Each year Franz and I make a list of places we want to venture to, of course we don’t usually make it to all of the favored spots on the list, but the goal is to travel to at least three destinations a year ( if we can squeeze in more by doing business while traveling, since we both work at VADA GALLERY and Franz works at Fretboard Brewery, than more trips galore are in store). Some of my favorite spots are not the usual travel destinations you would think of. Some are sleepy gorgeous towns like Black Mountain, NC and others are very well known travel destinations like like Napa Valley, CA (but have you thought of visiting Napa Valley in the Fall). Check out our list of some of my go-to places for 2021-2022 – with pictures to follow from our travels there. Happy planning creatives
In every great sitcom there is a staple place where the cast gathers, to eat, drink and talk. Cincinnati and NKY seem to have many places that would be a perfect staple where a cast would gather for coffee or food. Hathaway’s diner in downtown, Cincinnati Ohio used to be located in the lower region of Carew Tower, passing the Netherlands plaza, a gorgeous hotel that even if you are a local, you should dine and stay in. Hathaways is a blast from the past, I know because I loved going there as a little girl getting ice cream and milkshakes, paired with crisp yet soft French fries for lunch. There is something so simple yet something so perfect about traveling back in time to a place where calorie counting didn’t matter, and sitting at a counter for a cheeseburger and a coke was an after the doctors appointment treat. The irony in it all should be talked about over Hathaways carrot cake and all the breakfast items. One of my favorite items on the menu right now is the “Geneva” burger with mustard and Mayo. This burger is an ode to an amazing woman who has worked her magic there and for all of us, for years. There is something special about an establishment that has warmed peoples hearts and belly’s since 1956.
If you haven’t been to the new Hathaway’s Diner location, go now, with its retro style, it’s a perfect spot for a simple milk shake lunch date – right before heading to the movies or venturing out around in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.
The city of Milford is the perfect spot to spend a Fall day or night. The quaint little shops with gorgeous candles and amazing ornaments, a witchy store, Enchanted Moments, and the Governor, one of my favorite restaurants at the moment. The Governor is a modern diner and bar nestled between the centuries-old buildings of bustling Main Street, in Milford, OH. Brothers, Paul and Neil Barraco, provide insane, brunch, lunch, and dinner. This is where the best chicken sandwich in the city resides, the GOVERNOR TSO’S FRIED CHICKEN:Buttermilk Pickle Brine. Sichuan Chili Spice,Apricot Slaw,Lemon Mayo, Cucumber. This place is a stoners dream, with beautifully constructed GOVERNOR REUBEN: Grilled Cincinnati Rye,House Pastrami, Maple 1000 Island,Toasted Swiss and Spicy Kraut. The also have a gorgeous dreamed up breakfast treat called SO JELLY: Donut Bun, Pork Sausage, Cheddar Cheese, Sunny Egg,Sweet Tomato Jam, Powdered Sugar. This place is perfect for displaying how creative our culinary scene is.
There are so many amazing items on the Governor’s menu, that I know for sure we will be back. I have to note that when going its more than charming sitting outside on the patio, its a perfect place to people watch and graze.
I love Ohio and Kentucky in the Fall, I love cooking during this season most of all. One of the newest recipes that I have created while living in this hauntingly gorgeous cobblestone lined city of Covington, Kentucky, is Covington Style Chili. I grew up eating chili, walking to the Skyline in Clifton was and still is a ritual, New York style chili was also always on the menu growing up, now I’m searching for the best chili spots on all of our travels, which has been a new tradition. So when picking out which of my recipes I would put in my first cookbook, I knew that a chili recipe was definitively going to be apart of the book, but which recipe( I have a couple chili recipes). The Covington style chili recipe has a bit of a kick, I added jalapenos, about a 1/2 cup of chili powder, cayenne pepper, sprinkled through out while stirring, and lots of diced tomatoes, onions, green peppers,and even more spices. Get ready to kick off relaxing or football watching Sundays – with this soon to be family favorite recipe. Why is this chili named Covington Style Chili? I added a bit more spice than the traditional chili that you normally find in the Cincinnati, Ohio region, and like Covington, this chili has a bit of a New Orleans flavor.
olive oil – to coat the pan when browning the ground beef
3/4 cup of unbleached flour
16 oz bag of mexican style cheese
8 oz shaved smoked gouda
sour cream 16 oz
parsley 2 teaspoons
First you will need to prepare your pan to brown the meat, by putting a couple dashes of olive oil to coat the pan, once the oil is heated brown the ground beef and add salt, pepper, chili powder, and Italian seasoning, set the heat to high/medium stirring constantly until the meat is browned. You will want to sprinkle these spices throughout the browning process. Once the meat is browned, set aside and drain the meat, and then place the browned drained meat in a separate large pot with a lid on medium heat.
Once the meat is in the large pot you can add the rest of the ingredients into the pot with the meat, stirring while adding the diced tomatoes, diced onions, diced green peppers, diced jalapenos, pasta sauce, mushrooms, chili beans. While stirring the chili add the same amount of seasoning to the chili as you did when you were browning the meat earlier. So you will basically repeat the seasoning process while stirring the ingredients by adding even more sea salt, chili powder, Creole seasoning, ground pepper, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning.
When stirring all of the ingredients of the chili together, make sure to keep the heat on low, stirring occasionally for 50 minutes, add dashes of flour throughout the cooking time to add thickness to the chili.
Top with shredded cheese and shaved smoked gouda and parsley.
***For a vegetarian take on Covington style Chili, sans the meat and add rotini pasta for a hearty taste.
Fall is still a perfect time to go bike riding, especially if you are wanting to escape the city for a bit of fresh air. I really did not get into riding bikes until recently, and it really does showcase how pretty Ohio is in the Fall. Since living abroad, and in different states in the US, I still find myself exploring the Ohio + Kentucky region, and eventually ended up moving here. 8 years later I am still finding new favorite eateries that also involve nature and activities that enhance the area even more . There is something about Ohio in the Fall that is not to be taken for granted. On our way to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, we came across a new restaurant worth heading out of the city and venturing to, Miamiville Trailyard. Miamiville trailhead is a gorgeous, modern looking building, with yummy burgers, and a great outdoor space for live music. The restaurant literally sits right off of the Miami Bike trail. With plenty of outdoor tables, and two floors of indoor space that walks out to the gorgeous outdoor space for live music. Make sure to try their Breakfast Burger, a Crisp Goetta, bacon, lettuce, American cheese and a fried egg. All of their burgers are a custom blend of fresh Chuck, Brisket, and Short Rib.Served on a toasted brioche bun with fries.Gluten Free buns are available at request. We will definitely be back, make sure to wear your biking shoes and stretchy pants!
Bar Hours – 11 am to 11 pm Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday
Bar Hours Weekends – 11 am to 11 pm
368 Center Street
Miamiville, Ohio 45147
368 Center Street, Miamiville, Ohio 45147
We are located in beautiful Miamiville. It’s only 7 minutes from downtown Montgomery, 6 minutes from Old Milford, and 11 minutes from the center of Loveland! It’s on the corner of Route 126 and Wards Corner Road, only a mile west from the 275 exit. And when you’re on a bike, it’s halfway between Milford and Loveland on the bike trail ( mm 47.5 ), and we intend to make it your favorite stop.
(Google maps displays Loveland, but it’s really Miamiville; either will get you here if you use 368 Center STREET)
We are into the start of October and with that I am on the search for, the perfect coffee spots and cafes, to whisk off to during the blustery months in Cincinnati, when I’m downtown for lunch, out for business, or looking for eats with the honey, Franz. I have been following the opening of FILLO, which is located in downtown, Cincinnati, Ohio, across the street from B&A, for sometime now on Instagram. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the many layers of decadent sweets and savories, that FILLO, had been posting all over their social media accounts. The outdoor eating area at FILLO, and gorgeous sleek interiors, purely transports you straight into a European Cafe, with the sleek design, and a perfect place to try many many eats, and ALL the coffee drinks from their imported la Cimbali expresso machine. When you arrive at FILLO, walk up to the counter to order, your eyes will be delighted with rows of spinach and feta filled spanakotyropita, sweets, and a plethora of beautiful buttery layered delights, and what it seems to be a wonderful rotating menu. I always love places that tend to try different menus with the season, or just because they want to, let your freak flag fly when it comes to experimentation with flavors and menus. My favorite dessert in the entire city right now has to be their raspberry and caramel nests. YOU HAVE to experience these purely magical bites of holiday in your mouth. The fruit, the butter, the many layers of phyllo – which mind you, equal hours of labor to accomplish these ever so perfect bites, tastes like Christmas and home. This raspberry nest has to be the most magnificent pastry in the city right now. I am also completely in love with their several varieties of baklava, the spinach and feta fillo with a wonderful watermelon and cucumber salad, and goat cheese, as well as fresh herbs.
I am also digging the ciabatta sandwich, in this sammie FILLO places their crispy uncured bacon, melted sharp cheddar, two local fresh eggs, and sun dried tomato aioli. We will definitely be going back here, and will be making a tradition of going every Tuesday to start our week off with more than a couple sweet treats, and their warm honey oat latte (they are closed on Mondays). I love starting new traditions as a newlywed, and I loved that FILLO is going to be apart of our new traditions, as our meeting spot before Franz heads off to work at Fretboard, and before I had off to work at VADA GALLERY. Its important to take little moments to appreciate life and each other, and I found while living abroad how important taking those moments for yourself and for others really is. We have a bit of Europe in Cincinnati, and FILLO even imported their espresso machine all the way from Milan, Italy. Its pretty amazing being able to open a business, and have new experiences and tastes as a newlywed in a city such as Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. These cities are full of art, full of culture, food, traditions new and old, and love. FILLO is definitely a new destination where love, attention to detail, importance in the vigor of life, food, family, and coffee come to mind. We are excited to venture back here on Tuesdays, with beautiful, fresh, spice filled aromas from across the ocean. Hope to see you there this Fall + Winter! ας φάμε!
More about FILLO – Harvested in Greece; Baked fresh in Cincinnati.
“FILLO Greek Bake Shop embodies the simplistic beauty of authentic Greek pastries; a simple gathering of native ingredients nestled within layers of carefully crafted phyllo dough, baked to a myriad of delicious golden hues. We believe our journey must begin at the very place where these savory and sweet goods have been embraced by locals for centuries – Greece!”
Using the purest natural ingredients that burst to life under the Mediterranean sun, enriched by the fertile grounds and waters of Greece, our pastries are hand crafted with love and attention to the artisanal process of these delectable treats. We believe each bite honors the rich, simplistic flavors of our Greek heritage, and we proudly bring these flavors straight to Cincinnati.
FILLO Greek Bake Shop is your culinary journey to flavors and aromas of Greek cuisine.”
Happy October 1st, lets hop into the Fall season by adventuring into pumpkin and apple picking at local Kentucky favorite, Evans Orchard. We drove from Covington, Kentucky to beautiful Georgetown, Kentucky, to visit Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, a 5th generation family farm.
This farm covers over 300 acres of Fall friendly picture worthy moments. The donuts are why we also traveled across the bluegrass state, as well as their amazing selection of pumpkins, apples, honeys, and other farm fresh goods. During the holiday season this year, we want to buy our gifts from local vendors, it’s easy to do when Evans Orchard has over 20 acres of apple, peach, and pear orchards and more than 20 acres of vegetables that are fresh-picked and sold at our Farm Market and Gift Store.
If you have kiddos, this place has an entire section full of hay rides, slides, pumpkins, and more. For the instagrammers and tik-tok lovers, there are so many amazing shots to be had, and the view of the orchard is worth the drive enough. If you are a foodie, THE DONUTS, are again, where it’s at. Evans Orchard has an amazing selection of pies, holiday decor, candles, jams, and even a cider mill, for those wanting a bit of hard and or non-alcoholic apple cider.
Looking for brilliant hand-made wooden rocking chairs? Evans orchard has beautiful locally made pieces of outdoor furniture for sale. We plan on going back again, for even more pumpkin picking, FUDGE, apple cider slushies, and to view the many horses on the way to the farm. Take a trip down to this gorgeous family run farm this weekend, it’s a great way to welcome October.
Looking for a restaurant to cozy up to this Fall? Love ramyun and sushi? Kanji, a Korean Cuisine restaurant, I have been drawn to for the past couple of weeks, has captured my heart. Kanji is owned by Inho Cha, and is located in the heart of Findlay Market ( specifically OTR ) in Cincinnati, 0hio, the flavors that accompany the beauty of the dishes, more than highlights Kanji’s take on Korean classics. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, the decor, sushi bar to my left, bar to the right, large windows overlooking the hustle and bustle of Findlay market, live music outside, shops nearby, and with an amazing aroma not to be ignored,I knew we were in for a treat. My husband, Franz, was along for the eating quest to Kangi, and ready to try all the eats. Franz is a self proclaimed ramen connoisseur, and he is pretty serious about his noodles and broth. Franz, prior to living in Covington, Kentucky, lived in L.A. for over ten years, where his love of authentic tacos and ramen, that matches mine, truly began. When heading into Kangi, each table in the restaurant is more than gorgeous to dine at, but my favorite table is to the right of the door directly by the windows. I also cannot wait until it starts getting colder outside, as a streetcar and a stroll to Kanji in the snow, with ramen and hot wasabi shumai waiting for us at the end, sounds more than wonderful.
Let’s talk about my favorite appetizer in the city right now, Kanji’s wasabi shumai (pictured at the very top of this post). These six steamed pork dumplings in a wasabi wrap and drizzled in ponzu sauce, are the perfect boom of spice. I could honestly eat about 12 of these beautiful delights, so don’t feel ashamed for ordering two orders of this damn good tiny package of heat and meat. One of my favorite dishes at Kanji right now is their Dolsot Bibimbap (pictured below) with carrots, soybean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, fried egg on top of a crispy bed of rice in a hot stone bowl with Marinated Beef purely had me in bliss. The presentation mixed with the tastes, completely won be over. This dish is definitely apart of the Kanji experience.
Another dish, Chefs Mr. Lee, Thanh Nguyen, and Letixia Cabrera have mastered that we need to talk about is Kanji’s Ramyun, which as of right now I am definitely stamping as the BEST ramyun in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their Korean-style ramen noodles and egg, in a spicy broth, with three added dumplings, really has the ability to livin’ you up, make you feel like a person again, and with each sip and slurp, you enjoy different flavors. This ramyun, I swear has magical powers, whether it’s the ingredients, or the soul that goes into making it, the recipe and energy involved in the creation of the ramen, brings in fact more than joy to the soul, and Franz said “joy to his belly too”.
Another delicious and gorgeous dish at Kanji, is the sizzling Choonchun Chicken. A stir fried, marinated chicken, with sweet potatoes, onions, green onion, carrots, sweet and spicy flavors and a rice cake – pictured at the top. We can’t wait to go back and try more dishes! We absolutely have to order the sushi, with Sushi Chefs, Juan Cabrera and Hankil Cho creating just as delicious sushi. My top picks for the next time we go are the Juanito Roll – Shrimp Tempura, Spicy crab, avocado, spicy tuna, yellowtail, and jalapeño on top with spicy mayo and eel sauce and the Santa Monica Roll- Avocado, cucumber, crab stick, topped with spicy tuna, eel sauce, spicy mayo, tempura flakes, did I mention Kanji is also half priced sushi everyday for dine in and carryout. Enjoy and you will definitely see me there.
The food scene is fiery HOT in the cities of Cincinnati, OH and NKY this Summer. The Chefs are turning out brilliant banging eats more than ever. If you are looking to put a spotlight on art and its relation to your entire existence on this planet, then you will want to check out these 20 restaurants this Summer, that are more than making a splash. With decadent flavors, colors, plating and more, these restaurants are procuring the finest farm to table eats, wine lists that pair perfectly with any course, and a staff to match the entire experience. Khora is where our food journey begins. Chef Edward Lee and Chef Kevin Ashworth, are absolutely spoiling us with wonderfully curated meats, pastries that are out of this world, memorable presentation, and the ability to put sex on the table with melt in your mouth savory and sweet eats, that more than make you fall in love. With that being said, Khora is THE dining experience you want for a romantic night out on the town. So put on those heels, buy that new outfit, and get ready for one of the most delicious moments of your life. Please check below for more restaurants taking the lead in bringing this 1920s food renaissance to 2021. Pop the champagne bottles everyone, our food scene is kicking ass and taking orders. Let’s go!