Sunday, April 08, 2001

Diner's Journal

Make a date for dinner and a movie

By Polly Campbell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Now that Tink's Cafe has opened in Clifton, the neighborhood is undoubtedly the best place in the city for that classic date: dinner and a movie. You can park once, and stroll from food to entertainment, or vice versa. Uno's pizza, China Kitchen, Skyline, burritos from Habanero or Burrito Joe's, Ambar India, Biagio's pasta, Sitwell's coffee and the Thai Cafe all are within walking distance of the Esquire theater on Ludlow Avenue.

        If you want to eat before a movie and you don't have much time, Habanero or Burrito Joe's are both quick and good.

        But Tink's, just around the corner, takes dining up a notch with a more ambitious, eclectic menu. You can get in after the movie if you're at the restaurant by 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday or by 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

        Desserts are good at Tink's. The chocolate fondue for four would be a good stimulation for serious cinema discussion.

        Mariemont is another good date neighborhood, with dinner choices of the Dilly Deli, National Exemplar and the new Latin Quarter, all close by the Mariemont Theatre. The Latin Quarter, unlike its predecessor, Bistro Gigi, takes reservations, and it offers a bar menu of quick dishes.

        The National Exemplar has a special early bird menu so you can make it early and cheap. (Though an early-bird menu is a little humiliating, like admitting you might not even make it to 10 o'clock).

        But you're more likely to be going to a movie at one of the multiplexes on I-275, in which case your options are more difficult. Many suburban chain restaurants don't take reservations, and you can easily be asked to wait, on a weekend, for about the running time of Titanic. If you were to time it right, you could pick up a beeper at Bahama Breeze in Springdale and take in a movie at Showcase Cinemas Springdale across the parking lot before you hear a beep. I wouldn't recommend it, however, as the beeper beeps continuously once you're away from the restaurant's front door. Better to simply go to dinner after the late show, when the clamor at the restaurant has died down.

        Most efficient of all is to eat dinner and see a movie at the same time, which you can do at the Cinema Grills on Mount Lookout Square and in Covedale — if you don't mind chicken wings and jalapeno poppers for dinner.
       Contact Polly Campbell at 768-8376; fax: 768-8330; e-mail: Cincinnati.Com keyword: Campbell.



Shakespeare Festival's backstage drama
CCO conductor branches out next season
CSO spends part of summer on campus
Peeps sweet for prankster
Prize possessions
Work a privilege for StarShine nurse
KENDRICK: Alive and well
MCGURK: Film notes
Reality check
Taking food seriously
- Diner's Journal
MARTIN: Foodstuff
'Blow' dealer a modern pirate
Children's Theatre looks to grow
Demanding SCPA teacher sad to leave 'her kids'
Get to it