1214 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Opened in Over-The-Rhine in downtown Cincinnati as another of its much-loved experimental restaurant concepts, Abigail Street is a Tapas bar with a flair for making great small-plate Mediterranean specialties. Served up easy to divide and meant to be shared with friends, this spot has a long wait for its food on the weekends, but the quality of the food is immediately apparent, from when the first dish lands on your table to when the very friendly service sees you off at the end of the night. The concept is definitely unique on this street for the experience that it offers.
A Tapas bar allows you to indulge in the variety of the food. The dishes are all relatively small, and meant to be split; two people might get three dishes and split them; three people might get four to five. There are a decent number of specialties to pick from.
- Batata: These grilled potatoes are topped with a medley of cilantro, coriander and smoked paprika to give them a distinct sharp flavor. Served alongside a harissa aioli. Highly recommend this as a side dish to enjoy alongside some meat dishes.
- Wood-grilled hangar steak: This hangar steak is cooked to a medium heat and served atop a pile of spiced couscous, which has a very slight, gradual heat to it. The smokiness of the steak matches well.
- Scallop: This has to be my favorite plate. Three pan-seared scallops, which absolutely melt in your mouth, with a great buttery and light taste. They’re served atop a maftoul, or a special type of larger couscous, which is cooked with chopped bacon and roasted mushrooms, topped with a smoky vinaigrette. All you could want in a seafood dish.
- Ricotta & local honey: A perfect dessert. A house-made soft ricotta cheese, sweetened with honey to make it a delicious spread, which is then served alongside grilled bread. You’ll have more spread than you know what to do with, and you’ll want to put it on everything you can.
The restaurant is a relatively small one, and for that reason it can have a significant wait in the busy Over-The-Rhine area. But its staff are absolutely some of the friendliest people, aggressively excited about what they do and very willing to banter a little with customers.
It’s unique for that, many places with this high a customer load tend to stick to faster service, but this one still feels very friendly. That and the great food make Abigail Street a very memorable experience.
- The restaurant is smaller and tables can be hard to come by. Best suggestion in OTR is to call ahead and try to get a table as early as you can. Reservations expire five minutes after the table opens, though, so be ready to be there on time.
- Expect to get a few different dishes on the menu and share them with your companions for the most fun experience.
- Ricotta and local honey: A highly recommended dessert.