A new family-run, independent Butler County restaurant aims to offer a wide selection of freshly prepared culinary delights in a cozy, laid-back atmosphere.
Fireside Cafe, which opened this week at 6752 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Liberty Twp., is the work of co-owner and chef Bruno Bas, 47, a veteran of the kitchen and all things culinary since he was 11 years old.
We spoke with Bas, who was born in Italy and grew up in Turkey, as he prepared dishes during a bustling weekday lunch crowd. Here are five things we learned from that visit:
1. There’s plenty on the menu
Guests might need a while to choose from the ambitious and extensive menu, which features more than 80 different dishes, including starters, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pasta, steak, seafood, chicken, pork chops, stromboli and Italian dishes.
A “Knuckle Sandwich” features shredded pork topped with sweet carmelized onions, cheddar, Thousand Island dressing and onion straws, while an “Italion Stallion” burger features ham, banana peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara.
“When you walk in, you can have everything,” Bas said. “It’s not like ‘Oh, we have only this.’ We are not (a) steakhouse. We are not just pizza. We are not just a breakfast place.”
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2. The food is prepared and served as fresh as possible
“I make everything from scratch,” said Bas, 47, who left Kettering Grill & Café to start a locally sourced restaurant that was solely his own. “We make everything fresh. Nothing is frozen. I don’t have a freezer.”
3. The most important meal of the day is well represented
Fireside Cafe opens at 7 a.m. daily, offering a wide variety of breakfast items including “Eggcellent Specialties,” loaded skillets, six kinds of Eggs Benedict, nine omelettes and five breakfast sandwiches. Among the nine decidedly decadent “Griddle Greats” is a Bananas Foster French Toast and Apple Pie Hotcakes
4. There’s a decades-long tradition behind the pizza
The recipe for the pizza at Fireside Cafe has been in the family for more than 60 years and produces a light, fluffy crust that can be easily devoured along with all its toppings.
“Nobody can beat our pizza,” Bruno Bas said.
“When I order pizza somewhere else, people never eat the crust, never, but they like ours and they eat the whole thing,” said his wife, general manager Ayten Bas.
5. The redesigned space aims for a cozy, rustic atmosphere
Fireside Cafe seeks to distance itself from predecessor Bruno’s Pizza with a slew of renovations, including adding a pizza and pasta prep kitchen up front, raising the eatery’s ceiling, reconfiguring seating and adding a waiting area. Six flatscreen televisions are positioned in various places around the dining area to maximize guests’ ability to view a screen during a meal.
A newly constructed bar at the front of Fireside Cafe features six local and regional beers on tap, plus a selection of wines by the glass or bottle and choices of domestic or imported bottled beers.
For more information, call 513-644-9403 or visit www.firesidecincy.com.