Ron Wise moving; Rondo's for sale
Ron and Mona Wise and family are moving to Switzerland to be closer to her family. (She's Irish, but her brother, sister-in-law and nieces/nephews live in/near Zurich.) Good news for them -- and the Swiss -- but bad news for the West Side.
Ron said today that it's a strictly personal decision, and that he's in talks with a potential buyer. If that doesn't work, the restaurant will be sold at auction Nov. 1. In the meantime, Rondo's is open and will continue to emphasize local and seasonal ingredients. Ron Wise's last night is Oct. 31.
Find more details here...
The owners of Rondo’s, on the Westwood-Cheviot border, are selling the restaurant and moving to Switzerland to be close to family.
Ron Wise said that if the restaurant isn’t sold by Nov. 1 – they’re currently in negotiations with a potential buyer – it will be auctioned. Worley Auctioneers and Appraisers, Inc. hasn’t listed the asking price.
“It has nothing to do with business,” Wise said of the move.
His last day at Rondo’s will be Oct. 31, but whether that’s the restaurant’s last day remains to be seen. He said the entire business – name, recipes and all – can be part of the sale. The auction is a way to ensure “we don’t have to take care of business from Switzerland.”
Wise notified his staff last Friday and has started telling customers about his decision. Until the last day, Wise plans to continue his seasonal menu of American dishes with a West Side sensibility.
He and wife, Mona, and their two children, are moving to be near Mona’s brother and his family. Ron Wise said he’s awaiting a European Union passport – Mona Wise is Irish – so he can find a job.
Rondo’s, which opened in September 2003 at 3230-3234 Harrison Ave., wasn’t able to get a liquor license until early this year, after the Census Bureau increased Cincinnati’s estimated population. The Wises live above the restaurant, the main buildings of which date to 1864.
For more information on the auction, go to http://worleyauctions.com/auction2007/november1/november107.htm
And here's more good news: In 1998, Ron Wise shared his famous bread pudding recipe with us. Here it is:
Iron Horse Bread Pudding
1/4 pound dry bread, sliced, crusts removed
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For serving: whipped cream, caramel sauce, marsala-or wine-soaked raisins (optional)
Tear bread into pieces and place in a buttered 8-by-13-inch baking dish or casserole. Place baking dish in a slightly larger dish or pan and pour water into pan until it comes up halfway to edge of baking dish. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cream, milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla in double boiler and heat gently over water while stirring. When custard begins to thicken and is warm to touch (about 99 degrees), pour through a strainer over torn bread in baking dish. Press bread down into custard with a spoon and cover baking dish with foil. (If necessary, place another oven-proof pan on top of foil to keep bread weighted down in custard during cooking.)
Place baking dish (with water bath) in oven and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until pudding is firm but still custard-textured. Remove foil during last 10 to 15 minutes of baking to brown top lightly.
Allow pudding to stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm with caramel sauce, whipped cream and sprinkle of marsala-soaked raisins, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.