With more than 100 chili parlors in the metro area, the landscape of Cincinnati restaurants is covered in a blanket of shredded cheddar cheese. But Cincinnati’s chili isn’t chili in the strictest sense. In fact, it would probably look unfamiliar to a lot of out-of-state chili experts—many places don’t even use the eponymous spice in their recipes. No, this regional favorite has its own tradition, one that started near the banks of the Ohio River and stretches just as long.Cincinnati Chili is an Immigrant’s TaleThe story goes like this: Greek-immigrant brothers Tom and John Kiradjieff opened up a restaurant on Vine Street in 1922. They planned to serve their native Greek food, but found themselves losing business to other downtown Cincinnati restaurants. So they Americanized one of their Greek stews with chili powder and other spices, added ground beef, and started serving it over noodles. They called their restaurant Empress Chili. The plan was a success, but more importantly, it started the Cincinnati chili craze. (The original Empress Chili has sadly closed its doors, but you can still try the original recipe across the river in Alexandria, Kentucky.)There Are Some Basic RequirementsEach Cincinnati chili restaurant puts its own spin on the dish, and the specifics of their recipes are guarded secrets. But all have some essentials: ground meat (typically beef), stock, and spices. The latter is what truly sets Cincinnati chili apart, and discerning palates can usually detect cinnamon, cumin, and even unsweetened chocolate as components.Pasta is as Easy as Three, Four, FiveThe chili by itself isn’t enough; it’s more of a topping than an entree. Spaghetti (soft, not al dente) is one of its two popular bases. The best restaurants in Cincinnati give their patrons plenty of room for customization, and it’s good to know the lingo before ordering. Three-way means chili and cheese over a heap of noodles. Four-way adds onions, and five-way throws beans into the mix. Those are the tradition, but some places, such as Blue Ash Chili, get creative. The kitchen there, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, serves a six-way with fried jalapeño caps.The Coney: Not Just an IslandDon’t call it a hot dog. Once it’s covered in a bit of mustard and a layer of Cincinnati chili, the beef or pork link in question takes on the “coney dog” moniker. Just as with spaghetti, chili parlors cap the second of Cincinnati chili’s favorite bases in onions and shredded cheddar.The Giants on the SceneIf you’ve spent the day exploring Cincinnati and now have a craving for coneys and three-ways, here’s some good news: there’s probably a Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili within walking distance. Both locally founded chains have dozens of locations in Cincinnati and its suburbs, and they serve the regional chili in all of its traditional forms. That being said…Eat Beyond the ChainsA lot of Cincinnati natives have warm, slow-cooked feelings for Skyline and Gold Star, and while these restaurants dominate the world of Cincinnati chili, they by no means tell the whole story. One of the top restaurants in Cincinnati is Camp Washington Chili, which was founded by Greek immigrants in the 1940s and was called one of the nation’s best chili spots by Bon Appétit. Also consider Price Hill Chili, another longtime favorite.Read More
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The strong, stunning Shellac polish used at numerous Cincinnati nail salons can stand up to afternoons spent tailgating for the Bengals, unpredictable Midwest winters, and everything else the Queen City throws at it. CND's Shellac polish—a veritable suit of armor for nails—can last 14 days without a chip or smudge. The formula is a hybrid of regular and gel nail polish, combining the thick, durable layers of gel with ordinary lacquer’s easy, brush-on application. Between each of Shellac’s four coats, a special, low-watt UV lamp cures the polish, drying it in seconds. Available in more than 80 shades ranging from Cream Puff to Overtly Onyx, Shellac polish is no longer new technology, but only trained technicians in a certified salon are eligible to apply it. Below are a few salons and spas in Cincinnati offering Shellac nail services.Wright NailsFeatured stylist: Kendra Wright Fun fact: Wright relies on her more than 15 years of experience to beautify nails with Shellac manicures and natural-nailcare treatments. Address: 3848 Paxton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45209Healthy Nails By JasnaFeatured stylist: Jasna Dzafer Fun fact: Dzafer’s meticulous nature exhibits itself in the intricate designs she applies, including polka dots, animal prints, and even patterns with cursive script. Address: 3612 Marburg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45208SOTO, Salon On The OhioFeatured stylist: Katy Fun fact: At 8,000 square feet, SOTO, Salon On The Ohio is one of the largest hair salons in Cincinnati and offers nail services designed for kids and men. Address: 900 Adams Crossing, Cincinnati, OH 45202Read More
In Cincinnati, concerts are synonymous with the Cincinnati Opera—at least according to history. Founded in 1920, it’s the second-oldest opera company in the United States, meaning a trip to the historic Cincinnati Music Hall is one of the most time-tested things to do in Cincinnati. A true appreciation of opera, however, might require a basic knowledge of the voices that create such a timeless aural experience. Opera singers' voices are often described using the German Fach system of vocal ranges, which classifies a voice according to its range, weight, and color. This system is complex and contains a range of 25 voices, but we’ve broken it down to the seven main voice types to listen for next time you attend Carmen or Turandot at the Cincinnati Opera: On the Women’s SideNaturally, women’s voices inhabit the top of the spectrum, starting with the highest range, soprano, whose bright, youthful tone lends itself to the roles of protagonists or heroines. A touch lower than soprano, mezzo-soprano usually correlates to motherly roles or female villains. The lowest of the female voice types, contralto, is relatively rare. (For reference, Annie Lennox is considered a nonclassical contralto.) This term is often falsely conflated with alto, which is only used to describe vocal harmonies, not solo voices.On the Men’s SideCountertenor singers usually sing in the range of a contralto or mezzo-soprano—though many achieve this through the use of falsetto or “head voice” rather than relying on their natural range. The highest of the male voices, tenors usually take the role of the opera’s protagonist, hero, or helium addict. Most male singers, however, are baritones, and as such composers write the deep, dark voice into a variety of roles, from the prankster in comedic operas to the villain in more dramatic shows. Bass singers hit the lowest notes on the scale, often lending their full, rich tones to the roles of wise, evil, or foolish old men.Vacillating Between VoicesThough most opera singers classify themselves as one voice type or another, singers often fall between two types or switch ranges throughout their career. In the same vein, some singers’ talent transcends any one definition. Case in point: Aretha Franklin stepped in for Luciano Pavarotti at a moment’s notice at the 1998 Grammy Awards, performing a soulful, soaring rendition of “Nessun dorma” in the tenor's exact range.Read More