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Mindy Trujillo

ALL/ EAT (out)

New Places to Eat in Cincinnati Part 3: Camporosso

I love it when passionate people sell me, quite passionately, a restaurant.  This is what happened with Camporosso in Ft. Mitchell, KY.  A friend of a friend, raved about Camporosso; in fact, she was quite surprised I had neither been nor heard of it.  I could tell from her sales pitch, I needed to rectify that situation as quickly as possible because if I loved it half as much as she did, I’d have new favorite pizza place!  Since then, I’ve been a few times.  While Camporosso isn’t brand new, it’s less than two years old, and in the restaurant business, that’s young.  

I love a weeknight dinner with friends!

It took all of about five minutes for my personal love affair to commence.  The waiter, without me asking, offered to whip up a mocktail for this nondrinker!  What?!  Yep . . . smitten.  Cheers to old friends and new friends!  Cheers to red wine, bourbon cocktails, and fruity mocktails!  Cheers to the start of a great meal!

Wood-fired oven imported from Italy!

Camporosso is known for wood-fired pizza; each pizza is fired in their authentic oven imported from Italy.  The dough is handmade Neapolitan dough and the fresh mozzarella is made in-house daily.  If you sit at the bar you can watch them kneading and rolling the dough.  During my various visits I’ve tried (and loved) the following:

  • Classic Margherita: crushed san marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, EVOO
  • Sopressata Hot Honey:  crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sopressata salami, local hot honey
  • The Pepper & the Pig:  crushed tomatoes, peppadew peppers, wild boar salami, fresh mozzarella
  • Buffalo Chicken and Bacon:  buffalo sauce, roasted chicken, bacon, shredded mozzarella

I am by no means an expert in wood-fired or Neapolitan pizza, but I do know what tastes good and I do know this pizza exceeded my expectations.  The ingredients are fresh, the crust is crispy and doughy in all the right places, and the pizzas are simple, yet artisan.  My friend Korie went super traditional with the Margherita because she just finished watching a special on Neapolitan pizza and evidently, the Margherita pizza is THE classic way to go (san marzaon tomatoes and all)!  She was not disappointed.  I crushed the Sopressata; the hot honey added a touch of sweet to the crust and I could not get enough.

In a second visit, I ordered The Pepper & The Pig (crushed tomatoes, peppadew peppers, wild boar salami, mozzarella) and loved it!  I’m so glad because I really wanted to try it as well as the Prosciutto & Fig (prosciutto, fig jam, gorgonzola, arugula).

Sopressata Hot Honey

The Pepper & The Pig

If you begin a meal with drinks, there is an unspoken rule which states that you must conclude with dessert.  I’m sure I read that somewhere.  We decided to share the S’more Calzone.  This was so rich it was wrong.  Wrong in all the sweet, gooey, messy, amazing ways that a S’more should be!

Does this pair well with my wine? S’more Calzone

S’more Calzone

OK. So I also tried the Bailey’s Cookies and Cream gelato, too! Yum!

Clearly, I’m in love and I cannot wait to go back again! The environment is lovely, the staff is friendly, and when the weather is warmer, the outdoor patio will be ready for me!

GO THERE (Camporosso)!  TRY THAT (Wood Fired Pizza)! 
Camporosso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

ALL/ EAT (out)

New Places to Eat in Cincinnati Part 2: Zundo Ramen

As I said in my last post, I am excited to start 2019 with a series of short posts about must-try, new(ish) restaurants in Cincinnati.  Last week I featured my first new restaurant: The Arepa Place.  This week I’m going from Colombian food to Japanese food by sharing my love of  Zundo Ramen and Donburi in downtown Cincinnati.

My husband started searching for good ramen awhile ago.  It’s funny because I used to think ramen was simply a cheap bag of hard noodles and a packet of powder that sprung to life with hot water.   I mean, that is ramen, but little did I know about real Japanese ramen. It’s far more than something college kids eat to survive!  Real ramen has a deep, rich, meaty broth that brings comfort to the soul with each sip.  It’s a perfectly cooked egg floating effortlessly on top.  It’s noodles and noodles and noodles . . .  welp, I am officially hungry now.

Dumplings

Octopus

While I do think ramen is the star of Zundo Ramen and Donburi, there are many other superstar dishes.  I haven’t had all the starters yet, but I can recommend two very highly:

  1.  Goyza- handmade pan-fried pork dumplings
  2.  Tako Yaki- broiled wheat flour balls with octopus

I really haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like dumplings, and these pork dumplings at Zundo are so delicious.  The octopus, though, wins the award for biggest surprise.  We ordered this dish because our server recommended it (pretty passionately I might add).  The menu description does not do this one justice.  Each bite, filled with octopus and Japanese mayo, is rich and creamy and savory.  Then add to that the shaved, smoked fish on top.  It’s quite a treat. Promise.

Ramen

Since I already spoke of my love affair with ramen, let me just say that my two favorite ramen dishes at the Zundo are:

  1.  Tonkotsu Ramen- Ramen and thick creamy pork broth with roast pork, soft boiled egg and green onion
  2. Spicy Miso Ramen- Ramen and spicy creamy soybean paste pork broth with roast pork, soft boiled egg and green onion

Once I learned that the chef behind Mei Japanese restaurant in Montgomery was the chef for Zundo, I knew it would be good because until Zundo opened, Mei was our favorite Japanese restaurant.  Zundo demonstrates the same refinery in a more modern setting.  Really, you should try both restaurants because the noodle dishes are stunning.  Don’t be afraid to pick up that bowl and slurp away until every single drop is finished.  It’s perfectly appropriate behavior.  And you will want to! Trust me.

Donburi

Red Bean Ice Cream

We surprised ourselves last time we ate at Zundo by not ordering ramen (which is always our go-to) and trying the Katsu Curry Rice, one of the donburi offerings.  This rice bowl dish was another recommendation from our server.  The curry is heavenly; the smell alone was intoxicating and the pork cutlets were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  This is comfort food, friends.  We finished with the Red Bean Ice Cream- I’m not certain exactly what red beans are, but I can tell you this light dessert tastes a little bit like strawberries and a little bit like cotton candy.  A perfect finish to our meal.

While Zundo is a new Cincinnati restaurant, the flavors are rich, bold, and steeped in history.  Be sure to check it out, and be ready for Part 3 of my new series soon!

GO THERE (Zundo Ramen and Donburi)!  TRY THAT (Tako Yaki, Tonkotsu Ramen)! 

Zundo Ramen & Donburi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato