Among all the new restaurants that opened in 2017, these are 9 of the best

Some were expansions; others brand new

The Cincinnati area's burgeoning dining scene continued to flourish with the addition of many quality restaurants this year.

Some were anticipated expansions of cherished concepts, while others were brand-new entries, introducing new chefs and experiences to the area.

Here are nine great ones that opened in 2017.

CWC's apple galette. (Photo provided by Cara Hummel)

CWC

It took 10 years, but Kelly MacEachen Trush and Caitlin MacEachen Steininger, the sister act behind Cooking with Caitlin, finally opened a restaurant in March.

The open kitchen holds court at CWC, churning out updated comfort food such as baby biscuits with pear-bourbon butter and jalapeno cranberry jam, sweet potato soup with chipotle-roasted pumpkin seeds and house-made pasta with thyme-brown butter sauce.

The sisters keep things hopping every third Thursday of the month with a reservations-only pop-up-style dinner.

1517 Springfield Pike, Wyoming. 513-407-3947

Bauer European Farm Kitchen's turbot with seasonal vegetables.

Bauer European Farm Kitchen

Chef Jackson Rouse did what might have been daunting for many: He transformed a former steakhouse and cocktail lounge located in a subterranean space Downtown into a rustic farm-to-table restaurant.

Rouse, a third-generation German-American, draws from his deep culinary experience and German heritage to transform local harvests into Franco-German cuisine at Bauer European Farm Kitchen. The restaurant opened in February, offering time-honored items such as tete eu cochon (head cheese), along with fresh interpretations of German fare such as sauerbraten short ribs and jaeger schnitzel.

435 Elm St., Downtown. 513-621-8555

Senate Blue Ash

Senate's expansion into Blue Ash was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings this year. When it opened in May, suburban diners got to polish off whimsical, upscale hot dogs without making the drive to the original location in Over-the-Rhine.

The menus for both are roughly the same, with one exception: Senate Blue Ash serves brunch on Sunday. The brunch menu features classic and fun items such as buttermilk pancakes with creme anglaise topped with crushed cocoa puffs, eggs Benedict and "hipster toast," topped with crushed avocados, lemon, kale and fried egg.

1100 Summit Place Drive, Blue Ash. 513-769-0099

Postmark's shrimp escabeche.

Postmark

Brad Bernstein, the chef and owner of Red Feather in Oakley, expanded his culinary stake into Clifton in August. His new restaurant, Postmark, occupies what was Harvest Bistro & Wine Bar, which also was previously La Poste and Tink's Cafe.

This New American restaurant embodies "farmhouse refined" dining and reflects Bernstein's commitment to high-quality, locally grown and produced food. Look for items such as shrimp escabeche, deckle steak roulade and any number of items from Postmark's garde manger (cold kitchen).

3410 Telford St., Clifton. 513-281-3663

Urban Grill on Main

When Urban Grill was a food truck, it proudly displayed the catchphrase "Bacon built this city." In January, bacon built a restaurant in Newtown for owners Betsy Eicher and her brother-in-law, Randy Reichelderfer.

Urban Grill on Main is located in a converted 1870s farmhouse and continues to serve food truck favorites such as the family of mac and cheese sandwiches: the "urban" and buffalo chicken. The bigger space also has allowed the duo to create a more extensive menu that includes salads, entrees and desserts -- all made from scratch.

6623 Main Street, Newtown. 513-561-8000

The Farmstand Market & Cafe

It took chef and farmer Tricia Houston several years, but she finally opened her restaurant in July. The Farmstand Market & Cafe's striking barn-red color hints at its all-in commitment to locally grown, farm-fresh food.

The menu offers salads, sandwiches, burgers and desserts, with some seasonal variations. Look for items such as cures and curds (cured meats, cheeses and accoutrements), a grass-fed burger, chorizo burger (using pork), Reuben sandwich, quesadillas, and desserts such as cheesecake and fruit cobbler.

There is also a retail space stocked with locally produced food like jams and jellies and ingredients featured in the cafe, such as bacon, eggs, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork.

9914 Old Union Road, Union, Kentucky. 859-817-1134

The Birch

Terrace Park landed a solid dining option when Brett and Aaron Tritsch opened The Birch in April. The husband-and-wife team bought the building that once housed the Yankee Dollar and converted it into a restaurant.

The Birch offers cafe dining, a retail shop stocked with craft beer and wine and (weather permitting) a game of bocce ball on the outdoor patio.

The menu maintains a focus on sandwiches and salads, including the Southern grains bowl, pork belly sliders and Birch burger. There are also sides and shareable items such as butternut squash hummus and potted pork rillettes.

702 Indian Hill Road, Terrace Park. 513-831-5678

Brown Bear's coconut cream pie.

Brown Bear Bakery

This storybook-like bakery with long sidewalks and a handsome tree in front has the heart and chops to match.

Baker and owner Blair Fornshell opened Brown Bear in June after five years of baking from her home. Fornshell makes her baked goods from scratch, drawing inspiration from her "maw maw" (grandmother), who loved to bake pies using fresh ingredients from her garden. Brown Bear's menu includes items such as coffee cake, brownies, savory scones, biscuits, tarts, salted chocolate chip cookies and all manner of pies, including cream pies, chess pies and a variety of fruit pies.

116 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-975-2142

Sartre OTR

This contemporary brasserie opened on the ground level in the south corner of the Rhinegeist Brewery building in late September. Named after Jean-Paul Sartre, the food is French by birth but free-thinking in expression -- not unlike the French philosopher.

Look for items such as poisson frit, sweet potato beignet and beet jam. The drinks are equally thoughtful, with creations such as "The Other Side of Despair" and "milk punch."

Since its opening, Sartre has added a kiosk inside Rhinegeist on the second floor offering simpler items like a cheeseburger, poutine and grilled cheese. Food is delivered to the kiosk through a pneumatic tube that connects to the restaurant.

1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-579-1910

Grace Yek writes about food for WCPO Digital. She is a certified chef-de-cuisine with the American Culinary Federation, and a former chemical engineer. Questions or comments? Connect with her on Twitter: @Grace_Yek.

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