Don't worry: there's no actual swamp water to be found inside Swampwater Grill. The restaurant's name instead alludes to the fact that it serves mostly seafood-centric Cajun cuisine, including everything from oyster po' boys to fried gator bites.
Cincinnati Magazine describes both of the above as "casual classics done right," but that's not to say Swampwater's culinary team doesn't ever get inventive. Their spicy Swamp Pasta, to name only one example of their creativity, brings together crab, crawfish, shrimp, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and penne pasta. And they aren't afraid to look toward the land for inspiration, smoking pulled pork and ribs over premium hardwoods. Swampwater's dining room is a perfect setting for these Southern meals, thanks to its rustic vibe, decorative crab cages, and tables reserved for brooding sailors.
A Forkable Feast provides an array of restaurant-quality meals packaged in microwave- and oven-safe containers, ready to be taken home, reheated, and devoured with all the ferocity of a sun-swallowing Fenris wolf. Signature entrees include savory veal and ricotta meatballs ($6.95), mac 'n' cheese with herbed goat cheese ($4.95), and lemon-rosemary chicken ($6.95). Assemble a full meal by partnering a lonely entree with a winsome side dish, such as succotash, creamy mashed potatoes, or lemon-orzo salad ($2.95 each). Glowing obediently behind the cashier, the brick pizza oven ushers forth crispy, wood-fired pies such as the minimalist margherita or the roasted-vegetable varietal, which employs a delectable cast of portobello mushrooms, onions, zucchini, pesto, and mozzarella ($7.50). A Forkable Feast also cooks up a reputable variety of gluten-free meals to share its edible accomplishments with the gluten averse.
Housed in a historic and picturesque building, Olives serves up a wide array of upscale American noshes in both its spacious dining area and its wood-ensconced bar. Fork brandishers can unfold the wild-mushroom-and-artichoke strudel nestled inside a greek pastry ($7.95), or savor the Berry Goat salad—teeming with mixed greens, pine nuts, and sun-dried cranberries (half size, $4.95; entree size, $7.95)—by staring at it for 48 minutes before imbibing it. The blue-cheese-encrusted new york strip ($19.95) packs a juicy wallop of carnivorous flavor inside its 12 ounces, and the Aloha Express pizza ($10.95) whisks taste buds to the Hawaiian islands on a train of pineapple, canadian bacon, red onions, and mozzarella cheese.
The first Funny Bone location opened in 1982 and has spread infectious laughter ever since. Established stars such as Drew Carey and Jerry Seinfeld have graced the stage, as well as up-and-coming talents with fresh faces, fresh routines, and that fresh pine scent. The venue also plays host to a full-service bar, where patrons may steep their sorrows in calming brews, then ingest them triumphantly.
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.
At Local's Sports Bar & Grill, the food options are numerous and appealing, but it might be the party room that's most appetizing. In that private space, guests who reserve it can lounge back in leather recliners and watch one of five flat-screen TVs. They can even enjoy it catered, as servers can tote in plates of New York strip steak or shallot-encrusted salmon, quite exquisite options at a bar scene. Local ingredients make up a significant amount of the restaurant's culinary roster, and when they're not busy making burgers, the staff celebrates sports by airing NFL Sunday Ticket, ESPN Full Court, and MLB Extra Innings.