Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week is upon us once again, where select regional restaurants offer three-course meals at significantly lowered prices. The promotion will run April 16-22. While you’ll see a lot of familiar names on the list — with steak, seafood and Italian fare predominant — GCRW does feature some new and different entries that we chose to highlight:
1. WE OLIVE: THE OLIVE OIL EXPERIENCE – 33 E. 6TH ST., CINCINNATI
This retailer of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, gourmet food, and wine also has a full wine bar with a lunch and dinner menu. Their three-course meal will come with suggested wine pairings.
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First Course: Stuffed Peppadews (fresh goat cheese, Genoa salami, picked African peppers, traditional aged Balsamic)
Second Course: Choose from an Orchard Salad (arugula, apples, red bell peppers, walnuts, marinated figs, goat cheese, and Meyer lemon olive oil and fig balsamic, a Caprese Panini (with roasted tomato, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, basil olive oil, and blackberry balsamic) or Artichoke Caper Flatbread (artichoke caper tapenade, mozzarella, roasted tomato, Meyer lemon olive oil and basil chiffonade).
Third Course: Blood orange brownies with house-made whip.
Suggested Wine Pairings: Jezebel White Blend, a blend of Alsatian varietals with tropical fruit and white peach flavors, or Omen Cabernet, which has notes of spice, chassis, dark cherry and dark chocolate.
GCRW Featured Cocktail: Fig & Whiskey ($9)
2. BANANA LEAF MODERN THAI – 101 E. MAIN ST., MASON
Thai food has been growing in popularity in the U.S. for years. Known for blending disparate herbs, sauces and flavors into a harmonious whole, modern Thai food is not only a reflection on Thailand but the surrounding countries that have frequently influenced it.
First Course: Choose from a Crispy Spring Roll (shrimp and pork), a Fresh Summer Roll (noodles, veggies and Thai basil) or a Chicken Satay Skewer (grilled chicken with peanut sauce).
Second Course: Choose from Banana Leaf Specialty Pad Thai (rice noodles with fresh bean sprouts, peanuts, green onion and pad Thai sauce), Dynamite Stir-fry (with baby corn, snow peas, bamboo, bell peppers, Queen Siam basil and either jasmine or brown rice or Panang Curry (with snow peas, carrots, coconut milk, Kaffir lime and either jasmine or brown rice). You can also add chicken, pork, tofu, shrimp or steak to any of these options.
Third Course: Thai tiramisu or macarons.
3. THE MELTING POT – 11023 MONTGOMERY ROAD, CINCINNATI
This chain restaurant is known for its cheese and chocolate fondues, with wine and salads, meat and seafood entrees.
First Course: Choose from a Green Goddess Cheddar Cheese Fondue or a Bacon Brie Cheese Fondue.
Second Course: Caesar or California salad.
Third Course: Filet Mignon, Teriyaki Sirloin, BBQ Pork Medallion and Chicken Potstickers will all be available with vegetable medley and dipping sauces.
GCRW Featured Cocktails: Maker’s Manhattan and Melting Pot Mule (Tito’s vodka mixed with a ginger liqueur and hints of mint and lime), both for $10.95.
4. BREW RIVER GASTROPUB – 2062 RIVERSIDE DRIVE, CINCINNATI
This pub located down (appropriately enough) by the river serves New Orleans-style American cuisine.
First Course: Choose between house-made pork rinds, smoked gouda pimento cheese or a BrewRiver salad.
Second Course: Choose between a Buttermilk Crispy Chicken SAMich (organic chicken with sweet-and-sour pickled cabbage and lemon aioli), an Oyster Po’Boy (cornmeal crust gulf oysters, pickled ginger, Sriracha aioli, and New Orleans French bread), a Landslide Burger, or a Black Bean & Chickpea Burger (with shitakes, cilantro, oats and Baharat mayo). All second-course options are served with hand-cut French fries.
Third Course: A dark chocolate “beer” brownie (local beer-infused chocolate ganache with whipped cream).
GCRW Featured Cocktails: A Maker’s Mark Mint Julep or a Blackberry Saints and Sinners Cocktail (Tito’s vodka mixed with St. Germain and blackberries).
5. MATT THE MILLERS – 9558 CIVIC CENTRE BLVD., WEST CHESTER TWP.
This Columbus-based, casual upscale eatery opened its fifth location in Kenwood in 2017, and then its sixth in the Streets of West Chester last October. Known for its flatbreads, sandwiches, steaks and craft beer, Matt the Millers is making its GCRW debut in 2018.
First Course: Choose from the Miller Salad, Bavarian Pretzel Bites, Loaded Tavern Chips (topped with blue cheese, tomatoes, bacon, scallions, white cheddar, and tarragon essence), or a bowl of soup (beer cheese, chicken noodle or tomato basil bisque).
Second Course: Choose from a 10-ounce Top Sirloin steak, Asian Salmon, Shrimp & Sausage Baked Rigatoni or a Smoked Pork Tenderloin.
Third Course: Choose from a mini-cheesecake or a mini-Oreo brownie.
For a complete list of participating restaurants, please visit https://greatercincinnatirestaurantweek.com/