Give Me the Zing
Virgil’s Café, Bellevue
Étouffée to remember — tender blackened chicken and housemade andouille sausage kicks it up a notch. It’s all about a chef who loves what he does and it shows. Follow Matt Buschle on Twitter, you’ll see.

Succulent Seabass
Grandview Tavern & Grille, Fort Mitchell
Sure, go for the happy hour and the live music. But don’t leave without indulging in the perfectly-prepared seabass or an unforgettable grilled 12 oz. Duroc Pork Chop with sweet onion apple jam.

Bib-Worthy Ribs
Montgomery Inn, Fort Mitchell
No wonder these pork loin back ribs are shipped all over the country — they are so tender, so flavorful, so worthy of Ted Gregory’s legacy. Enjoy and use the bib. They are worth it.

A Real Treat
Blinkers Tavern, Covington
Known for its fried chicken and steaks, but the fresh salsa avocado chicken melt is a true treat.

Save Any Room?
Mellow Mushroom, Wilder
If you indulge in the excellent appetizers like the stuffed Portobello, will you even have room for the House Special pizza with five meats (including applewood smoked bacon)?

Best Brunch Bet
Otto’s, Covington
Benedict Otto’s smoked salmon, sautéed tomatoes, spinach and poached egg dish is a worthy indulgence. When the weather’s warm, the patio beckons.

Rooftop Jazz
Chez Nora, Covington
Relax — the music is so fine and Jimmy’s Favorite salad is topped with beef filet tips. But take the time to sample the sesame-seared Ahi tuna or the signature lump crab cakes.

Show It Off
Pompilios, Newport
You don’t need Dustin Hoffman to tell you how good it is. This is real Italian food from the fresh calamari to the sausage rigatoni. “Best of Taste” winners include eggplant parmigiana with Pompilio’s
signature marinara. Use it to impress out-of-town guests.

Savory Soup
Oriental Wok, Fort Mitchell

Tender pork strips and rich distinctive broth make the hot and sour soup here worthy of a meal in itself. But keep ordering, you won’t want to stop there.

Hits the Spot
Barleycorn’s, Multiple locations
Yes, we know there’s more to life than a great burger or outstanding wings. But sometimes, you just know what you need.

Cozy Quality
Greyhound Tavern, Fort Mitchell
Don’t wait for Lent to enjoy the best fish sandwich around. It’s satisfying enough to almost make you pass up the bread pudding at this award-winning landmark family business.

Simply Excellent
Chart House, Newport
Fresh crab legs atop a fabulous filet — this one’s a winner right on the shores of the mighty Ohio River.

Best Bartender
Indigo’s, Fort Mitchell
He’s quick without making you feel rushed. Mike Hang will serve up a bourbon neat and a tasty stromboli while taking care of the dozen or so other customers along the rail of the richly carved wooden bar.

Service Soars
York Street Café,Newport
Great wine list, wonderful atmosphere, the best service and fresh food! Does it get any better? By your second visit, they remember who you are and your preference in wine.

Lost in the View
360 Restaurant [atop the Radisson], Covington
Sit side-by-side with your date to fully appreciate the stunning nighttime view as the largest revolving restaurant east of Las Vegas slowly showcases fantastic skylines on both shores.

What a Pair
Dee Felice Café, Covington

Fabulous food with great live jazz makes for dynamic dining. When legendary drummer John Von Ohlen launches into a monster drum solo, everything stops — waiters, conversation, traffic outside.

Classic Dishes
Wertheim’s, Covington
Pleasant atmosphere and fine German food. This is, after all, MainStrasse.

Authentically Unique
Vito’s Café, Fort Thomas
Excellent Italian specialities presented by singing servers. A neighborhood trattoria that is perfect for a special meal for a special occasion. Savor every bite so you can make it through every delicious course.

Farm to Table
Bouquet, Covington
Findlay Market’s biggest fan. Bouquet’s chef Stephen Williams chooses the best from local farmers and suppliers, and the result is inspired soups and specials.

Early Catch
Bellevue Bistro, Bellevue
Distinctive breakfasts and sandwiches. You won’t need another meal after a Cubano or a Bb breakfast benedict with blackened salmon. ■