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B est N o na - A p p r o v e d S an d w i c h es If you’re looking for a relatively simple menu with locally sourced ingredients and a die-hard dedication to authentic charcuterie, look no further than Panino, OTR’s former food truck turned artisan panini shop. Nino Loreto and Joe Helm are the owners of the fast-casual sandwich and cured-meat restaurant located on Vine Street. Firm believers in the farm-to-table philosophy, the duo sources almost everything from the surrounding area: Tristateraised livestock, veggies grown in a garden down the street and a wine list featuring only OTR’s Skeleton Root wines (the wines also make an appearance in dishes like fennel pollen salami). Farmers deliver entire carcasses to Panino, where upon arrival the meat is butchered, cured and aged in the restaurant’s own aging room to be transformed into elegant prosciutto, sausage, soppressata and other meats. With an Italian lean — the word “panino” is basically Italian for sandwich — and a con la famiglia mission, the menu also features family recipes like Mama’s Grassfed Beefballs, made by Loreto’s mom Patty, desserts made by Loreto’s sister and small entrées and decadent charcuterie trays to share during the tableside dinner service. Loreto still uses the same butcher block his grandfather did when he was a West Side butcher; the bar is made from an old Delhi bowling alley lane; and the deli case is a restored antique. If you seek realism in a time of falsehoods, you’ve found it. Panino, 1313-1315 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513381-0287,

Best Baking Businesses I n s p i r e d B y M e n ta l H e a lt h A n d ‘ 2 B r ok e G i r l s ’

Photo: Hailey Bollinger


Baking in college helped James Avant IV manage his symptoms of ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder. Inspired by the cupcake Cinderella story in the comedy 2 Broke Girls, Avant took his helpful hobby and turned it into a successful business. OCD Cakes is a bakery with a mental health-awareness mission, based out of Findlay Kitchen, with cake flavors ranging from classic yellow and red velvet to matcha and orange cream. In 2016, Avant applied for the ArtWorks Big Pitch competition and won, using his $15,000 prize to open Bakeologie. Also located in the Findlay Kitchen, the newly opened Bakeologie offers community food-centric events including hands-on cooking classes with a focus on baking sweet and savory dishes to be enjoyed family-style. OCD Cakes and Bakeologie, Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-3751838,, 2 017 B ES T O F CIN CINN AT I  51

2017 Best of Cincinnati  
2017 Best of Cincinnati