Maplewood Kitchen & Bar | Facebook | T: @maplewoodcincy | IG: @maplewoodcincy
525 Race St. (map it!)
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Open Mon-Thurs, 7a-9p; Fri, 7a-10p; Sat, 8a-10p; Sun, 8a-9p
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Monday, February 18, 2019 at 9 a.m.
A good day of exploring has to start with a good breakfast, right? During our recent Cincinnati adventures (read about them here and here), we began Monday morning with a visit to Maplewood, another breakfast that’s long been on my list to visit.
I didn’t realize until after the fact that Maplewood is part of the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, which includes Bakersfield, Krueger’s Tavern, and The Eagle. We’ve had good experiences all around at their restaurants, and I’m particularly fond of The Eagle.
When you enter Maplewood, you’ll find a collection of menus hanging along the wall. Just grab a couple to scan while you make your way down the line. You order at the counter and then find a table. We had a little confusion over the interaction at the counter; the employee there was a little clipped and rushed us through, so we had to slow it down and ask a couple questions before we could decide.
The dining room is wide and spacious, with a bar along one wall and tall windows facing the street. We slid into one of the big wooden booths. I’m not sure how it normally is on weekends, but for a Monday morning there was plenty of room.
Maplewood offers a full espresso bar. Beth ordered a cappuccino, which overflowed the mug, but was very well made.
The restaurant also features cold-pressed juices and cocktails at brunch. We passed up on the juices, and given that it was a Monday morning… not the time for a Bloody Mary. (Although, yes, some may argue it’s the perfect time for a cocktail.)
By and large, we were very impressed with the breakfast dishes. All thoughtfully prepared and plated, interesting combinations of flavors, some familiar dishes with a new touches.
The chicken tinga features chipotle-braised chicken on a crispy tostada, with a black bean puree, charred tomatillo salsa, queso fresco, and is topped with two over easy eggs. The dish got a little too watery, but the flavors were on point.
Likewise with the lemon ricotta pancakes. They were light and fluffy, golden-browned with a hint of lemon, and topped with a berry compote, slices of fruit, and a light dusting of powdered sugar. On the side were real maple syrup and grass-fed butter.
From the starters menu, we ordered the Maplewood Toast. It’s essentially their take on avocado toast: a multigrain bread from Cincinnati’s Sixteen Bricks bakery topped with sliced avocado and a nicely balanced sweet/salty mix of crushed pistachios, a drizzle of local honey, and sea salt.
The avocado benedict uses that same Sixteen Bricks bread and tops it with two poached eggs, sliced avocado, and a rich lemon and herb emulsion.
One of my favorite bites of the meal was the bistro steak and eggs: three eggs cooked to order, Sixteen Bricks toast, hash browns, a properly done steak with a chunky (and sweeter than I expected) chimichurri sauce.
Overall, Maplewood offers a solid breakfast. The space is beautiful, the meals are nicely plated and well composed. Certainly one for a list of must-visit Cincinnati breakfasts!