- 580 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202
- Overall User Rating:
- (11 ratings)
- 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday
- Official Web Site:
The look: Bartini's really put some effort into creating a swanky, yet inviting, atmosphere. We walked through red velvet ropes to get in and both the bouncer and bartender thanked us by adding "Miss" to our last names.
Liquor bottles behind the bar were illuminated in red while chandeliers sparkled overhead. There are three bars in two rooms: red curtains hung in a walkway between the two sections and the dance floor was a hypnotizing sea of spinning purple lights. The roped off VIP lounge area housed crisp white couches, but anyone could relax on the front patio's orange couches, for ultimate people watching.
The crowd: We walked in around 10 p.m. on a Thursday and snagged the last two seats at the bar. It was a mixed crowd of older and younger, but everyone was smartly dressed, either in professional attire or in pretty tops fit for the bar scene.
The drinks: We had missed happy hour, which is 4-8 p.m. with half-priced drinks and $5 bar bites. The martini list looked tempting, with drinks like the Sweet Tart, Orange Crush, Key Lime Pie and Smores. I chose the Sweet Teannie, made with Jeremiah Weed Tea-flavored Vodka, pink lemonade and fresh lemon juice ($12). It had a strong tea flavor. My friend went with a margarita ($7), which she said was "OK," but we both agreed our server made our drinks nice and strong.
The grub: Their kitchen served flatbread pizzas, salads and tapas. I should've gone with either the orange ginger glazed chicken lettuce wraps or the kobe beef bites, but instead picked a salad, the steak tomato with buffalo mozzarella and basil ($10).
OK, confession time: I am not a "foodie," and most bars I frequent drench cheese over something fried and call it a meal. When my steak tomatoes arrived, I honestly asked, "Where's the steak?"
My salad featured four very thick slices of tomato with a basil leaf and chunky piece of mozzarella lying on top of each one. The cheese-and-tomato combo was refreshing, just not filling.
The verdict: I'm glad Bartini's found a home in Cincinnati. Those who like sweet concoctions will enjoy the martini list, and the whole bar experience was upscale but not stuffy. I wouldn't mind checking out Salsa Night Wednesdays, with salsa dancing, a DJ, $3 Coronas and $5 mojitos.