Another of the interesting bar concepts that has sprung up in the Newport area just south of downtown Cincinnati, Mokka and the Sunset Bar and Grill offers breakfast, lunch, and a plethora of mixed drinks to be enjoyed day or night. The Newport area brings a lot of people out at all of those times, and I found that Mokka had some really great offerings. That said, there were times when the process could use a bit of refinement.
As Shadyside has rapidly developed in east Pittsburgh, its new restaurant concepts have thrived with the advent of many new concepts springing up. Harris Grill does burgers, sandwiches, and other contemporary cuisine like few others. But where this spot really thrives, though, is in a very favorite meal where it faces stiff competition in this city: brunch. But in spite of the great well-known national brunch corners of Steel City, this spot holds its own handsomely.
The concept of nicer dining restaurants with the location just about every major city in the country, Fleming’s Steakhouse is the epitome of the idea of quality dropping quantity in classic American cuisine. The spot offers a lot of upscale drinks, nicer appetizers and of course surf and turf to your hearts content. It is really nice, the restaurant is great on the inside, and I would consider it a safe dining experience.
As The Banks in downtown Cincinnati has developed, the Queen City’s riverfront has become a hotspot for Reds fans, Bengals fans, and all-around, a place to get some of the best experiences the city has to offer. Of course, the riverfront isn’t just about the nightlife, though. Among the many appeals of downtown, Moerlein Lager House aims to be one of the most visible and iconinc breweries in the storied history of Cincinnati’s German brewing roots. If you’re from the area, it’s hard not to have heard the name.
You hear a lot in Dayton about the little dive bars that the locals love. Always near the top of the list is Tank’s Bar and Grill, a spot along Wayne Avenue which isn’t big, isn’t conspicuous and isn’t very aggressive about marketing itself, but people love it still. Word of mouth tends to be the way that you first hear of Tank’s, and it’s often a surprise to people: a dive bar near downtown that makes good breakfast? It almost sounds like an oxymoron. But Tank’s delivers.
Oregon District has a lot of bars with a lot of good bar food, and when you first walk through downtown Dayton’s main nightlife spot, you might not at first set your sights on the small operation that is Lucky’s. But make no mistake, this spot is much beloved by Dayton city-dwellers. Whether they’re making use of the spot’s extensive tap list or just looking to sample one of the burgers or sandwiches that fill its menu, people come to this spot in droves. The hype leaves you wondering, is it worth a try? The answer is yes.
Dark Horse Tavern is a bar and barbecue joint just off the highway in Miamisburg, south of Dayton, one that can still be easy to miss unless you know where to look for it. While the exterior is simple and the interior a dark, close-in and very classic feeling bar, the food shows the extra effort that really kicks the Dark Horse up a notch with its food. It’s a great option for Midwest-style barbecue and some good music for the Gem City.
It’s a very recent addition to downtown Dayton, but seems to have been highly anticipated nonetheless. Restaurateur Emily Mendenhall opened Lily’s Bistro in the former Boulevard Haus building just about a year ago. Another of the popular restaurants in Dayton’s Oregon District, Lily’s Bistro has been a late dining destination that recently expanded into the realm of lunch. It’s a light bistro concept to compete with the higher-end dining and bars that surround it. The concept does experimental American cuisine with unusual sandwiches and plenty of quality food among the options.
Now with two spots and a food truck in the Pittsburgh area, Franktuary is sort of a funny concept. It’s the idea of a few Pittsburgh folks who decided it would be just splendid to have a church-themed bar. The menu is near-impossible to describe, thanks in part to the fact that they change the menu every day. What you can be sure of, though, is that you’ll find some really great hot dog options on the menu, and Sundays are a must-do for great brunch.