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Cincinnati Restaurant Reviews

Cincinnati cuisine is so much more than chili. There are great restaurants in town that will provide you with exceptional food in a wonderful atmosphere. This blog is a collection of reviews and personal observations from the current Cincinnati dining scene.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A few more thoughts on Cincinnati Magazine's Top 25

I continue reading Cincinnati Magazine's list of the Top 25 restaurants in town, mainly because I think Donna Covrett does a good job reviewing them. Something for me to aspire to.

But there is one thing I noticed on second glance. A sidebar states that Slims chef Patrick McCafferty has been consulting with a chef in NYC to recreate the nearby gardening techniques he uses here and using them on rooftop gardens there. Now that sounds like a great idea, and maybe reviewers there will say that you feel like you're in Cincinnati.

Not likely.

I mention that last piece because there's another sidebar in the Top 25 list that pulls up one of my pet peeves. "Restaurants that make us feel like we're in New York." I won't even mention the restaurants listed, because they're in Cincinnati.

I don't think that Donna Covrett wrote this piece, it doesn't sound like her. It was probably some copy editor's idea. This is a pet peeve of mine, as you may have picked up in earlier posts. I'll just point out that there are many restaurants I've seen described as making you feel like you're in New York even though they're in Cincinnati. If there are so many, why doesn't it feel like Cincinnati.


Anonymous Phillip Ranly said...

Agreed, that's one my great annoyances too. Even when Cincinnati or Dayton (I'm originally from Dayton) does something good people like to make it sound like it's an anomaly and doesn't really belong here. Very frustrating. I'm sorry but maybe these cities are cooler than people give them credit for.

And I've been enjoying this latest issue of Cincinnati Magazine also.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings David, Donna Covrett here. May I weigh in on your "...New York" pet peeve? I agree. Cincinnati has its own culinary identity and merit.

Though it may seem a bit like infantalizing (Look,we're wearing Big Boy Pants now!) the idea behind the "New York" category (you are partially correct, some sidebar categories were my editor's ideas, but I did indeed write them) is a result of citizens complaining that Cincinnati restaurants are not nearly as good as restaurants in New York....and San Francisco, Chicago, etc. We / I hear it all the time.

It irks the hell out of me.

That particular category was written with a bit of snarkiness, with more original copy that would have let readers in. Final edit received some slash & burn before going to print....and well... you can see it conveyed a different message.

We are not any of those cities, nor any other. I suspect this is part of the insidious low self-esteem that many of us possess about Cincinnati.

I have lived on both coasts and traveled, and can honestly say we have some great restaurants here - by any standards, in any city. Why is it so difficult for us to believe? We also have our fair share of boring pablum, but so do other more recognizeable markets.

A strong, visisble culinary/restaurant community is a vital ingredient of a city's overall economic health. If we want to compete with larger markets, we must continue to have dialogue,and to treat every dollar as if it was a "vote" (ex. I choose to spend my money in privately owned and operated establishments). The result is healthy competition that raises the bar of excellence.

Thank you and fellow bloggers for being so plugged in to the restaurant scene and caring enough to keep the conversation going.

Donna Covrett

3:14 PM  
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