The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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.


at 7:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an incredibly sad story for me...my wife and I have grown to love Rondo's!!!

at 2:33 PM Anonymous Julie said...

Terribly sad-- this is truly the one fantastic restaurant with somewhat progressive food on the west side of town.

at 2:49 PM Anonymous nicejewishgirl said...

Well, now I'm sad because I never even knew that the place existed. What other gems do I not know about?

at 8:37 PM Blogger Stepf said...

well, Mary, you're in luck: No other gems exist. Just kidding. There are tons of gems around Cincinnati. You're truly in luck because Rondo's is staying open until Oct. 31. You've got some time. :)

at 11:13 AM Anonymous nicejewishgirl said...

Stepf, I'm embarrased to say that I have never heard of the place because it's on the West side. Other than the Greek place, Sebastians, nothing on that part of town is on my radar. Sadly, I've been so busy lately that I probably won't be able to make it there before it closes. I'm definitely going to the Sacred Heart dinner this weekend though. That I'll make time for.

at 2:20 PM Anonymous julie said...

nicejewishgirl, sadly, you've covered the extent of great cuisine on the West side. I used to live near Sebastians, and still head over there for a greek salad and to hear Mrs. Sebastian tell me how pretty I am. :)

The Sacred Heart dinner is good, but you really ought to try Rondo's before it closes.

at 3:33 PM Anonymous nicejwishgirl said...

Julie, I'll try to get there before they close. I do love Sebastian's though. Now, I'm having a craving for a gyro and baklava.

at 12:10 PM Blogger foodlovrs said...

We do have another gem on this side of town! Vitor's Bistro is just south of Rondo's on Harrison Avenue. They are wonderful! Their French Toast was Best of the City and they now are open for dinner. The food is eclectic and the staff is very friendly.

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