The seasonal brunch and dinner menus at Vitor’s change frequently, rotating approximately every two weeks, depending on what fresh ingredients become available to Chef Vitor Abreu. After refining his skills in such lauded establishments as Nana Grill in Dallas, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Cincinnati, and Krusty Burger in Springfield, Vitor launched his own fine-dining restaurant and bistro in Cincinnati—a place where he leans on seasonal ingredients from domestic lamb to Georgia peaches. He also coordinates a special seven-course gourmet dinner that changes each week.
While partaking in Vitor’s culinary delights, guests can also enjoy the relaxing atmosphere anchored by three unique dining rooms decorated with a European flair—from nutmeg orange and black walls with slate floors to buttercream-colored walls and rich wooden floors. This color scheme extends to a sushi bar, lounge, and cigar patio, as well as a covered patio situated between Vitor’s and the neighboring building.
Vitor’s mix of seasonal cuisine and eclectic design has earned it a steady stream of awards, including multiple commendations from Cincy Magazine and a spot on Urbanspoon’s America’s Most Popular High-End Restaurants 2012. Chef Vitor also counts celebrities such as Nick Lachey and Chef Rego from Food Network's Chopped among his fans.
With graduations, weddings, and whale-wrestling season fast approaching, a customized party cake serves as a tasty treat for groups of gathered revelers. A 10-inch party cake from Maribelle serves about 30 people, and the cakery's abundant bounty of flavors and fillings will please even the most picky cake connoisseur. Plump a lemon almond cake with red raspberry filling, or infuse a rich German chocolate cake with fresh sliced strawberries or Frangelico cream. Any combination of bakery beautifying extras—be they fresh-cut or frosting flowers, chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate curls and shavings, or curly ribbons—are included in the price, so pile on the ornamentation to construct a memorable masterpiece.
Sporting the same smiling staff since it opened in 2007, Dena's Diner dishes up a delicious menu of homemade comfort cuisine in quaint, family-friendly surroundings. Homemade soups such as Dena's award-winning sweet-corn chili ($2.95–$3.95) along with fresh salads ($2.75–$8.85) and slow-roasted meat dishes transport diners to halcyon childhood meals brimming with savory flavors and gravy-faced relatives.
Voted the best stop for chocoholics by Ohio magazine, the Dayton-based Esther Price infuses its old-fashioned chocolate concoctions with dairy-fresh cream and butter—pairing rich cocoa with several fruity and savory flavors. Sample an array of aromas with the 18-ounce light and dark assorted chocolates ($12.30), with each box containing a sampling of Esther Price's most popular pieces—coconut cream, peanut butter cream, caramel pecans, cherries, almond toppers, and more. Other options include the chocolate-coated pretzels ($9.75), which come dipped in light or white chocolate, and the 8-ounce sweetheart mints ($7.55), which offer a decadent way to freshen one's breath before a hoverboat driving test. For those who prefer their sweets minus the sucrose, the confectionary also offers plenty of sugar-free options. Tentative tasters can use the Esther Price candy key to determine what flavors are contained within each morsel before tasting.
Diane's Cake, Candy and Cookie Supplies, formerly Mergard’s, whips up delectable baked goodies in a rainbow of customizable varieties. With seven cake flavors and 15 filling options, the bakery's bevy of cupcakes takes a wild variety of forms to satisfy even the most rogue sweet teeth. Patrons can mix and match flavors to create a scrumptious cupcake combination, such as red velvet and cream cheese, chocolate and bavarian cream, or lemon and red raspberry. Alternatively, customers can forgo the cupcakes in favor of noshing on a saccharine cornucopia of two dozen sugar cookies. Available in a plethora of shapes and designs, Diane’s custom cutout cookies make welcome gifts at baby showers, birthday parties, or diet-protest rallies. Orders need to be placed seven days in advance to ensure baked goods receive proper taste-bud-pleasing training.
You can still spot founder Bill “Mr. Goodies” Dickerson strolling around the Goodies Barbecue kitchen, testing sauces and ensuring the pork, ribs, and chicken are slowly pit-smoked just right. His daughter Creola Robinson has now taken over his business, overseeing the chefs as they dry-rub meats, fry up fish, and bake peach cobbler and chess pie.
They season a tangy tomato base with dashes of brown sugar and vinegar, resulting in the hot and mild barbecue sauces that reporters from City Beat lauded as “legendary.” The barbecue artists have been perfecting these recipes since the restaurant's founding in 1986, and today, their sauce can be found on the shelves of local grocery stores and flowing out of the water fountains of select community parks.