Northern Kentucky
I-75 Corridor

Fine Dining in Sight of Cincinnati

The Highlands


Fast Food
Mexican Occasion

Never confuse THE Highlands, a geographic area containing the towns and suburbs on the hilltops arcing around Northern Kentucky, with Highlands, the famous high school with one of the top academic and athletic traditions in Kentucky and the nation. Highlands High School, pictured top right with its football stadium, has produced state championships, college and pro players, and coaching greats, for 100 years. Located in Fort Thomas, it also boasts some of the top test scores in the state and nation, sending graduates off to the best colleges and universities. THE Highlands offers fascinating tourist attractions, including Turfway Park, the famous thoroughbred racetrack (photo at right); Big Bone Lick, the greatest depository of dinosaur bones in North America and the source of most of the Smithsonian Institute's bone collection (above left). The small towns of The Highlands have their own excellent restaurants, many with a long history and loyal following.

Vito's Cafe in Fort Thomas is The Home Of Singing Waiters, and owner Vito hangs around talking with customers. He starts you off with the gorgonzola garlic bread, which wakes up your taste buds. They don't always have the Mushroom Soup but if they do, order it. It's a lot more delicate than most mushroom soups. One of Vito's specialties is the Eggplant Parmigiana and it's always good. Someone at your table MUST try the Bucatini All Amatriciana (thick Spaghetti, pancetta, tomatoes, olive oil, hot chili pepper and half an onion). Vito's is the only restaurant we know that serves it, and it's outstanding. But there's also Blackened Scallops, which doesn't taste too Italian but is a classic in its own right, and the Bologna Lasagna, a favorite of many local regulars. On Sunday nights, when a lot of Kentuckians are heading home from a pro game, skiing or Kings Island, Vito offers a $30 a person pre fixe dinner. You get small portions of many top menu items. If you'rer really into Italian cuisine, this is a spectacular way to wind up a weekend. Service is notoriously slow; just tolerate it. Coming up the hill from Cincinnati, turn off at the Grand Evenue exit and turn left onto Grand Ave. When it crosses Highland Avenue, turn left and look for Vito's in half a block.

The Greyhound Tavern has been serving Fort Mitchell diners since 1921 and has won more awards than any other Cincinnati restaurant. It has the best fish sandwich, onion rings, hot brown, fried chicken, etc. It was the turnaround point for trolleys heading South from Cincinnati. Of the appetizers, we like their Fried Green Tomatoes. They use a country ham / cream cheese mousse, scallions and sweet chutney. They're famous for Butch's Bean Soup, but there's also a Soup of the Day. There are eight salads, of which we like the BLT, which is three kinds of lettuce tossed with tomatoes and bacon. Most of the Greyhound regulars order the famous Fried Chicken, but we highly recommend the Walleye, which is hard to get in the Cincy area, the Cod, and the Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy. However, you can get Salmon, Ribs, Steaks, Halibut and Pork Chops. Keeping with its Old Kentucky history, four kinds of open face sandwich are offered, with the traditional Kentucky Hot Brown, hot roast beef and two kinds of turkey. The Greyhound serves a dozen burgers and sandwiches and a very good Pasta Gabriel (angel hair pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions and garlic in olive oil). Take the Fort Mitchell/Dixie Highway Exit off I-75, turn left, go a mile.

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