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.
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.
As a teen, Ted Phillips learned to scale, clean, and fillet fish in Arcade Seafoods’ kitchen. Out front, he stocked shelves, scrubbed display cases, and mopped floors. The budding restaurateur’s devotion to Arcade Seafoods led him to purchase the business in 1992, and he’s been manning the counter ever since, as featured in the Dayton Daily News. Mr. Phillips maintains the eatery’s tradition of frying catfish, perch, and haddock in crispy batter, serving them with traditional Southern sides such as baked beans and hush puppies. :m]]
Queen City Cookies, baked in Cincinnati. Kinkead Ridge wines from Ripley. Riehle’s Select colorful popcorns from Southern Indiana. The shelves at Keegan’s Specialty Seafood Market read like an atlas of the region. The range of seafood, on the other hand, travels from around the world each day, the fresh tubs of ice brimming with sunset-hued king crab legs and live oysters. With Carabello Coffee and locally crafted wines from Kinkead Ridge filling the shop with earthy aromas and revelry, chefs in the kitchen craft a host of prepared foods. There, clams simmer in a creamy chowder base, a smoker cooks tuna belly and mahi mahi at low temperatures, and whisks dream of being used as anything other than an imaginary microphone.
At Embers, flames dance in a stacked-stone torch and gas lanterns, and atop the wicks of candles, all of which illuminate floral oil paintings and black-and-white photos of Cincinnati history. Just as the restaurant’s name evokes images of fire, so too does its menu of steaks and chops aged for 28 days. The Filet Oscar arrives at the table with a king-crab crust–a touch that tips its hat toward the restaurant’s seafood specialties. Seared scallops, grilled Scottish salmon, and broiled lobster tail grace the list, though the grill’s flames bypass the extensive sushi selections. The staff recommends pairings with one of 11 signature cocktails or wines and beers from around the world.