Amidst an atmosphere of spirited patriotism, Grande Ole Pub nullifies hunger with a menu loaded with savory wraps, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Introduce taste muscles to culinary brawn with a beef burrito adorned with enchilada sauce and cheese ($8.99), or kiss kissers with a spicy chicken and black-bean wrap ($8.95), fortified by contingents of rice and a napkin inscribed with the Scoville scale. Louisiana Purchase gumbo ($8.99) celebrates prodigious acquisitions in a meaty ensemble, and the cottage cheese and tomato salad ($4.95) houses a vegetarian dog pile inside a hollowed-out tomato.
Founded in 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra?under the direction of Louis Langr?e?has matured into one of the nation's melodic heavyweights. Not only was the ensemble the first American orchestra to tour the world, backed by the US Department of State, it also hit the road stateside, playing Carnegie Hall 47 times since 1917. With such an enormous history, it's no surprise that some of classical music's biggest names are associated with the institution. It has housed famous conductors such as Leopold Stokowski and Max Rudolf, and has premiered the works of Debussy, Mahler, Ravel, and Bart?k. It's not only responsible for introducing Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait to audiences, it also commissioned his Fanfare for the Common Man into existence. Attracting only the finest players from Ohio and around the world to its stable of musicians, the orchestra continues its second century as an ambassador of symphonic culture.
From behind a pair of baby grand pianos, two pianists take audience requests each Friday and Saturday night at The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar, urging the crowd to sing along in a display of musical showmanship. The ivory ticklers hail from all over the country and belt out popular tunes from the past 50 years that they’ve memorized by heart or tattooed on the inside of their eyelids. Onlookers seated at tables around the stage or nestled into plush couches in the lounge sip cocktails, quaff brews, and dive into salty snacks. Although the show runs on Fridays and Saturdays, drinks specials pop up each night and salsa-night Wednesdays promise copious amounts of hip shaking.
Within Anand Indian Restaurant's bustling kitchen, a team of culinary alchemists carefully blends herbs and spices for its diverse range of Indian dishes. The chefs call upon North Indian traditions to craft tandoori plates, where a special clay oven locks seasoned juices inside cuts of meat better than a mime gives directions to the highway. Meanwhile, South Indian recipes forge Uttappam, Indian-style pancakes crowned with chilis and vegetables, and dosa, thin rice crêpes bundled with savory fillings. Meanwhile, more than 20 meatless dishes offer mouthfuls of creamed lentils, house-made cheese cubes, and sweet baby carrots imbued with light spices.
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.
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.