Taste of Cincinnati organizers reveal 2016 Best of Taste winners

CINCINNATI — Taste of Cincinnati organizers revealed this year's Best of Taste winners on Monday and released new details about the event, which is scheduled May 28-30 on Fifth Street, Downtown.

The festival's Taste Experience, a ticketed event highlighting more than 20 boutique restaurants, will return this year with a new feature, Caterers' Corner. That corner of the Taste Experience will showcase local catering services from across the Tri-State. 

Organizers also have extended the hours of Taste of Cincinnati this year. Taste will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on May 28-29 and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 30.   

Traditionally Best of Taste awards honor Taste of Cincinnati restaurants in five categories: best entree, best appetizer, soup-salad-side, best go Vibrant healthy option and best dessert. This year the awards added the following food truck categories: best dessert, best appetizer, best go Vibrant healthy option and best entrée.

Two hundred local celebrities, chefs, professionals and foodies served as “mystery diners” who taste tested dishes throughout the city for two weeks.

This year’s winners are:

Food Truck Best Dessert:

First place: Thai lime basil pop from streetpops
Second place: Sea salted Belgian waffle with caramel sauce topped with Maker's Mark Bourbon whipped cream from Marty's Waffles
Third place: Frozen cheesecake on a stick from Sugar Snap! Sweet Treats

Food Truck Best Appetizer:

First place: Borocado martini from Urban Vistro
Second place: Mini Quesadilla from Red Sesame
Third place: 3 Meat Stroll from Adena's Beefstroll

Food Truck Best go Vibrant! Healthy Option:

First place: Korean BBQ taco from Red Sesame
Second place: Pomegranate tangerine pop from streetpops
Third place: Psycho hummus from Catch-a-Fire Pizza

Food Truck Best Entrée:

First place: Bee Sting sandwich from C'est Cheese
Second place: Carnitas taco from Urban Vistro
Third place: 12 hour braised brisket taco from Texas Joe Tex Mex

Restaurant Best Dessert:

First place: Chocolate chip/blueberry bread pudding from Bella Luna
Second place: Gourmet pops from Delicio
Third place: Cinnamon bread pudding from Alfio's Buon Cibo

Restaurant Best Appetizer:

First place: Ricotta and veal meatballs from Via Vite
Second place: Antipasto on a stick from Bella Luna
Third place: Buffalo chicken empanada from Alfio's Buon Cibo

Restaurant Best Soup-Salad-Side:

First place: Black & Blue tuna salad from Market Street Grille
Second place: Cioppino from Via Vite
Third place: Silver Ladle salad from Silver Ladle

Restaurant Best go Vibrant! Option:

First place: Wonton soup from Thai Taste
Second place: Chicken wrap from Market Street Grille
Third place: Vegetarian grape leaves from Andy's Mediterranean Grille

Restaurant Best Entrée:

First place: Teriyaki marinated sirloin from the Melting Pot
Second place: Sacchetti (stuffed shells) from Bella Luna
Third place: Five-cheese angus raviolo from Alfio's Buon Cibo

There will be 13 new eateries at this year’s Taste of Cincinnati. The full list of participating eateries (including new participants in bold) includes: Alfio's Buon Cibo; Andy's Mediterranean Grille; Bella Luna; Budina Noodle and Rice; Busken Bakery; Buona Terra; Cazadores Restaurant; Chicago Gyros; Crave; Cuban Pete Sandwiches; Delicio Coal Fired Pizza; Eddie's Southern Style BBQ; Eli's BBQ; Forno Osteria & Bar; Habanero Latin America; Izzy's; J Gumbo's; Keystone Bar & Grill; LaRosa's; Le's Pho & Sandwiches; Market Street Grille; McCormick & Schmick's Seafood & Steaks; Mecklenburg Gardens; Moerlein Lager House; Oasis Grill; Palomino; Pompillios Restaurant; Ramundo Family Sausage Co.; Silver Ladel; Skyline Chili; Thai Taste; The Melting Pot; Tom + Chee; Via Vite; Washington Platform; Wertheim's Restaurant; Adena's Beefstroll; Alabama Fish Bar; Best Thing Smokin; Bistro de Mohr; Catch-a-Fire Pizza; C'est Cheese; Empanadas Aqui; Just Jerks; Marty's Waffles; Red Sesame; Roll With It Café; streetpops; SugarSnap! Sweet Treats; Texas Joe Tex Mex; and Urban Vistro.

Thirty-six restaurants and 15 food trucks will serve a total of 265 menu items at the event hosted on Fifth Street between Vine and Sentinel. 

Last year’s Taste of Cincinnati attracted more than 550,000 people.

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