Newport, KY and been transported to a European city scene… It’s that authentic.

From our lovely waitress we found out that the café is owned by her parents, who moved here from Germany five years ago. Her mom works in the kitchen and makes all the food fresh. Her sister, who has lived here for 10 years now, holds down the fort behind the counter. And our waitress, the most recent to make the voyage across the pond, has only been living in Newport for 5 1/2 months. She loves everything about the city, especially taking her dog for walks against the backdrop of the Cincinnati skyline.

Randi ordered the daily lunch special–meatballs in cream sauce with cabbage and potatoes. Natalie ordered the Nudeln Mit Fleischsosse, which is a baked rigatoni pasta dish layered with meat sauce and béchamel sauce; I ordered the Nudeln Mit Gemuse, which is similar except it has mixed veggies instead of the meat sauce. All of our entrees came with side salads which were served first with a delicious creamy dressing.


All three meals were hearty (we all got boxes, taking half of our food to go) and scrumptious. You could taste every fresh ingredient and appreciate Elena’s effort in making all the sauces from scratch. The presentation was delicate and as appetizing as the savory smell that rose from it.

Five stars for food, service and atmosphere; and while they do serve select beers, cocktails aren’t on the menu. I would, however, highly recommend Katharina’s if you are meeting a client over coffee.

On their website, they claim Katharina’s to be characterized by German Gemuedlichkeit, or “German coziness”— a time that inspires a cheerful mood and peace of mind. I don’t think I could conjure up an eloquent adjective that would be more on-point in describing the café than that. It was apparent that they have several regulars, and they know not only these guests’ names, but their dogs’ names too (did I mention the water bowl and dog treats outside their front door?). This is a place that makes you feel like part of a family.


I know I’ll be back–but next time I’m saving room for a slice of German chocolate cake!



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