Are there Downtown restaurants you've wanted to try but perhaps didn't want to spend a lot of money -- or take the risk?
Branch out a little during Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant Week, which runs Monday through Aug. 14 and includes restaurants ranging from Arnold's Bar & Grill to Zula.
Here are my top nine must-try menus, so you can plan your week early.
D. Burnham's: D. Burnham's, located in the Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, is a hidden gem, and this $35 menu is a great way to try it. Beet salad, chili-dusted pork chops and blueberry bread pudding are highlights of the menu. Don't forget to grab a drink in the luxurious bar (a great perch to people-watch on Fourth Street) before or after your dinner. 36 E. Fourth St.
Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse: When can you ever get a discount on a Jeff Ruby steak? For $45, you'll get a salad (including the signature Freddie), your choice of entree, including a 6-ounce bone-in filet, and dessert. It's an absolute steal; that meal could easily cost double. Splurge here before summer ends. 700 Walnut St.
Kaze: Chic atmosphere, a great cocktail and wine list, and delicious sushi? Head to Kaze for a delicious $35 three-course meal, including a sushi roll or pork belly bun, soup or salad, and an entree, like the pork katsu (a breaded pork tenderloin over rice). 1400 Vine St.
Metropole: Seasonal and inventive is Metropole's game, and it's reflected in its $35 prix fixe menu: a chilled corn soup (made with fresh, seasonal Ohio corn), swordfish with tomato jam and a chocolate semifreddo with cherries and Chantilly cream are all highlights. 609 Walnut St.
Prime 47: For $35 you can try Prime 47's delicious (and in my opinion, underrated) menu: excellent lobster bisque, a variety of entrees to please meat eaters, vegetarians and pescatarians, and some inventive desserts, like a Grippo's pretzel-crusted brownie and a melty, gooey -- and trust me, irresistible -- half-baked chocolate chip cookie. 580 Walnut St.
Orchids at Palm Court: Orchids is often a "special occasion" restaurant, but any night during Restaurant Week can be special without breaking the bank. Try the house-cured ham and a braised veal cheek, then finish with a frangipane tart or chocolate budino. Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W. Fifth St.
Symphony Hotel: Tucked on 14th Street around the corner from Music Hall is the Symphony Hotel, which is not only lovely but a great place to get dinner, brunch or a drink. For Restaurant Week, it's featuring a very German menu, with smoked meats (and German potato salad), hot slaw and cherries jubilee, as well as an impressive $6 bourbon special, including Four Roses Single Barrel (my favorite) and Ridgemont Reserve 1792 Small Batch Tin Cup. 210 W. 14th St.
The Palace: Another special occasion restaurant, The Palace at the Cincinnatian Hotel is pulling out some luxe ingredients, like foie gras, for its Restaurant Week menu. I can't wait to try the tuna tartare with harissa aioli, center cut ribeye with cherries and foie, and the French toast with foie ice cream and Benton's bacon. The Cincinnatian Hotel, 601 Vine St.
The Presidents Room: Slip into this gracious space on Garfield Place for a combination of German traditions and modern sensibilities. Start with sauerkraut balls, then switch to an Asian-inspired branzino with cauliflower puree and bok choy, and finish with a buttermilk panna cotta with compressed watermelon and basil. 812 Race St.
Where are you headed for Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant Week? Let me know on Twitter: @winemedineme!