- 3384 Erie Ave., Cincinnati, OH, 45208
- Overall User Rating:
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- 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.
- Official Web Site:
Hyde Parkers rejoice at the opening of Keystone Bar and Grill. No longer does one have to drive to Covington to dine on scrumptious mac and cheese and quesadillas, to indulge in tasty libations. Ne’ermore. To celebrate this joyous occasion, I gathered a friend and my spouse and headed for that hunk of a house on Erie to experience opening weekend.
The venue: Keystone is nestled into the old home of Hyde Park Tavern on Erie Avenue, but it’s not just different by decoration from its predecessor. The restaurant got a serious facelift with a luxe bar and spacious balcony upstairs, and an expansion to the bar area downstairs.
The inside is cozy with dark wood finish all around and the occasional stained glass window, one depicting a martini glass. The sprawling stone patio looks to be a great place to spend warm evenings, but substantial fire pits kept diners warm on this chilly November evening.
There’s plenty of room to wait for your table by the door, which was necessary on this extremely busy weekend. Standing and waiting wasn’t appealing to us, so we headed to the upstairs bar for pre-dinner drinks.
The food: A place that offers specials like Macaroni Monday and Quesadilla Tuesdays can’t be bad, particularly when there are separate menus just for those two items. Since our heads were a bit toasty from the pre-meal drinks, we opted for the rich and creamy roasted red pepper hummus ($7.99), served with thick, soft-yet-crispy tortillas. My husband mitigated his hunger with a cup of gravy tomato basil soup ($3.29), which he found garlicky good.
Eager to dive into the specialty menus, I ordered the Queen City ‘Dilla ($9.99), which is a spicy little creation filled with cheese, jalapenos and Texas-style chili. To add a little extra kick, I dipped in Keystone’s in-house barbecue sauce.
My husband chose the Black Sabbath ($7.99), a mac and cheese with steak and mushrooms served in a mini iron skillet.
Amy selected something a bit more wholesome, the Drunken Ale Chicken ($14.99), covered in artichokes and a light cream sauce and served with garlic mashed potatoes.
Had it been brunch, I’d have smashed a Southwestern potato crisp or a hangover burrito, both chock full of peppery goodness.
The drinks: Keystone offers 16 beers on tap and dozens more by the bottle. The wine selection was also quite impressive. Amy and I each enjoyed a glass of Malbec ($9), just perfect for fall. My husband opted for a Founder’s IPA ($7). Again, had it been brunch time, we would have all leapt on Angry Bloody Marys, made with Absolut Peppar and a red pepper jalapeno concoction on the rim.
The verdict: Lunch and dinner masters your comfort-food craving. The booze creates your hangover. The brunch cures your hangover. Sounds like a one-stop shop to me!