We all deserve to treat ourselves to a lavish meal out (or in!) every now and then. Below, you'll find great options for your taste buds in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky; then pair it with a romantic stay at one of the region's many hotels and B&Bs!
At this wine bar and restaurant in historic downtown Milford, you'll find a menu stocked with seasonal dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. Choose from casual fare like the BBQ Burger, seafood dishes or Southern comfort food like fried chicken. Choose from more than 200 wines from around the world, and then purchase a bottle of your favorite new taste from the on-site retail store. All of this can be enjoyed either in the 20 Brix dining room, out on the covered patio during warmer months, or as carryout.
The red door of the highly-rated Boca welcomes you in from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cincinnati into a space of contemporary European and American style. The menu changes regularly so you'll always be greeted by new, exciting tastes like oysters, beef wellington, pomme souffles and more.
Nestled inside a classic narrow rowhouse in MainStrasse Village, Bouquet hangs its hat on farm-to-table fare making local and sustainable farming a cornerstone of its mission. The romantic atmosphere and large variety of wines and bourbons from which to choose pair nicely with a menu featuring charcuterie, Maple Leaf Farm duck, wagyu beef meatballs and sustainably-caught fish options. Take the food celebration home with carryout, now avaialable.
Jeff Ruby Restaurants
If you're looking for a heavenly steak, make your way to one of Jeff Ruby's three local restaurants. Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse downtown – conveniently located near the Aronoff Center for the Arts if date night includes dinner and a show – features a luxe deep-red motif and mouth-watering steaks. The Precinct is housed in a former police station in Mt. Lookout and, if you're looking for a slightly more casual outing with your one-and-only, you can sidle up to the Bar at the Precinct for a drink and some dinner. Located in an historic mansion that was once a stagecoach stopover, a casino and a gangster hideout, Carlo and Johnny in Montgomery also serves the famous steaks and seafood for which Ruby restaurants are known. Now, you can even have the The Jeff Ruby Experience delivered straight to your front door!
The Golden Lamb
The Golden Lamb has had its fair share of tenants and diners – from presidents to authors – since 1803. This 19th century inn and restaurant is filled with old-time elegance and rich history with a small-town feel in historic downtown Lebanon. Come for a simplistic and delicious meal like the golden fried chicken or the Golden Lamb roast turkey dinner, and stay for a memorable evening in one of its antique-filled hotel rooms. Carryout and curbside available.
Le Bar a Boeuf
Chef Jean Robert’s Le Bar a Boeuf restaurant is a unique and delicious French-inspired, neo-bistro focusing on beef as its heart and soul. Enjoy one of the tantalizing entrée options, or create your own unique boeuf dish (boeuf is French for "beef"). And the large patio has stunning views of the riverfront. For another impeccable fine dining options from Jean Robert, check out French Crust Cafe & Bistro at Findlay Market or Frenchie Fresh.
This Dutch-inspired and American-made steakhouse can be found in the German neighborhood of MainStrasse Village in Covington, Ky. The menu is filled with comfort food and creative dishes including a charcuterie board with cured meats and a selection of Dutch cheese, a 21-ounce cowboy ribeye, and an 8-ounce Dutch filet. In addition to two floors of inside dining, Lisse also offers outside dining on the rooftop terrace with views of the Cincinnati skyline.
Located within the boutique 21c Museum Hotel, Metropole utilizes an old-world fireplace for cooking modern dishes in an updated space. Browse the contemporary art galleries of the museum for free before or after a meal made with seasonal ingredients in dishes like seared salmon, braised short ribs, and charcuterie boards. Head up to the hotel's seasonal Cocktail Terrace for charming city views, craft beer, adult slushies, and freshly-prepared cocktails. Keep an eye out for the patrolling Yellow Penguin that shows up throughout the 21c Museum Hotel property.
Nicola’s upscale Italian restaurant has been a part of the Cincinnati region for more than two decades. Located in historic Over-the-Rhine, diners are surrounded by exposed brick walls in a warm and inviting space that is the perfect intimate setting for a memorable dining experience – like, perhaps an anniversary! Begin your meal with the delectable and unique bread basket, but save room for dishes made with fresh pasta made in-house like tagliatelle alla bolognese or potato gnocchi. Take the deliciousness to go with Nicola's carryout menu.
Orchids at Palm Court
CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19. Visit the Bar at Palm Court for cocktails and an extended food menu.
Located inside the historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Hotel, Orchids at Palm Court is full of rich French Art Deco design and even richer menu options. Ohio's only AAA 5 Diamond Restaurant is also the reason the hotel has been named Hilton’s #1 USA Food and Beverage hotel for multiple years. Choose from multi-course meals and wine pairings, or select any of the menu’s exquisite appetizer and entrée options. While you visit, take notice of the ceiling murals and rosewood paneling throughout.
Marvel at views of the city and riverfront while dining on delectable Italian dishes at Primavista in the Incline District of East Price Hill. Begin your meal with an antipasti dish like fried calamari or pasta e fagioli; then enjoy a signature dish of veal saltimbocca or penne "Cionni." With multiple awards such as Cincinnati Magazine’s “Best Italian Restaurant,” along with "Best Dining with a View," "Best Date Spot," and "Most Romantic," there is something unique and divine to love about this Cincinnati classic. The entire menu is also available for carryout along with new family-style meals.
The clean and contemporary aesthetic of this upmarket chophouse makes it a great stop for mouthwatering menu options before or after seeing a Broadway in Cincinnati show at the Aronoff Center for the Arts or visiting an exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center. Choose from a wide variety of steaks, seafood, and more, paired with a selection of wines, cocktails and beer options. Prime Cincinnati also offers curbside carryout and delivery.
Nestled in the quaint and historical Mariemont square, Quarter Bistro is the perfect location for a sophisticated yet cozy dinner. The restaurant uses locally-sourced ingredients to make up its classic, signature plates including coq au vin, seared verlasso salmon and steak frites. While you're out, enjoy the enchanting town of Mariemont with its tree-lined streets and Tudor-style buildings. Dine on the bistro's delicious offerings at home with curbside carryout.
Chef Jose Salazar’s namesake restaurant brings new heart to New American cuisine. Located in Over-the-Rhine near Washington Park, Salazar brings seasonal food with great taste and exquisite plating inside a mix of old and new atmosphere. The menu ranges from creative and refined to playful and approachable. Indulge in a hanger steak accompanied by knob onions, corn pudding, and black truffle bordelaise; or choose lighter fare like the salmon “everything” crust with cream cheese dumplings. (Menu is seasonal and subjec to change!) Enjoy more of Chef Salazar’s fine cuisine at Mita’s in downtown Cincinnati, where both the traditional and modern flavors of Spain and Latin America take the stage. Carryout orders are available at both restaurants. Click here to read more about Chef Salazar's story.
Renovated in 1987 from a vacant former general store – and before that, a boarding house, consignment shop and tavern – the Tousey House in Burlington, Ky., greets you with Southern hospitality and a menu full of hearty, traditional Southern meals. This Federalist-style house-turned-restaurant offers Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and the Tousey hot brown. Choose from other great American offerings such as chicken salad, steak and pork tenderloin. Curbside carryout is available.
Pair your delectable meal with a stay at one of the region's hotels or B&Bs. Click here to find your perfect stay.
Written by: Amber Potter and Abby Davidson