Hi guys! Can you believe it’s Monday already? It always happens so fast. We hope you had a great weekend. We sure did, because we snuck out of town to go to our favorite restaurant … in Cincinnati! Yep, we drove eight hours round trip just to go to dinner, and it was 100% worth it. I wanted to share a few more pictures from our trip, as quick as it was.
We both really like Cincinnati and would love to try to visit more often and explore more areas. Since we seem to always be rushed whenever we’re there, we tend to stick to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood (OTR), which is really similar to Ohio City in Cleveland. It’s one of those neighborhoods that has seen major change in the last few years, becoming a hotbed of good restaurants, bars, breweries, galleries, shops and all the cool kids. It’s a lot of fun to spend a whole afternoon wandering down Vine Street and popping into the shops and stopping for happy hour. We didn’t have time to do any of that this weekend, so we just went to our absolute faves.
The food at Italian restaurant Nicola’s is so good that we don’t think twice about the eight hour drive or the hotel room we need to pay for to stay overnight. Those things are worth it literally just to have dinner. Nicola’s is an old-school, white-tablecloth, fancy restaurant. It’s been in the neighborhood for over 20 years, from way before the neighborhood was the hipster haven it is now. It’s consistently the best food we’ve ever had, and I mean anywhere in the world, including Italy. I always get the gnocchi in a four-cheese fondue and Andy always gets the bolognese. There’s also an incredible bread bowl and, of course, amazing desserts. It’s a really great night out and one that we always look forward to and dream about for weeks in advance… and weeks afterwards!
Every time we are in Cincinnati, we also make sure we have time for breakfast at Taste of Belgium, which specializes in these amazing little waffles that are perfectly carmelized on the outside with a soft interior. While there are multiple locations in the Cincinnati area, we always go to the one on Vine in OTR, where we love the atmosphere and always like to sit at the bar if possible. But be warned: it gets really crowded, so if you go be prepared to wait!
It also has the prettiest tile floor that I always have to take a picture of, even though Andy is always trying to rush me out because people are waiting for our seat. Yes, I’m that girl.
Across the street from Taste of Belgium is another of our favorite stops, MiCA 12/V, a gift shop that features the works of local artists and just the most well-curated, well-displayed collection of things. When we were there yesterday, I kept telling Andy, “I want one of everythiiiiiinnggg!” And it was totally true. From gorgeous handmade leather purses to art and housewares, there’s a little bit of everything and all of it is beautiful. My favorite is the kid’s section, which has the cutest things for kids of all ages.
We fell in love with these clocks and had to get one for the baby. Ours isn’t pictured, so we’ll show you when the nursery is ready!!! (Eek, will the nursery ever be ready??)
On the drive home from Cincinnati, we reached Columbus, which is about halfway to Cleveland, and weren’t quite hungry for a real lunch but too hungry to wait another two hours to get home, so what’s the obvious solution … ice cream! We stopped at Graeter’s in Worthington just outside of Columbus, which is just the most adorable little old town. It was especially gorgeous this time of year with the leaves at their peak of color.
So that was our weekend. It wasn’t exactly relaxing since we spent most of it driving and the rest of it trying to cram in the few things we really wanted to do, but it was sooo great to get away from normal life for a couple of days, and also separate ourselves from the open house happening at our old house, which was making us so nervous. Oh, and we also went to Ikea, because that’s what you do when you live in a town that’s two hours from the closest one. We got our crib and some other new-house things, and it was actually not crowded at all for once, which was amazing and made for a fun time.
Do you have any favorites in Cincinnati that we should check out the next time we’re in town? Even more important, would YOU drive eight hours for your favorite restaurant???
One thought on “8 Hours for Gnocchi … A Weekend in Cincinnati”
From all of us at Nicola’s – we loved reading your blog, and so appreciate the kind words about our restaurant! Thank you so much for dinning with us, we look forward to your next visit to Cincinnati. Safe travels!