Among the city's best bars and nightclubs according to CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati poll, The Comet draws crowds with live music, a menu of classic Mexican favorites, and a massive selection of suds. Start a salutatory mouth soiree with a plate of nachos crowned by cheese, sour cream, black beans, and jalapeños ($7.50), or begin with a salsa sampler featuring a quartet of house-made salsas, one for each of your taste buds ($5). Like savory, soft piñatas, chicken, beef, or tofu burritos come stuffed with black and/or pinto beans, rice, cheese, and salsa ($6), and chile con queso gives tortilla chips a refreshing dairy bath in white-cheese dip ($4). A Sunday brunch starting at 11 a.m. helps give the weekend a flavorful hybrid-meal finish.
With a brand-new album in the hatch and musical muscles bulging, the platinum-selling Seattle outfit Candlebox rocks out Bogarts on its spring tour. The band first made radio waves in the early '90s with breakout hits “Far Behind” and “You,” which stayed in rotation on MTV like an overzealous Wheel of Fortune spin. The group has since persevered as a vessel of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit, rising above the grunge-rock label initially applied to it by coloring its tunes with genres such as blues and jazz. Blending time-honored chart-toppers with tracks from the upcoming Love Stories & Other Musings, Candlebox burns like a box with a candle inside in a live performance fit to thrill fresh faces and longtime fans alike. Youthful, energized, and tightly wound, Southern California’s Acidic opens the show with sturdy rock anthems played with old-pro assurance.
Inside Grammer’s historic brick-encased interior, ferocious appetites seek harmonious pairings of hearty German-inspired meals and frothy brews. Handmade, warm pretzel bites dunked in beer-infused cheese ($5.99) prep palates for a parade of sandwiches, including the Sauerbraten, where beef that's been doused in a sweet-and-tangy red-wine cologne waltzes with warm bacon slaw to a familiar David Hasselhoff ballad ($7.99). Buried under a mound of sauerkraut, bratwurst or metwurst sandwiches ($5.99) join sides of spaetzle salad, in which traditional german noodles hobnob with apples, onions, and peppers under a monsoon of mustard vinaigrette ($2.50). Thirsty gullets can wash down pretzel chips ($2.50) or german potato salad ($2.50) with a glass of Hofbrau Original beer ($5.50) or Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale ($6). Peruse Grammer’s calendar for upcoming special events and happy-hour bites.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra unites compositional elegance and mainstream melodies during a trio of Pops Series performances. In February, the renowned ensemble rummages through Disney's catalog of theatrical anthems, wrapping guests in warm quilts of nostalgia with renditions of songs from The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, while big-screen excerpts regale restless eyes. Seasoned tunesmith Ellis Hall joins the symphony in March for a one-night celebration of American icon Ray Charles, escorting concertgoers through the timeless refrains of such ditties as "Hit the Road Jack" and "I Can't Stop Loving You". Springtime marks the arrival of Grammy- and Tony-winning Broadway superstar Bernadette Peters, who helps CSO close out the season with vocal conquests that caress ears like an overly affectionate aviator cap.
A sleek black-and-gold façade and the promise of frothy brews entices Mt. Adams bar-hoppers into Tavern on the Hill’s newly expanded space. Fifteen flat-screen TVs flicker with almost any sports game of patrons’ choosing, thanks to satellite TV packages such as NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB Extra Innings. Bartenders dish out draft beer from a dual-sided bar, and chefs prepare plates of classic pub cuisine, including sizzling pizza and bar bites from the late-night menu.
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.