The Hideaway, tucked in beside and behind the Northside Tavern, is one of my favorite spots for a bite to eat in Cincinnati.

First, the atmosphere is great. Super laid-back. And corky decor. We went with my parents, children of Camelot, and my mother said, “Wow, I have never seen a crocheted picture of JFK!” To which I replied, “Don’t miss the Elvis.” It is that kind of place. 

Second, The Hideaway is bring your own. This is great as it makes a meal much less expensive than that cursedly alluring wine list at most fine restaurants will allow. Oh, and if you forget to bring your favorite wine or beer, there is the Northside Tavern, literally five feet out the door.

Finally, the food is good. It is no Hugo’s, which is where we went on Saturday night ( a) I am not going to review Hugo’s as Julie at Wine Me Dine Me just did a great review, but I will score it…86! b) Don’t you love it when parents come to town?), but you certainly don’t just go there for the atmosphere. My father and wife both got one of the nightly specials, salmon with an apple risotto. I did not try the salmon, but both said it was good. I did try the apple risotto and I liked it a great deal. I am a big risotto fan, and make a pretty mean mushroom risotto. It is not a terribly difficult dish to make, but you have to put in the effort. I am a firm believer that you have to put in the forty-five minutes of stirring (switch up arms to save those biceps!) and measured liquid addings. Risotto will have the wrong texture and will not have that wonderful creamy flavor inherent in arborio rice if you don’t have the time. The folks at the Hideaway clearly put in the effort, and the acidic apple taste that they added to the risotto was a nice change of pace from the heavier risotto that I am used to.

I am sorry. I cannot for the life of me remember what my mom ordered because I was so into what…

I ordered the beef brisket with carrots and onions. I ordered this once before and it was a bit tough, but this time it was cooked perfectly, very tender and falling apart with the touch of the fork. One thing about the Hideaway’s brisket–it is not flavored in line with my mental picture of brisket, i.e. it is not a bbq brisket. The Hideaway does their brisket with a pot roast feel. The brisket meat (and the carrots and onions)  is lathered in a think, peppery gravy. Really, if you just looked at the plate and never tasted the meat, you would think you are getting a pot roast which, in my opinion, is not such a bad thing.

All in all, the Hideaway is aiming for quality comfort food in a relaxing environment. And it all works wonderfully. 

My overall score…79