- 3543 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH, 45226
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Hip and trendy in a strip mall. Can it be done? The owners of Green Dog Café and Buz are trying to make it possible. Their newest edition to the Columbia Tusculum shopping center, Buz, makes you feel like you are dining in Over-the-Rhine with the now-familiar long, narrow restaurant, exposed brick walls and tiny sidewalk patio.
The mood: When a friend and I walked in on a Friday after work, we were greeted by “new restaurant smell,” the friendly staff and we had the pick of almost any table. I don’t think the buzz is out yet about Buz (sorry, had to do it!). They offer live music and a late night menu on the weekends. I was happy to see that the dining room started to fill up as we were heading out to our next destination.
The food: Just being open three weeks, they are still getting their sea legs with new staff and rolling out new menu items but the menu is unique and creative. We got off to a rocky start, but overall it was a nice dinner close to home. We started with the Cheese Donuts ($10) which are like a savory beignet. The curry sauce was light and fresh to compliment the fried cheese. I would totally go back and have drinks at the bar and order these again.
Everything was a la carte, so we skipped salads and dove right into the main course. My friend opted for the Sea Buz Sea Scallops ($23) with vegetable risotto, grilled zucchini and squash and a gazpacho garnish. The portion was huge! I tried a bite of the scallops and risotto and wished I could trade plates with her. The risotto alone was my favorite.
I had the Short Ribs ($17) with root vegetables and horseradish mashed potatoes. The ribs were so tender they just fell apart with a fork and the mashed potatoes were flavorful and savory, but the entire dish was drowning in gravy broth that was too rich and made the dish a little too heavy for me.
They tempted us with Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp or Chocolate Biscotti, both served with Jeni’s ice cream, but we had to pass.
The drinks: There isn’t a drink menu yet but the wine and craft beer list is extensive with local and regional additions. I am looking forward to going back to try some new wines. Both my friend and I had the Pomegranate Martini ($6.50) made with Pom juice so it wasn’t as sweet and syrupy as others. It was crisp and balanced and took the edge off on a Friday night.
The verdict: I will be back! The owners know what they are doing, so I know they will work out the kinks. Service was casual and polite and the food and drinks were good, but the staff just needs some time to adjust to being open. I like that there are more options popping up in Columbia Tusculum/East End and look forward to trying Buz again in a few months.