Mother's Day is coming up, and you're looking over availability of your favorite restaurants?
Ho hum. Brunch is so overdone for Mother's Day, isn't it?
Instead, try sharing a food-related experience that is a little out of the ordinary but still a great way to honor Mom or the mother figure in your life.
Does your mom love wine, beer or spirits?
The newest wine bar in Cincinnati distinguishes itself by making wine on premises, as well as carrying wines from small, family-run vineyards from across the country. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of wine with Mom on a Sunday afternoon -- especially on Mother's Day. 111 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine.
Nine Giant combines a brewery and a from-scratch kitchen for a place you can sip beers all day or just grab a meal. Nosh on pommes frites, cut in-house; fried pickles, jalapeno crab rangoon, or a grass-fed cheeseburger. It also serves brunch on Sunday, with a chili hash and a breakfast sandwich. For the beer-loving Mom, this is mecca. 6095 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge.
This neighborhood bar has some fantastic cocktails, a gorgeous outdoor patio and a friendly vibe. If Mom likes cocktails, it has everything from a Moscow Mule to an Old Fashioned, as well as a beer and wine list. Plus, there's food: Share bites like roasted garlic hummus, Servatii's pretzels or queso. 3520 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum.
Does your mom love to cook?
Artichoke, the kitchen store at Findlay Market, regularly features cooking classes. During the week of Mother's Day, Mom can learn to make macarons with Taren Kinebrew of Sweet Petit Bakery (6:30-7:30 p.m. May 11) or an Italian, vegetarian feast with Terri Schmitt (6:30-8:30 p.m. May 13, $65). Other classes -- and gift certificates -- are available on Artichoke’s website. 1824 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine.
A spectacular gift for the mother that loves to cook is the Culinary Boot Camp at MCI. Taught by local chefs (Jackson Rouse, Julie Francis and Kyle Goebel) and MCI instructors (Alan Neace and Betsy LaSorella), the class runs May 15-19 and covers everything from knife skills to stocks, butchery, sauces, soups and flavor profiles. It's really the ultimate gift. Tickets are $1,500 per person and available here: 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton.
The Cooking School just celebrated its 15th anniversary, and it’s still going strong with a full schedule of classes. The day before Mother's Day, treat Mom to a class that pairs wine with summer flavors. She'll learn to cook a five-course meal of summer dishes such as porcini-rubbed New York Strip and limoncello panna cotta, all paired with wines that range from a dry white Ribolla to an Argentinian Pinot Noir. Classes are $75 per person. 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.
Want to make an afternoon of it?
The Terrace Cafe, under new executive chef Sean White (formerly of the Celestial), is the perfect place to pause while wandering the expansive halls of CAM. White's menu isn't just finger sandwiches and tea, catering to ladies who lunch: It includes Mediterranean, Latin and Asian flavors. Try ginger sesame shrimp, al pastor tacos, or the classic chicken salad after strolling through the "Tiffany Glass" exhibit, or William Kentridge’s all-encompassing, video-based "More Sweetly Play the Dance." 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams.
Take Mom on a three-hour tour of Cincinnati food hot spots. On Mother's Day, the tour focuses on Madison Avenue and everything from shaksouka to tacos. Tickets are still available -- $59 for adults and $49 for children -- and include a local craft beer.
If you can't do a tour on Mother's Day, other tours include a Mainstrasse tour, a Cincinnati Streetcar tour and a Roebling Bridge tour. All tours are three hours long, making for a leisurely -- and delicious -- afternoon with Mom. 406 W. Sixth St. #200, Covington.