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.
Whether you're a vino virgin or wine aficionado, one of Vintage's 100 wines is sure to tickle the tongue and glamorize the gullet. Sixty-five grapen gulpables are available by the glass, including the Sicilian Arnacio nero d'avola ($5) and the South African Jam Jar 2009 sweet shiraz ($6). Similar to most pilot-school graduations, guests can swallow three wines at once during the chardonnay flight, which includes wines from Sonoma, South Africa, and the central coast of California ($12). To complement grape blood, sippers draw from a menu of starters such as pan-seared crab cakes with corn butter and hot-sauce powder, and small plates sporting savories such as the grilled-chicken-breast sandwich ($9). Entrees entice taste buds with servings of succulent skirt steak ($17) and penne pasta ($15), or fill digestive hard drives with homemade dough disks including the medley of mozzarella, parmesan, red sauce, and oregano ($10 for a 10").
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).
The Cincinnati Film Festival showcases moving pictures from all over the globe from October 8 to October 16. Your all-day pass (a $20 value) gets you access to a full day of screenings and workshops. Start your cineday with the Shorts Block 9, a collection of short films playing at the Esquire Theater, and then hop over to Main St. Cinema to catch "Runaways: Producing In Ohio," as a panel of local industry insiders discuss the past, present, and future of Ohio film production. Locavores can cheer on hometown heroes at the Esquire during 48 Hour Film Project: Take 2, a mash-up of mini-movies produced by Cincinnati filmmakers, before indulging in behind-the-scenes voyeurism with a screening of Saturday Night, a 90-minute Saturday Night Live documentary directed by actor James Franco. The weeklong film fest's Awards Gala will be held on Friday, October 15 at Memorial Hall, where a special award will be presented to musician/TV personality/producer Nick Lachey for his contributions to the local production community. A ticket to the gala (a $25 value) gives formal-loving filmophiles an excuse to break out tuxes and ball gowns, as this gala is black-tie optional with a required tweed-based business-dress minimum. Check the program guide for a complete list of screenings. Organizers recommend you arrive at all events 30 minutes ahead of time to procure the best seats in the house, away from the permanent front-row installations of 10-gallon hats and actual honey-filled beehives.
The Cincinnati Museum Center invites Egyptophiles to "Girls Night Out with Cleopatra," an enchanting evening learning about the legendary queen and enjoying indulgent spa care. Visiting the United States for the first time, Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt enlighten visitors with nearly 150 authentic artifacts unearthed in the sands of Egypt and watery depths around ancient Alexandria. Museum-goers wander beneath colossal statues inspired by the discovery of Cleopatra's lost palace to examine the collection of items left undiscovered for nearly 2,000 years including coins, religious tokens, and unfinished papyrus-crossword puzzles.