* Click here for rating key
Palomino Restaurant Review: Settled above Macy's next to downtown's Fountain Square, Palomino serves as a gathering spot for happy hour people-watching or for cozying up to signature dishes like the paella. All the requisite, trendy-bistro stuff is here: exhibition kitchen, designer pizzas, California wines. Yet, the servers are as accommodating as can be. If you want a pizza or an entrée salad that's not listed at dinner, they'll be happy to oblige you from the lunch menu. Like the décor, the menu is Mediterranean-inspired (read: California, by way of Seattle). When the cooks get the timing right, the wood oven and grill can produce hits such as steak frites and garlic-happy roast prawns. Specialty salads are a good bet, though pastas sometimes fall short of expectation. Always good is the aforementioned light, crackly-crusted pizza. Have it at the curvy bar, which draws a diverse and convivial crowd. The lounge area also serves food (off of a pared-down menu) until midnight. Desserts include fruit sorbet or seasonal cheesecake. Even though Palomino is a chain, it doesn't feel like it; be sure to get a glimpse out of the floor-to-ceiling windows if only to bring you back from California dreaming to Cincinnati.