What is Chinese cuisine? Turns out, the answer to that question is manifold, depending on the region of China where the food originates. In fact, there are eight major culinary traditions in China. A few of those Chinese cuisine styles are more difficult to master, and therefore to prepare, …

In the world of secrets, few are more closely held than those found in the restaurant world. In a moment, we’ll get to some of the proprietary processes that exist at Sugar n’ Spice, but first a stat that is neither secret nor all that surprising. The stat is consistent year-over-year, accor…

These days, being an informed consumer can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the food choices one makes. Years ago, when Rob Miller installed a soft-serve ice cream and yogurt operation in his Shell gas station and convenience mart at Kenwood and Pfeiffer Roads, the storyline was q…

Anyone who has been paying even minimal attention over the past 22 months or so knows our world has undergone dramatic, fundamental change. The pandemic will burn itself out eventually (at least that’s the hope here). Some of the changes wrought by it will be lasting though, causing major sh…

If ever you’ve been to Western Europe—France, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, thereabouts—you may have noticed the ubiquity of the croissant. Some of these scrumptious baked “breads” are plain, double-horned pillows of buttery goodness. Others, called pain au chocolat, are squarish…

A conundrum of sorts: How does one overcome the mystique surrounding French cuisine? Too often, French cuisine is thought of only as elegantly prepared food, served in exquisitely appointed settings by a stiffly starched wait staff. Well, the folks at Chez Renee want diners-out to know their…

Stuffed vegetable dishes have been part of Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. The word “dolma” is Turkish in origin, meaning “something stuffed.” Dolma dishes are integral to cuisines in the Balkans, the Caucasus region, the Arabian states, Israel, and more generally, Greater Cen…

Sushi is considered a Japanese specialty cuisine in the United States. A look in the rear-view mirror flashes a different image of this ancient form of eating, which is a central menu feature of Asian Paradise at Montgomery and Fields-Ertel Roads in Symmes Township. 

Chanukah and a facelift? Since Chanukah is closer on the horizon, best to start there, according to Y.Y. Davis of Marx Hot Bagels. The hope is that Jewish families plan — and order — ahead for early Chanukah celebrations and gatherings. The reason? “We’ll be selling a lot of donuts and cooki…

Just when you thought farmers’ markets were over for the year, up pops the Northside Farmers’ Winter Market, held Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m. in the parking lot of the North Presbyterian Church on Hamilton Avenue (across the street from the public library). This is significant for Jewish foodie…

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So, the Reuben? A paradox for sure, due to its almost certain Jewish heritage. Meat and cheese on the same sandwich? It ain’t kosher! We’ll get to the backstory in a moment, but first, there is a new Reuben in town, and it is kosher style. You’ll find it at Sacred Beast, and this kosher Reub…

First, the question: What are filet mignon and rack of lamb doing on the menu of a Chinese restaurant — and the China Gourmet, no less? The answer is simple and sensible, according to Matthew Loomis, owner of the long-time fine-dine eatery. “We brought (them) on because this is Hyde Park, th…

One of two men wearing yarmulkes, having lunch together, said this of the food on his plate: “I like it; it’s really good here and I am glad they’re here. It’s a kosher restaurant and they’re always very nice here, the staff is very nice. And of course, this place is…popular with the Jewish …

There is a doctrine in our human condition that perhaps enjoys universal application: The closer to the source a thing is, the better.  As a history major, which I happen to be, one learns that primary sources almost always offer better data than do secondary ones. One “hears it from the hor…

Social cultures produce favored habits, which is nowhere more apparent than in foods people eat. A bagel is just a bagel, but in the mind of a Jewish diner, the next thought might be lox. Probably not so for a non-Jewish diner, though.  The spicy chopped vegetable side dish is such an item i…

The restaurant world has changed, at least for the discernible future, according to Christophe Goulle, GM at Stone Creek in Montgomery. Upbeat and without hanging crape, he had this to say: “We’ve never seen something like this. We have problems with deliveries, we have product that doesn’t …

Made-to-order is and has been a catchphrase in the restaurant biz for who knows how long. Made-to-order is better than food that sits around under a warming light, waiting; no question. Christopher “CT” Todd, operating partner of Sugar n’ Spice, offered a variation on that theme during a rec…

“A cozy, relaxing bar,” is how Owner-Operator-Chef Laurent Degois of Chez Renée described Chez Albert, the place he and wife Catherine have been working at for more than a year now. “It is a French bar, not a sports bar, not a family bar. Only 21 and older. We do have TVs (two) but running s…

The circle of life encompasses much in Jewish tradition.  For Mindy Cooper of Matt’s Bakery, that circle extends to recipes sent forward from a distant, often murky past.  Cooper is co-owner of Matt’s Bakery, along with husband Matt, who is chief baker of the eponymous enterprise. The apple …

Before anyone panics, there will be NO changes at Marx Hot Bagels to the tuna salad, the egg salad and all the rest of everybody’s favorites. But the setting, the physical table-chair-counter inside of the bagel deli, is getting a total remodel, top to bottom, stem to stern.

“We’re one of the only places where you can get a lot of the traditional foods that come out at Rosh Hashanah,” says Karen Chriqui, who, along with husband Avner, owns and operates Kinneret Grill in the Dillonvale shopping center.  

Back in 2014, when Ward Bahlman decided he’d hitch his star to a Breadsmith franchise, he wanted his son, Will, to go to bakers’ training with him. “Okay, I’ll go,” Will said, but stated his allegiance to the BBQ place where he was working at the time.  Will was not planning on changing from…

To say that a pide is to Turkey what a pizza is to Italy may be a stretch. No cigar, but it is close, according to Fahri Ozdil, owner-operator of Café Mediterranean. “People in my homeland of Turkey, they even eat this dish for breakfast, with Turkish tea.  The dish, it is common in Turkey, …

Effectively combining ingredients to produce wonderful flavors likely is the essence of being a chef. Achieving those flavors with simple ingredients is a trick that few pull off. That is why Bridget Lieb of Sacred Beast thinks so highly of the salmon with brown butter entrée husband Jeromy …

If you are planning to host a gathering, small or large, you may be in the market for catering. Y.Y. Davis of Marx Hot Bagels asks that you consider his food trays for most gatherings, and perhaps the Marx food truck for large, sprawling events. 

Coming out of the darker days of the pandemic is an exhilarating experience for some in the restaurant biz, including Rainbow, the 1-named GM at Asian Paradise. “In general, we’re doing okay, everything is okay,” she said, an irrepressible smile spilling out of the mask she wears as a habit …

Do you have a sweet tooth? The question arises because Sweet Butter Bakery has introduced a few new items, and a couple more are close to ready for prime time, all in the sweet category. We tried some: babka in two varieties, sticky buns, black and white cookies, and challah (yes, challah), …

“It’s a lot of food,” says China Gourmet’s GM Jesse Lear, speaking of the traditional Peking duck dining experience.  “We do the whole meal, which serves up to four people.”

If you are a regular reader of the Dining Out column, you likely recall the rave revues given the whipped ricotta cheese appetizer under the Bread & Spreads section of Red Feather’s menu. Briefly, this dish features house-made ricotta cheese, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of chives and …

The dining room is open: finally! This is good news for those of us who have been waiting for Johnny Chan 2 to graduate from carryout only to dine-in service.  Frank Shi, proprietor of the venerable Chinese eatery, has been among the most careful in protecting his staff and his patrons from …

Comfort food comes with its own cachet.  Generally, such foods possess a nostalgic or sentimental value that is personal in nature. Mom’s chicken soup. Grandma’s egg salad. Aunt Ruth’s blintzes. That could explain the recent popularity of cabbage rolls at Artemis Mediterranean Bistro. “Cabba…

Turns out a pandemic has caused ripple effects in the dining-out world from white tablecloth establishments to breezy sidewalk cafes. This, according to Donny Arnsperger, managing partner at Walt’s Hitching Post, who, along with business partner Bronson Trebbi, feel elated that long-time din…

Picture this: a hot summer day and a busload of kids—Jewish day-campers—show up at a gas station and go absolutely nuts over the self-serve yogurt and ice cream machines inside. And the toppings too. They are permitted to eat any of the soft-serve products and dozens of the toppings as well!…

Given Matt’s Bakery is kosher, one might think traditionally Jewish items are all or at least most of what a patron would find there. One would be wrong to think so. This, according to Mindy Cooper, co-owner of the bakery, along with husband Matt, chief baker of the eponymous enterprise. “We…

The concept of team applies to more than just athletes and sports, of course.  In fact, terms such as “teamwork” and “team player” are well worn words in the nomenclature of American business at all levels. For Stone Creek Dining Company in Montgomery, the concept of team and its benefits ar…

Imagine the response one might receive from a second-grade lad or lass if asked to guess what “ratatouille” means. My own field of misconceptions includes thinking that ratatouille originated in Italy. Turns out, the dish is French, generally believed to have taken shape in and around Nice i…

Restaurants come and go, and the comings and goings too often are spaced remarkably close together — here today, gone tomorrow. So, when an 80-year anniversary is celebrated in the restaurant biz, that is a big deal. Sugar n’ Spice on Reading Road is an octogenarian this year, having been fo…

The idea of offering pizza at a bagel shop has led to a serendipitous development, according to Y.Y. Davis, owner-operator of Marx Hot Bagels. “We’ve been thinking about pizza for a long time,” he said, speaking about adding that item to other meal menu choices offered at his bagel-centric d…

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From scratch is always better where food is concerned, don’t you think? For Erika Hecht and her extended family, that is the essence of Sweet Butter Bakery, a new venture that tastes like success to me. Her “from scratch” recipes we tasted are marvelous. More about the tastes in a minute. He…

Ancient history? Today, January of last year—2020—seems like ancient history to many of us; those halcyon days before the corona virus pandemic grabbed the world by its collective throat. Truly ancient history, though, is part of our present days through the foods we eat, and the methods use…

The month of March (and into April as well) is ideal for trying the at-home convenience meals being offered by Kinneret Grill, according to Karen Chriqui, head of the up-scale eatery. For what remains of March and into April, Chriqui said this: “We’re going to be doing our brisket specials, …

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Few of us may have the pipes to sing as did Julie Andrews when she intoned “these are a few of my favorite things” to the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music. But most everyone has them—favorite things, that is.  Two of mine are pie and bread, and probably most diners-out feel the same …

Pandemics bring changes, no question. We all know about the hard times that have beset America’s economy, and perhaps nowhere is the pain more evident than in the local restaurant biz.  But there are some quirky upsides to report also.  One of those is the Izzy’s chain of eateries, where san…

For Johnny Chan 2’s proprietor, the question is not if but when patrons may once again grace the tables of the restaurant, eating in the dining area amid others doing the same. Safety of all concerned, diners and staff, is the deciding factor for Frank Shi, owner of the storied Chinese eatery.

Talking to restaurant owners is a fun gig, mostly. That’s because most owners have a fun time doing what they do, and it shows in the way they talk about their business. Sacred Beast’s Jeromy Lieb and wife, Bridget, are exhibit A.  Excited, passionate, enthusiastic.  

We have probably all heard the stories: people shipping Cincinnati’s famous chili or its stellar raspberry chocolate chip ice cream to Timbuktu, figuratively speaking, at least. Yours truly happens to know some of those wildly improbable international shipping stories are accurate events. Th…

Who would have thought it? In the throes of a crippling pandemic, sushi numbers are up at Asian Paradise. GM Rainbow, the single-named, vivacious proprietor at the eatery said this: “Sushi business is very good; increased now, during the pandemic, because people come here for dine-in and sus…