Since I was staying for a few nights, I booked a spacious room at the Residence Inn downtown. Located in a historic apartment building, they have large rooms that are actually suites, with a kitchen/office/living room, and a separate bedroom. It felt like I had my own mini apartment. I really liked my digs.
The other perk about the Residence Inn? The rooftop bar, which is a hot spot for anyone downtown, Top of the Park. Talk about a view! And it was mine every day, if I wanted it.
It's also located across the street from a sweet little park, called Lytle Park. I'm hoping to revisit the nearby museum if I come back to the area.
For one of my evenings, I walked from my hotel to dinner at Sotto. If you blink, you might miss it, as the entrance is down in a little basement entry. Once inside, you're in Italian food heaven. I didn't have a reservation, so I sidled up to the bar, my usual m.o. when traveling solo. I overheard someone say that the next reservations available were 9:30pm, on a Tuesday night; so I recommend you get a reservation if you want to go!
I just wanted to keep it simple that night, so I ordered their bread and olive oil, as well as ragù bolognese as my main dish. The pasta was so good! I was scraping the bowl at the end... meaty too.
On another night, I took an Uber to the hip Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Multiple people recommended The Eagle, which I learned was known for its fried chicken. WINNING.
Being the wife of a brewer, I spotted 3 Floyds Zombie Dust on tap, so I did the right thing and got some to sip with my chicken. I also ordered their macaroni & cheese, because that's basically a Southern vegetable when you're eating chicken.
Do you see this chicken? See that skin? Yowza. It was served with a spicy honey, which blends with a fantastic sweetness with the salty chicken. I got white meat pieces, and it was perfectly cooked. Not overly greasy either. The macaroni was creamy and good too; almost as good as I make at home. I liked how they used a large, curly pasta noodle.
It was such a gorgeous evening in the OTR neighborhood, so I walked around to their boutiques and explored a bit. From what I gathered, the neighborhood is not one you would have visited years ago; more recently, it has had a revival, becoming a very cool neighborhood not far from downtown.
Before I left OTR, I spotted a doughnut sign wearing a mustache. Hello, Holtman's! I was going to grab a traditional donut with sprinkles, but then I was tipped off by the gal behind the counter that I needed to try their Red Velvet donut. She was so right, and that $1 donut was fantastic!
Cincinnati isn't the same city I visited when I was younger... it's better. I hope I get an opportunity to taste (literally!) more of what it has to offer.