Winding around the scenic Columbia Parkway, just east of Cincinnati, is the quaint town of Mariemont.
Frequently named one of the best neighborhoods in America. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2007, storybook homes edge these tree-lined streets, while the architecture of the charming town center seems reminiscent of a cozy Tudor village. Mariemont entices visitors with the perfect option for an evening out: dinner and a movie. And we're not talking about multi-plexes and chain restaurants.
An anchor of the town, the Quarter Bistro, is among the premier restaurants in the Queen City, whether you're on a romantic date or meeting friends at the bar. In the summer, the Quarter has an outdoor seating area, including a fire pit for chilly evenings, from which patrons receive the perfect vantage point for people-watching in the town center.
Far from summer thoughts, Jenny and I invited our parents to join us for dinner on a brisk winter night. After hanging our coats at the entrance, our host led us to a lovely round table in the center of the room. The Quarter's wine list is highly regarded, and we really appreciate their wide offerings of by-the-glass options, including one of our favorite Chardonnays: Rombauer. The Cuban roots of this restaurant make it essential to order their famous guacamole as a starter. For the main course, we recommend the short ribs, in any form. We tried both the 18 Hour Short Ribs featuring cipollini onion & Pecorino Romano stuffed house tortellini, spinach, wild mushroom and fingerling potato, as well as the Short Rib Tacos with pickled ramp, Asadero cheese, chili oil, guacamole and Napa cabbage. Either item is sure to please. My husband swears by the juicy Bistro Burger served with tempting truffle fries. Besides the delectable menu, this locally-owned and operated establishment prides itself on exceptional customer service, which keeps us returning time after time.
The Quarter is attached to the delightfully old-fashioned Mariemont Theatre, which often features foreign and obscure films, a welcome respite from the 25 daily showings of the latest 3D movie. Jenny and I especially enjoy British period films, and we were delighted to find the movie Albert Nobbs was showing at the proper time. Be sure to check their website for the latest releases and showtimes.
After getting our fill of English culture during the film, we couldn't resist the best ice cream parlor in town, local chain Graeter's. Cincinnati is famous for a few food items: Cincinnati-style chili, Montgomery Inn Ribs and Graeter's Ice Cream. Their signature flavor, the Black Raspberry Chip, is our absolute favorite. Its creamy texture, subtle fruit tones and ample chunks of rich chocolate is a must-try for anyone.
Mariemont is perfect for exploring any time of year. Other noteworthy attractions are the Bell Tower, Dogwood Park, the Dilly Cafe, National Exemplar Restaurant, the Tea Cozy Cottage, Mariemont Community Church and Dale Park Square. For the latest happenings and information, visit www.mariemont.org.
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