Nine promising restaurants to look forward to in 2020

Photo from @theaperturecinci Instagram: Grilled branzino Northern Thai-style curry, little neck clams, gai lan, leeks, herbs, and flowers from Waterfields.

As we anticipate more restaurant openings in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, we will, once again, be spoiled for choice. From expansions by beloved local chefs, to new entries — from a nationally acclaimed chef of Korean roots, to a “boomerang” chef moving home from D.C. — here are some restaurants I’m looking forward to this year.

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New Noodle & Hot Pot restaurant near Kings Automall serves up seven kinds of soup-based delights

What this restaurant offers is nothing short of cuisine immersion. Come hungry, be prepared to cook your food at the table and eat like a “local” (as in Chongqing, near Sichuan). Best to come with a group of hungry eaters; that way, you get to sample more variety. Not all soups are spicy but if you’re a “spicy” thrillseeker, I’d recommend the “nine-box spicy” soup. The use of beef fat and more than 25 different ingredients in the stock sets the flavor and heat level off to the stratosphere. I mean it–it’s pretty much liquid fire.

Photo by G. Yek: Noodle & Hot Pot’s bone soup, left, and nine boxes spicy soup, with assorted ingredients.

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Here are 9 great Thanksgiving dining options if you can’t — or don’t want to — eat at home

Food and Thanksgiving go together like hand and glove; traditionally, the two would leisurely converge at home with family and friends. But that’s not always the case for everyone. Here are my recommendations for eating out this year. There’s a little something for everyone including those who may have to work on Thanksgiving.

Photo from WCPO File

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Three local restaurants receive national exposure

It’s not easy to be that chef or restaurant that offers incredible food, provide top-notch service, and be exemplary stewards of the community and environment. Which is why this is a big deal. For the three restaurants in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky that made the cut in Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery (TL&CC), the honor is immeasurable. It’s equivalent to taking a seat at the table with such icons as Alice Waters and Dan Barber.

Photo provided by Anne Sullivan: Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery USA Edition book cover

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Archways to Opportunity: Local students take advantage of McDonald’s tuition assistance program

I have a soft spot for education. For some students, the prospect of racking up student debt is crushing enough they sadly turn away from college. In this story, Alyssia Kelley is absolutely right–she advises college-aspiring students to “take the time to learn and explore the options…there are many, many resources out there.” McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity can be a helpful resource for some, as it has been for this dynamic young lady.

Photo provided by Kelley: Alyssia Kelley (L) and general manager Chaz Himes (R) at the Maineville McDonald’s.

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