Every pint of ice cream and box of candy at Aglamesis Bro's is hand-packed with family tradition. The sweet legacy stretches back to Greek immigrants Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis, who settled in Cincinnati at the beginning of the twentieth century. The brothers began making ice cream, and by 1908, they had saved enough money to open up their own parlor. More than a century later, visitors can still meet those original founders: their photographs hang inside Aglamesis Bro's two Cincinnati locations. And the decor doesn't look much different than when the Aglamesis family first opened up shop, with touches such as antique tin ceilings, tiffany lamps, and marble counters adding to the spaces' vintage charm.
The treats are just as classic as the surroundings, as a third generation of the Aglamesis family continues to make ice cream and candies with old-world recipes. Ice cream is made in the French style?incorporating egg yolks to produce rich flavor?and chocolate confections are crafted from scratch. Whether guests sample a dish of champagne sorbet, a classic banana split, or vanilla caramels, they can taste the sweet simplicity of a bygone era.
From its quaint, train depot?style building, Sharonville Depot Deli serves up a smorgasbord of sandwiches, salads, soups, and home-cooked American favorites. Guests savor turkey clubs, reubens, and BLTs or substantial hot-plate specials such as fluffy hush puppies, flaky fried fish, and smoked mac and cheese.
Aromas of roasting pine nuts, pesto sauces, and baking lasagna fill the air as chefs at Ferrari’s Little Italy and Bakery craft traditional Italian fare according to the owners' family recipes. They sprinkle the signature insalata Ferrari with cranberries, pine nuts, and gorgonzola cheese and top the pollo basilico's roasted chicken with rigatoni, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto cream sauce. Additionally, a pair of bakers slides around 150 loaves of fresh focaccia bread into their ovens each day, yielding slices topped with three colors of bell peppers, spinach, and gorgonzola cheese. These appear in glass bakery cases alongside pastries and artisan gelato from local dessert makers Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet.
Inside Ferrari's multiple dining areas, gas fireplaces flicker among exposed-brick walls, and family photos help create a homey feel. On the outdoor patio, fragrant wisteria vines climb a wooden pergola, and a picturesque fountain quietly babbles recommendations from the wine list.
Teri Scheff, a skilled ceramics sculptor and the founder of Artrageous Desserts, augments celebrations with customizable cupcakes and cakes, in traditional stacks or eye-catching original designs. Armed with a spatula and steady hand, the playful artist crafts cakes for weddings or other special occasions in the likeness of family pets, a new car, or a conventional birthday cake's long-lost twin. The bakery's mature-cake division boasts racy designs in anatomically inspired shapes and adult-themed inscriptions.
For two decades, Haute Chocolate’s dual kitchens have worked in tandem to melt down premium chocolate for more than 300 confections. The enterprise began when owner and chocolatier Lisa Cooper Holmes won a local baking contest for her fudge and semi-sweet chocolate brownies. The award not only saved her from the loser’s shameful bath in molten fudge; it inspired her to pursue a life in the dessert industry. Nowadays, Lisa’s brownies remain the shop’s centerpiece but share their display cases with Haute "Pi", peanut-butter-and-chocolate buckeyes, and chocolate-dipped treats.
Setting up shop in a formerly run-down launderette, Lavomatic Cafe provides an opportunity to dine on hearty fare without attracting uncomfortable leers from surrounding shirt-folders. Charming exposed pipes and soft tones accentuate Lavomatic’s décor, which creates a perfect setting for sampling the establishment’s well-stocked wine bar. The menu offers a modest yet satisfying selection of comforting classics with a twist, like when grandma gets tipsy and mixes acids with bases. Start with small bites such as chicken lollipops with honey mustard, bourbon barbecue sauce, and spicy garlic sauce ($8.95) or tater tots with truffle, chive, bacon, and cheddar ($7.49). Warm up with tomato bisque and grilled cheese ($7.49) or a fish sandwich with fennel apple straw on rye ($11.49). Refresh the palate with a fusion of flavors thanks to the meatloaf cupcake with country green beans and mashed potatoes ($12.95) or a pork chop with mushroom hash and red-wine caramel ($18.95). Sharable sides such as cornbread ($3.25) and mac 'n' cheese ($6.95) are also available.