Who doesn’t love Cincinnati summer? Seriously. Outdoor dining makes the season all the more enjoyable. Sun-bathed spaces and gentle breezes across trees. A cool drink in hand, grilled skewered goodness, and laughter with family or friends. Nothing better. Right?
Summer in Cincy comes early and stays long. Sure, you’ve got a few steamy days in the middle there. Still, prime dine-on-the-deck opportunities are plentiful from April through October. This past April saw ten days with temps above 70 degrees (F). Last October there were fifteen. It’s safe to say, although every year is different, that there will more than a few perfect-patio-prospects from late spring through early fall in this town.
Once the weather complies, the next question is where to enjoy your outdoor dining experience?
Guess the answer to that depends on what you seek. So, ask yourself. Do I want . . .
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner?
- Adult beverage options?
- A view?
- Leisurely pace or quick in/out?
- Easy parking?
- Near work, home?
- Eclectic menu or traditional fare?
Our family runs through this list regularly. When it’s a gorgeous weather day– sunny, but not too hot–and the skies are clear as far as the eye can see. When we want to eat a leisurely lunch in a spot with an incredible view–one restaurant always comes to mind. The Incline Public House.
The Incline Public House
An Outdoor Dining Favorite
Okay, short history lesson needed here. Between 1872 and 1894, Cincinnati had five inclines. They were cable cars that traveled up a steep track to the top of a hill. One incline climbed Price Hill (one of Cincy’s 52 neighborhoods). At the top sat a pretty snazzy entertainment complex, called Price Hill House. It was the perfect place to relax, dine, and gaze over the beautiful Ohio River and the city on her banks.
Here’s the connection. The Incline Public House sits atop Price Hill. It offers many of the same features as did the 19th century Price Hill House. By comparison, the feel is less glitzy, more trendy. From its wall of windows and double-tiered deck, one can survey Cincinnati’s beauty. No cable car is available to get there these day, but one is rarely needed. The food is better than your usual pub fare. The mood is relaxed, chill, even on the hottest days. It’s the perfect outdoor dining spot!
What’s on the Menu at the Incline Public House?
We tried the Margherita Pizza (pictured above). Loved the flakey, light crust, and the savory mix of tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil, and pesto. Granted this was a fairly safe choice. Had we been feeling a tad more adventurous we could have ordered the Pickled Beet and Duck Bacon Pizza or the Proscuitto Fig Pizza. Next time!
The Cast Iron Brie was a blend of raspberry coulis and softened brie. It was quite yummy spread on the golden crostinis. I actually think I could make this dish at home. Need some individual cast iron skillets to complete the look.
Another dish served in cast iron was the Mac & Cheese. The top was covered in crushed, broiled to crusty golden, Grippo BBQ Potato Chips. What is not to love about that!
Cincinnati has been the home to Grippo’s food company since its beginning in 1919. It’s great to see local companies combining their products and talents in innovative ways to highlight the best of Cincinnati.
My husband ordered the Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Being a sharing kind of guy, he let me taste test it too. The BBQ flavored meat, sitting in melted swiss and oniony goodness, was incredibly tasty. Even the onion rings were above average. Since they’re a fav of said hubby, believe me, he’s quite the connoisseur.
One caution, this is a popular spot so it might be wise to go at slightly off-peak times. Especially if you hope to garner the best table (meaning best view) as well as the best parking (meaning with a restaurant in sight).
We will return to the Incline Public House often. No doubt about it! I know you’re going to want to try it soon, too.
It tops our list of best outdoor dining spots in the city. Fantastic view, day or night. Rotating menu with plenty of unique, yummy food and drink choices. Great atmosphere for relaxing with friends and family.
When the weather is warm and you’re craving an outdoor picnic, the Incline Public House over-delivers.