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Aug 24

New Microbrewery in Town … at Vito’s Cafe


I enjoy going to Vito's in Fort Thomas – mostly for the bread pudding and the giant wheel of cheese, not to mention the music.

Now, however, they're offering something new. Matt Wehmeyer, Mary & Vito's son, is opening a microbrewery at the restaurant. Red Ear Brewing Company has launched with Endless Summer Ale, the new house brew. Wehmeyer hopes to release a brew for each season.

It's worth heading over for Happy Hour just to try the new brew. Cheers!

Photo Credit: From Vito's Cafe


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Posted by Michelle at 12:44 pm in Beer, Beer-Guy.net, Cincinnati | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 24

Mad Men Mondays: The Stinger and The Gibson

I'm all but obsessed with the AMC show Mad Men. Last night, I heard two different cocktails mentioned on the show and I had to find out a little more about them: the Stinger and the Gibson.This has inspired me to launch a new recurring series: Mad Men Mondays. If they mention a cocktail on the Sunday night show, I'll hunt it down and give you the recipe on Monday. So, on to the cocktails …


Where did I go for the recipes? A pocket-sized 1946 book that belonged to my grandpa, called The Bartender's Friend.

The Stinger
1/3 oz white creme de menthe
1/3 oz brandy

Shake with ice and strain into 3 oz cocktail glass.

The Gibson
1/2 oz dry gin
1/2 oz Seagram's
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters

Shake with ice. Strain into 3 oz cocktail glass.

Last night, the character Roger ordered a Gibson "up."  I often order a Manhattan "up" as well, although I might say straight up instead. Here's a quick cocktail terminology glossary:

  • Neat: no ice, not mixed
  • Rocks (on the rocks): Poured over ice
  • Shaken: Shaken over ice and mixed, as required in both the Stinger and Gibson, and preferred by James Bond.
  • Stirred: The ingredients are, well, stirred instead of shaken.
  • Up / Straight Up: Mixed but not poured over ice

Photo Credit:
Photo from AMC, by Carin Baer
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Aug 21

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: Aug 22 – 28

This is a big week for wine events, including several wine dinners. Dilly Cafe (Dilly Deli) is having a special Pacific Northwest wine tasting event on Tuesday as well, culled from several days at Oregon's Pinot Camp. Friday events compete for your attention with the excellent Goddesses of the Harvest wine dinner and Crohn's and Colitis Annual Wine & Chimes event at The Bell Centre.

Tonight and tomorrow are the Brew-Ha-Ha down at Sawyer Point. The comedy is free, the beer is not. I know, it's about beer and not wine. But believe me, there are some great beers there. Last year I discovered the Hocking Hills Hefewiezen, which seemed to have banana flavors in it!

Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings,
are displayed on our calendar. The one-time events are after the jump.

If I missed anything, make sure to let me know. For information on what's going on
in Dayton, you can refer to Mark's blog at Uncorked.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Michelle at 9:15 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 20

They keep telling us we’re drinking …

Recently, there was a small amount of hubbub over the fact that Cincinnati somehow ended up #10 on Forbes Magazine's list of Hardest Drinking Cities.

At first glance, our sales would confirm that. The Ohio Division of Liquor Control released stats yesterday that show a 5% increase from the previous year's sales of spirits greater than 21% alcohol / 42 proof, for a sales figure of $729.9 million.  According to the Business Courier,

That translates to sales of 10.6 million gallons, up more than
309,000 gallons, or 3 percent, from fiscal 2008, when volume nudged up
only 1 percent.Ohioans have increased their liquor intake
by an average of more than 200,000 gallons since the division’s fiscal
1997. This year’s tally broke last year’s record year.
…On a volume basis, Ohioans bought 10.6 million gallons of scotch, vodka
and other spirits, 3 percent more than in the 2008 fiscal year.

That's a lot of scotch, vodka, and other spirits. It does not take into account beer and wine (unlike the Forbes Magazine survey). It also doesn't take into account the out-of-state liquor sales. While that is really only relevant to southern Ohio, a good deal of dollars are exchanged by Ohioans heading to the liquor stores on Kentucky side of the river.

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Posted by Michelle at 1:00 pm in Cincinnati, Cocktails, History, Local | Permalink | Comments (1)
Aug 20

Twist to reopen as Tonic Union (UPDATED)

I used to love Twist. But since the Jean-Robert Restaurant Group became the Relish Group, I've sort of avoided those locations on principle. (The principle being I love Jean-Robert.)

You may have noticed that Twist is currently closed. It will re-open in mid-September with a new name – Tonic Union – and Pigall's will re-open with a new restaurant concept. Are they renaming Pigall's? I'm not sure and I have mixed emotions about it. There's a lot of wonderful culinary history with that name, but at the same time, I don't want to possibly see the name mistreated.

The new restaurant will serve American cuisine that sort of sounds like gourmet comfort food. The Business Courier quoted Relish Group COO Justin Dean as saying, “It’s grandma’s recipes retooled with a nice little twist."

The new chef, Steven Geddes, is a Las Vegas restaurant consultant and also a Master Sommelier, which is good news. The pairings should be excellent and I expect him to have a broad understanding of how food and wine can enhance each other. The sous chef is Kyle Johnson, who recently worked for Celebrity Cruise lines. (Having just stepped off a Celebrity Cruise, I can't say I was overly impressed with their food.)

As for Twist, I'm sad to say it will be redecorated. I really hope they keep those beautiful round chandeliers that Jean-Robert ordered from France, or that somehow Jean-Robert gets to reacquire those. They were one of my favorite things at Twist, aside from the champagne.  If the Wades plan to match the decor to the food next door, I'll just cross my fingers.

UPDATED: Apparently the new name for Pigall's will be Local 127. I suppose that sort of works with Tonic Union next door, but admittedly, the whole thing sort of brings a steelworker/Allentown sort of motif to my mind.

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Posted by Michelle at 9:51 am in Cincinnati, Local, News | Permalink | Comments (1)

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