More Cincinnati; Findlay Market, Cincy Museum Center,Pompilio’s

22 Jun

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Ohio’s oldest market,Findlay Market was first on our agenda for the day. Located in the Over-The-Rhine historic district it is buzzing with activity.The indoor market has about two dozen merchants, narrow aisle-ways guide you past the usual market fare; meats, cheeses, fish and produce along with specialty stalls like gelato, fudge and spices. I saw a few people walking around drinking something that was a clear green with lots of ice so I had to ask, Grass Lemonade! I found the sushi place that makes it and bought one to try, not bad, and really quite refreshing. Try the Belgian Waffles….I will say no more…….. The outdoor vendors are along the street and under a pavilion, it seemed like most of Cincinnati was at the market that day; crowds of people  carrying environmentally friendly bags filled to the top with good stuff. Artists display their wares, businesses fill the colorful historic buildings lining the market and music is in the air. Samples are abundant; jalapeno bread, sunflower sprouts, cheese, and the BEST cookies I have ever eaten in my life, seriously. She calls herself the Cookie Fairy, she must be because I have never tasted a cookie so moist, so tender, so, well, delicious anywhere. I tried samples of every flavor she had there, it was really impossible to choose, so I made Kris decide! We picked up a bag of the Birthday Cake Cookies, it was the right choice.

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The Cincinnati Museum Center is just a short drive from the market and was next our list. Originally built as the Union Terminal passenger railroad station, it was completed in 1933 at a total cost of $41.5 million…Wow! The building is spectacular, it is designed in signature Art Deco style. Step inside to view the rotunda, painted bright yellow, gold and orange it features the largest semi-dome in the western hemisphere measuring 180 ft wide and 106 ft high. Brightly colored mosaics tell Cincinatti’s history, Rookwood Pottery tiles decorate the cafe, there isn’t a nook or cranny that isn’t beautiful in this structure. The building houses the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, an Omni Max Theater, the Cincy Historical Society Library and the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Recently named one of the top 50 architecturally significant buildings in America this is one place in the city that you must visit. It is so visually stimulating you don’t know where to look first, after all the times we’ve been here I am still in awe. The museums are top notch, but to be honest with you I’d come here just to see the place. To our delight the outdoor fountain was working, it really completes the picture of what it must have been like in its heyday to pull up to the station to take a train to some far away place like Chicago or New York. Free Rotunda Tours are available, and I highly recommend taking one.

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Cincinnati is built on hills, plateaus and bluffs which provide gorgeous vistas. Our lunch plan was to go over to Hyde Park get a carry-out from Carl’s Deli and take it to Ault Park for a picnic. The weather had other plans, we ate inside instead. The only sandwich we have ever had there is the #6, a crab artichoke salad served on  a Croissant which is then grilled and served warm. The croissant is crispy on the outside, flaky inside and that crab salad is so flavorful! With that and a few sides we were all set.  The rain had let up, so we made it up to Ault Park after all  for some post lunch viewing pleasure .

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After some R&R back at the Bed and Breakfast we headed out to Cincinnati Gardens to watch our hometown Detroit Derby Girls take on the Cincinnati Black Sheep. It was an extremely exciting bout, much to the dismay of the Cincy fans, Detroit prevailed with a score of 155 to 110. Cincinnati is a great place to catch a Derby; great teams, a knowledgeable enthusiastic crowd and an awesome vintage venue!  Now for some dinner….

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We zipped back over the Ohio River into Newport Ky for a good Italian meal at Pompilio’s.  We seem to have a hard time finding restaurants that serve dinner after 10pm in Cincy, that’s not a problem here. The Italian Sampler Plate will satisfy your taste-buds with it’s variety of Italian classics. This is the good stuff; homemade meatballs, Italian sausage, and ravioli blanketed in a delectable red sauce. They make an awesome Antipasto salad too. The decor is charming and traditional, the bar area looks as if it hasn’t changed a bit since opening in 1933. Besides the mouth-watering food, the restaurant is also famous from the movie Rainman. The infamous  “toothpick” scene was filmed here in 1988.

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Across the Licking River back into CovingtonKY we stopped in for a nightcap and a little music at Dee Felice. Dee Felice was opened in 1984 by longtime Jazz drummer and band leader Dee Felice. Decorated in New Orleans style with it’s marble floor, decorative tin ceiling, and dark wood, it is the place to go for the best live Jazz in the greater Cincinnati area.  The house band here is outstanding, located on a long narrow platform behind the bar the musicians play side by side across the length, the baby grand piano the endcap.  Jazz lovers sit at the bar tapping their feet in rhythm making eye contact with the other patrons as if to say “isn’t this incredible?” And it is!

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