EntertainmentLocal A&ELocal Dining


Top 9 new restaurants in the Tri-State in 2022

Man allegedly dines and dashes, leaves bill with dates
Posted at 1:51 PM, Dec 31, 2022
and last updated 2023-01-11 12:36:15-05

CINCINNATI — One thing the Tri-State offered in 2022 was an abundance of new restaurants, bars and businesses.

The service industry continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation, but a handful of restaurant groups and business owners were able to rise above the challenges to open their establishments this year.

Based on a culmination of Yelp, OpenTable, Resy and Google reviews, here are the top 9 new restaurants in the Tri-State from 2022:

Luca Bistro

Bringing the flavors of France to Mount Adams, Luca Bistro is led by chef Frederic Maniet. The restaurant, which opened Oct. 14, sits in the former Daveed's restaurant space on Hatch Street.

Maniet has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and his menu includes an array of flavors between starters, salads, entrees, sides and more.

One Yelp reviewer said his pan-seared salmon was "perfectly cooked and well seasoned." He also said the orange creme brulee was "excellent and a huge portion for the price."

Another reviewer also noted that the ratatouille was wonderful.

Here are Luca Bistro's hours:

  • Sunday — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Monday — CLOSED
  • Tuesday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.
  • Friday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.
  • Saturday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.


Serving up classic southern cuisine, Nolia joined the swath of eateries in Over-the-Rhine in April. The restaurant sits in a small, intimate space that used to be occupied by Please.

"The restaurant feels like a higher-end place, but at the same time (it's) homey," one Yelp reviewer said.

Led by owner and chef Jeff Harris, the restaurant's menu is inspired by Harris' upbringing in New Orleans. The menu includes a raw bar, hush puppies, andouille-crusted redfish, cider-braised greens and more.

One reviewer suggested that customers go with a group and share various dishes to be able to try a little of everything.

Here are Nolia's hours:

  • Sunday — Closed
  • Monday — Closed
  • Tuesday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Friday — 5-10 p.m.
  • Saturday — 5-10 p.m.

Crown Cantina

Crown Cantina, sitting in the former Cheapside Cafe space downtown, opened in early 2022. The restaurant began as a pop-up at Crown Republic Gastropub, which is also owned by Crown Republic Restaurant Group.

The restaurant showcases "a modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine." The menu is helmed by former Nada chef Johnny Curiel, and includes a slate of tacos, as well as larger entrees and starters.

Multiple Yelp reviewers wrote about the restaurant's margaritas, especially the avocado and jalapeno margarita.

"These days, I think it is exceptionally rare to find a restaurant with all three of these: a good atmosphere, attentive service, and delicious food," one Yelp reviewer wrote. "(Crown) Cantina scored a 10/10 in all three of these areas."

Here are Crown Cantina's hours:

  • Sunday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Monday — Closed
  • Tuesday — Closed
  • Wednesday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Friday — 4:30-10 p.m.
  • Saturday — 4:30-10 p.m.


Providing an "elevated fine dining experience" for customers, MRBL opened in Bellevue toward the end of 2022. The steakhouse and sushi restaurant overlooks the Cincinnati skyline.

The "premier dining destination" serves prime, dry-aged beef from Chicago, as well as a rolling sushi and raw seafood bar curated by chef Michael Kim.

One Yelp reviewer described the dining room as "elegant and classy but not stuffy," with its sweeping views of the Ohio River and Cincinnati.

Multiple others also raved about the steaks, saying they rival longtime Cincinnati restauranteur Jeff Ruby's.

MRBL's hours are:

  • Monday — Closed
  • Tuesday — Closed
  • Wednesday — 4 p.m. to close
  • Thursday — 4 p.m. to close
  • Friday — 4 p.m to close
  • Saturday — 4 p.m. to close
  • Sunday — 4 p.m. to close

MadTree Alcove

Blending MadTree Brewing Company's brews with an expansive farm-to-table menu, Alcove quickly made its mark on the Tri-State restaurant industry following its opening in March.

The restaurant and bar sits within a building that has its own expensive history, as well. The re-energized 150-year-old building has ties to the founding of the World Series, Billboard magazine and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Its menu from executive chef Zach Leetch includes an array of options including smoked trout spread, crispy pork belly, a 24-ounce Sakura Farm strip steak and much more.

Multiple Yelp reviewers commented on the ambiance and look of the restaurant, as well as how big it was. The restaurant has its main space, which features a large bar, lounge seating, dining areas and two private dining rooms. It also has an outdoor patio — a rarity for OTR — shaded by trees that leads to a greenhouse bar.

Here are Alcove's hours:

  • Monday — 4-10 p.m.
  • Tuesday — 4-10 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 4-10 p.m.
  • Thursday — 4-10 p.m.
  • Friday — 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Saturday — 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday — 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

WATCH | MadTree's Alcove is located in one of Cincinnati's most historic buildings

Rosie's Italian

Rosie's Italian "considers mozzarella a vegetable" as chef Anthony Sitek recreates his favorite family dishes, including chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, shrimp scampi and more.

The eatery, which is owned by Crown Republic Restaurant Group, used to be Rosie's Pies and Cocktails — which opened in 2021 — and then closed and rebranded as Rosie's Italian.

One Yelp user boiled their review down to four words: "this place is fire."

Another reviewer said that if you're on the fence about Italian food, Rosie's makes the case in favor of flavor.

The hours for Rosie's Italian are:

  • Monday — Closed
  • Tuesday — Closed
  • Wednesday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Friday — 4:30-10 p.m.
  • Saturday — 4:30-10 p.m.
  • Sunday — 5-9 p.m.

W Bar + Bistro

Nestled into Westwood's growing restaurant and entertainment epicenter, W Bar + Bistro held its grand opening in November. Opened by the same owners of Ivory House, W Bar + Bistro describes itself as "a casual, all-day restaurant" with a "modern bistro menu" driven by executive chef Rob Scannell.

The restaurant sits at the corner of Harrison and Epworth avenues where Henke Winery sat for more than 25 years.

Yelp reviews showed a trend that west siders were excited to see a non-chain restaurant join the neighborhood. Multiple people boasted about the large portion sizes, as well as the variety the menu offers.

Here are W Bar + Bistro's hours:

  • Monday — Closed
  • Tuesday — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Soul Secrets

Owned and operated by Candice Holloway, Soul Secrets opened in April with Holloway growing and developing decades-old family recipes with an added modern twist.

Soul Secrets itself technically began in 2018 as a catering business out of Findlay Market, and now the brick-and-mortar restaurant along Vine Street in OTR emphasizes traditional southern platters like fried chicken, as well as a variety of vegan options.

Multiple Yelp reviewers expressed how intimate and comfortable the restaurant's atmosphere was, as well as the friendly staff.

"Just go ahead and wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze," one reviewer wrote. "That feeling right there is what this good ole southern meal felt like on my tongue and in my heart."

Soul Secrets hours are:

  • Monday — Closed
  • Tuesday — 3-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 3-9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 3-9 p.m.
  • Friday — 3-9 p.m.
  • Saturday — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday — 1-8 p.m.

Mama's On Main

Serving up all of your Italian cuisine needs, Mama's on Main broke into the Covington restaurant scene in March. The restaurant's menu includes an array of pasta, eggplant parmesan, salmon piccata, focaccia and more.

The restaurant also hosts "Mama's Mornings" every Saturday and Sunday morning starting at 9 a.m. where the staff serves Italian pastries and sweets.

Yelp reviewers raved about the pasta dishes, as well as the pastries from Mama's Mornings.

"Whoever is putting pastries together in this place is pure genius," one reviewer wrote.

Mama's On Main's hours are:

  • Monday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Tuesday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Thursday — 5-9 p.m.
  • Friday — 5-10 p.m.
  • Saturday — 5-10 p.m.
  • Sunday — 5-10 p.m.

Pepp & Dolores named among top 100 restaurants in the U.S.
Norwood's Northwood Cider Co. opens first cidery dedicated to solely craft cider
Beloved Sugar n Spice diner closes for renovations as third location opens