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.
The grill at Mayday sizzles and pops as cooks forge a menu of hot dogs, gourmet sausages, and homemade sides. All-beef morsels from the Avril-Bleh & Sons meat market are crafted with the epicurean thoughtfulness of a valentine from an oompa loompa and serve as mouthwatering canvasses for artful dogs. The Mayday dog wears house-crafted spicy mustard pajamas while bouncing gleefully on a warm pretzel-bun mattress alongside caramelized onions and grilled peppers ($7.00). Choose a gourmet dog foundation ($7.25), such as chorizo or kielbasa, and pile on toppings ($1 each) that include house apricot ketchup, beer cheese, or a miniature Lamborghini. Noodles ford warm rivers of golden cheese, dodging crusty pretzel breadcrumbs in the restaurant's macaroni and cheese ($4).
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.
A Cincinnati-staple since the early 70's, Uncle Woody's Pub has built a dedicated crew of regulars with its old fashioned bar feel, classic American pub fare, and entertainment-focused atmosphere. The menu tempts guests with half-pound specialty burgers like the BBQ Bearcat or the Ragin' Cajun and guilty-pleasure appetizers such as loaded fries with cheese and bacon, and the full bar boasts daily and weekly specials. Seven flat-screen TVs and a 92-inch projection screen thrill patrons with basketball and football games, and darts and karaoke keep patrons busy on various nights throughout the week while their outside deck accommodates fair-weather revelry.
Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The Wine Guy Bistro, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
Founded in 1963 at a local YMCA, the Cincinnati Ballet grew into a major regional company by adhering to its mission to express the human experience through dance. Today, it continues upholding that vision by housing resident artists who entertain audiences with dance performances of both classic and original work. Beyond supporting local audiences and their right to clap, the Cincinnati Ballet also seeks to nurture artists through the Otto M. Budig Academy. There, a professional faculty trains aspiring performers at all skill levels. These training opportunities are supplemented by outreach programs such as CincyDance!, which provides free training and dance attire to children.
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.