1212 N. Vine St.
Cincinnati Ohio 45202United States
Midwest Living Recommends
A current darling of the Cincinnati restaurant scene, trendy Senate Pub serves upgraded street food in a hipster setting.
With only a simple neon sign out front, Senate doesn't look like much from the street, but once you get in the door, you quickly realize this is a local hotspot. The minimalist decor at this adults-only restaurant-pub consists of exposed brick walls, stainless-steel trims and a bar running the length of the dining room. The eatery's main attraction is its short list of sophisticated street food, particularly knife-and-fork hot dogs with gourmet toppings like Thai peanut sauce, kimchi and poached egg. The dog of the day special came with bacon, goat cheese, barbecue sauce and caramelized onions. The hot dog itself was a little on the small side and the casing was too chewy for our taste, but the toppings and the brioche bun were delicious. Other notable a la carte offerings include fresh oysters, mussels, poutine, foie gras crme brulee and sweet potato falafel. The thick-cut duck fat fries were hot and nicely crisp, with a tasty harissa aioli on the side. The lobster mac and cheese was light on the cheese and heavy on the garlic. For dessert, our table shared beignets served hot from the deep fryer and with a sugar, cinnamon and crushed pretzel dust. The caramel mascarpone dipping sauce was the best part; we could have eaten the entire ramekin with a spoon. Just because it's a hot dog place doesn't mean it's cheap; dogs are $9 to $10 a pop, and other items run from $5 for the soup of the day to $14 for a lobster BLT. But if you're ready to splurge on something a little different, we think it's worth the price.