Located in Price Hill, Incline Public House was erected on the site of the former Price Hill Incline. Over 140 years ago, Cincinnati was home to five inclines: each a mode of rail-based transportation that moved streetcars and passengers from the Downtown basin to the suburbs located on hillsides. Resorts were opened at the top of each incline, offering both entertainment and libations which attracted locals, tourists, and even Hollywood celebrities.
Price Hill Incline was also one of the steepest at 350 feet high and 48% grade. Of course, this makes for a gorgeous view at the modern-day restaurant, which opened in 2013. My dining companions and I ventured to Incline Public House, each with very different appetites: a foodie, a meat-and-potatoes lover, and a pescatarian (a vegetarian that also eats fish.) (Available menu and drink items are subject to change.)
We started with appetizers accompanied with one of the 50+ beers on the drink list. Two of us opted for beer cocktails: The End of Time and a Shandy-tini. Both were a unique mix of lighter beers with a splash of citrus; a refreshing complement to a summer dinner on the patio.
Our first course included four appetizers:
- Mushroom Pastry with olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, bleu cheese, candied walnuts, and basil pesto
- Shrimp Wontons with a ginger sauce
- Fried Calamari with sweet chili sauce, roasted peppers, and gremolata
- Lamb Burger Sliders with arugula, goat cheese, and cherry bourbon chutney
Both myself and the meat-loving man agreed the Lamb Burger Slider was the highlight of the meal, with its tender hand-pressed patty, fluffy bun, and palate of flavors. The Fried Calamari was a hit with our pescatarian friend and was my second favorite of the four. An order comes with plenty to share and also packs some spicy heat with each bite.
Our second round of drinks included two fizzy delights from the cocktail menu:
- Cream Soda: Southern Comfort, Stoli Vanilla, ginger ale
- Blueberry Lavender Lemonade: Stoli, agave nectar, blueberry puree, lemon juice, and lavender
The Blueberry Lavender Lemonade was our preferred drink of the night, perfect for someone looking for a fruity, light cocktail. My Cream Soda looks spot on like the classic beverage, complete with a cherry. Strong and sippable, I’d recommend this for Happy Hour and small bites.
With each of their menu items crafted from scratch in the kitchen, the mains were the most anticipated portion of the meal. I selected the Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese, which featured a generous portion of finely-pulled beef, gooey cheese, and BBQ sauce. Ms. Pescatarian opted for the Margherita Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Of course, our meat-lover ordered the House Burger, with crispy onion, bacon, and cheddar. Surprisingly, while he loved the burger, the side salad left him speechless for the rest of dinner. Never underestimate a simple bed of fresh greens!
As you settle in with your meal, be sure to take in the grand scenery the Incline Public House has to offer. From high on its perch, guests can see not only Downtown and Over-The-Rhine, but also to the West End, Northern Kentucky, Clifton and other hillside neighborhoods.
While you’re up there being mesmerized by the sunset, be sure to check out neighboring Olden View Park, which hosts occassional events. The park also includes an overlook as well as historical placards that tell the background of the area.
From 1800s classic resort to a delectable contemporary restaurant, the Price Hill Incline District has risen to the top of places to visit in Cincinnati.
Written by Paige E. Malott