Among the most popular trends in modern dining, eating locally allows hungry patrons to not only enjoy fresh, flavorful ingredients rich with regional flare, but also to support the efforts of area farmers who produce and raise plants, seeds and livestock. Often termed “slow food” establishments for their fundamental differences from fast food chains, restaurants using locally-sourced ingredients are growing in number and popularity nationwide, including right here in Southwest Ohio. Here are just a few of the Warren County eateries serving up locally-sourced cuisine.
Located inside Miami Valley Gaming’s sprawling racino, Cin City Sea & Steak serves up an impressive array of delicious meat dishes, many of which feature locally raised beef and chicken. While seafood is not readily accessible in Warren County, the popular high-end eatery receives much of its catch fresh from nearby Lake Erie. Live micro greens, beets, and rhubarb are also procured locally, while the staff grows its own tomatoes, herbs and peppers.
Originally opened in 1803 and recently named Ohio’s most iconic restaurant, The Golden Lamb makes use of locally raised beef, Irons Fruit Farm apple butter, Maple Grove Farm maple syrup, locally purchased ramps and morels, and farm fresh eggs. Having frequented its Sunday brunch with friends over the years, I can attest that the farm fresh eggs really do make a difference–it’s one of the absolute best brunches in town.
A nationally recognized and award-winning winery, Morrow’s Valley Vineyards Winery & Brewery grows 90 percent of the grapes used in its wines. Neighboring fields provide sweet corn for the vineyard’s popular weekend cookouts when in season.
One of downtown Mason’s most popular ethnic eateries, Banana Leaf Modern Thai grows herbs and veggies on site in the garden next to its back patio. Diners, in fact, are invited to visit with the restaurant’s chefs as they pick out the ingredients. Three area greenhouses are used to grow additional herbs and veggies, ensuring access to organic produce all year long.
Nearby in Mason, Phoenician Taverna serves up authentic Lebanese cuisine utilizing ingredients from locally owned and operated vendors, while Relish Modern Tapas uses locally raised beef for its Truffle Smothered Filet and Beef Pintxos. Relish’s menu also boasts flat breads from Cincinnati’s Shadeu Breads bakery and locally grown produce when in season.
Wildflower Café, a longtime standby for organic eaters in downtown Mason, is proud to offer organic grass-fed beef, farm fresh eggs and Dogwood Farm chicken. Fresh jams and spreads from Lebanon’s Jam & Jelly Lady also make an appearance on the Wildflower menu.
Continuing the “slow food” trend, Springboro’s Boro Bistro uses tomatoes, eggplant, basil and other local produce when available, and Lovely’s Farm Market & Country Café grows its own fruits and vegetables. Guests of Heather’s Café listen to music, play trivia and enjoy locally grown seasonal items on its beautiful patio.
Last, but certainly not least, Cobblestone Village Café’s French-inspired menu features home-grown organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. Grass-fed bison from Grassroots Bison Ranch in New Paris, Ohio and fresh chicken from Tea Hills Farms in Loudonville, Ohio are just a few of the Waynesville cafe’s homegrown highlights.
Whether you’re a local fare foodie or just up for something new, you can’t go wrong with any of these locally sourced Warren County favorites. Come see what’s cooking in Ohio’s Largest Playground!