Bred on Louisiana-style cooking, local restaurateur Grant Gieseler was dismayed by the lack of quality southern fare in the Cincinnati area. He and his business partner Blake Gieseler founded Bayou Fish House to introduce the area to fresh fried fish and hearty gumbo. Diners can grab meals to go or kick back at the bar or seating area and tell exaggerated tales about the biggest fish they ever ate. The eatery's walls sport a paddle, a life preserver, and various aquatic tchotchkes to remind fish of their home.
Signature service: Seafood catering service
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
In a Midwestern city that's hundreds of miles from the ocean, it can be hard to find fresh seafood. But Coastal 864's chefs hope to change that by bringing lowcountry crawfish and seafood boils to landlocked patrons. In their mobile kitchens, they cook everything from fresh crawfish imported from Louisiana to shrimp to blue crabs in a lemongrass stock, then toss the spice-rubbed morsels in a garlic butter sauce. All of their boils come with sides of roasted corn, kielbasa, and red potatoes.
They also offer drop-off catering for events such as birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and tailgates, giving patrons a break from the traditional game-day food of hot dogs cooked on a hot car radiator. Plus, they pair their Cajun creations with domestic and imported beer.
Lauded by Cincinnati magazine and CityBeat, Tony's of Cincinnati intrigues tongues with a menu loaded with specialty steaks and seafood platters. Start fresh feasts with selections from the raw bar, such as shrimp cocktail ($16) or oysters in the half shell ($2.50 each), which recount tales of the sea that Herman Melville would require twelve-hundred pages to tell. Nine ounces of juicy, center-cut filet mignon glisten next to a choice of potato ($34), and organic Scottish salmon intermingles internationally with Tuscan cannelloni-bean ragu and tomato-chardonnay broth ($30). Like a cherry atop a pile of cherries, crown the mouthwatering feast with homemade cannoli, whose crisp shell and creamy fillings take teeth for a last hurrah.