If you love to eat, the new year is bound to be a full and happy one. A delicious assortment of restaurants and cafes are projected to open in Greater Cincinnati in 2017. Some of them are long-awaited, while others are less known but nevertheless exciting.
Here are nine restaurants in the works to look forward to in 2017:
Senate (4335 Glendale-Milford Road, Blue Ash)
The long-anticipated second Senate location is projected to open in Summit Park in Blue Ash in March. The restaurant is more than double the size of its older brother in Over-the-Rhine, seating roughly 120 inside and another 80 outside on a patio. There also will be a private dining area, along with a full bar.
The menu will be similar to its city sibling -- think gourmet hot dogs and poutine -- but with a few additions. Chef and owner Dan Wright said the Blue Ash Senate will serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday, "doing fun takes on pancakes and kick-ass breakfast sandwiches."
Urban Grill on Main (6623 Main St., Newtown)
Fans of the Urban Grill food truck will soon be able to dig into the familiar handcrafted sandwiches at a permanent location: a refurbished 1870s barn house.
Aside from sandwiches, the eatery will serve other made-from-scratch casual American fare like entree salads, appetizers and desserts. It also will feature a coffee bar and a menu of craft cocktails.
"We decided a permanent location would help people find our food more easily and more often," said co-owner Betsy Eicher.
Muse Cafe (3018 Harrison Ave., Westwood)
Westwood will soon have a coffee and wine bar with cafe fare, like paninis, cheese plates and pastries. According to one of the owners, Jeff Boley, Muse Cafe will source coffee from Deeper Roots and Seven Hills Roasters and offer drip coffee, pour-overs and espresso drinks.
"We will also offer a variety of wines, local craft beers and specialty cocktails," Boley said, adding, "We want a place where you can read a book and have a conversation with light music."
Casa Figueroa (6112 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge)
After more than a year of construction, Casa Figueroa is on track to open in 2017. The restaurant will serve a fusion of Southern Californian and Mexican cuisines with an emphasis on local sourcing.
"We will be using local and regional distributorships like Ohio Valley Food Connection, Waterfields, Carriage House Farm and Creation Gardens to ensure we are using the highest-quality ingredients," said PJ Neumann, the acting general manager.
Neumann described the restaurant format as "fine-casual full service." He also hinted that there will be some traditional and not-so-traditional takes on Mexican classics such as queso, guacamole, tacos, entrees and soups.
Share: Cheesebar (6105 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge)
The owner of the popular C'est Cheese food truck is bringing a new concept to Pleasant Ridge. Emily Frank will open a brick-and-mortar eatery that's a blend of dine-in, retail, classroom and event space.
"You'll be able to shop from our small retail section, or come in and enjoy a cheese and/or charcuterie plate, craft beer and wine," Frank said.
Retail selections will include cheeses, fresh bread, olives, wine and other accoutrements to build your own cheese tray. She also plans to offer classes on cheese fundamentals and the pairing of cheese with beer or wine.
CWC, the Restaurant (1517 Springfield Pike, Wyoming)
Caitlin Steininger and Kelly Trush, the sisters behind "Cooking with Caitlin," will soon welcome customers to their own restaurant in Wyoming.
"We plan on serving comfort food and will have a full liquor license," Steininger said.
CWC is close to opening: The sisters are already planning a nine-course dining event on Jan. 19 at the new space.
B & A Street Kitchen (1500 Race St., Over-the-Rhine)
B & A Street Kitchen will cook up a fusion of Southern and Tex-Mex cuisines, mirroring the heritage of its owners, Norma and Jim Kerns. Norma is Mexican-American and Jim hails from Kentucky.
According to executive chef Rob Stoeckle, the eatery will open for breakfast and lunch, serving specialties such as cathead biscuits, tortas and churros pancakes. For the rest of the day, B & A Street Kitchen will serve food through a walk-up window.
The eatery will not have a liquor license, but its beverage program will align with the brewery district craft theme.
"B & A will feature a draft beverage system with 20 taps to serve iced coffee, nitro coffee, iced tea, lemonade and about 15 craft sodas," Jim Kerns said. Some of the more interesting soda flavors include pineapple habanero, prickly pear and margarita.
Longfellow (1233 Clay St., Over-the-Rhine)
Mixologist Mike Stankovich is opening Longfellow, a restaurant and bar he refers to as a "cocktail cafe." The "cafe" is designed to be laid-back with a menu reminiscent of a European lunch. Patrons can look forward to items such as boquerones, liverwurst sandwiches and a seasonal roster of salads and tartines.
The kitchen is configured behind the bar and will feature an Italian hand-cranked meat slicer.
"Since our kitchen is behind the bar, everything will be super fresh, well-sourced and rustic in nature," Stankovich said. "We want to provide a middle ground between a bar with no food at all and a full-on chef-driven restaurant."
Mom N 'Em Airstream Coffee Garden (3124 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington)
Mom N 'Em in Camp Washington is, quite literally, a son's gift to his mother.
Tony Ferrari, who was born and raised in Cincinnati, made his mark in the culinary world as the chef and owner of Hillside Supper Club in San Francisco. With his newfound means, he bought the property at Colerain and Bates avenues and will transform it into a coffee garden for his hardworking mom, Theresa.
A 1969 Airstream trailer will anchor the coffee garden and serve as the main coffee shop, and the outdoor seating will accommodate roughly 30. Along with coffee, Mom N 'Em will offer simple cafe food like toast and pastries.
Grace Yek writes about food for WCPO.com. She is a certified chef-de-cuisine with the American Culinary Federation, and a former chemical engineer. Questions or comments? @Grace_Yek