Because chain restaurants are for pussies.

Cincinnati Bites
Mark Anthony Salad from Europa

Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016

V's Cafe on 7th is a new restaurant tucked inside the Aronoff Center serving breakfast and lunch. It's owned by the same family who run the successful Vonderhaar's Catering business. Shortly after the "coming soon" sign had first gone up a few months ago, I'd begun eagerly monitoring their construction progress, making note of their hard-to-read logo with its small, script font. It takes concentration to make out the words, "Cafe on 7th," so much so that I wonder if passersby realize it's a restaurant at all.

The inside is bright, open and inviting. Posters from some of the Aronoff's hosted plays line one wall. An abundance of tables dot the dining room and bar-style seating is available along the windows. The room still smelled fresh and new when I first stepped through the doors.

The menu is impressive in its expansive detail of fresh, quality ingredients: artisan greens, Amish Swiss cheese, heirloom tomatoes and applewood-smoked pork are among the notables. Sandwiches, salads and "chef-crafted" soups are the main attractions here. Lunch sandwiches come with a choice of kettle chips, a cup of soup, pasta salad or a pair of deviled eggs, along with a pickle spear and a 24-ounce fountain drink. Breakfast sandwiches come with fruit salad or yogurt and either a 16-ounce coffee or a 12-ounce fountain drink.

Shamrock with chili The "Shamrock" sandwich and chili

For my first visit, I tried the Shamrock ($9): heaping slices of pastrami topped with Amish Swiss and a light and pleasingly acidic Dijon slaw on a fresh pretzel roll. I also selected a cup of their in-house chili. The chili was thick with slightly spicy cinnamon notes. A small bread roll also accompanied the chili, suitable for dipping.

On a subsequent visit, I chose The Natural ($9), a turkey sandwich with buffalo marble jack cheese, julienned carrots and a cranberry habanero spread served on a multi-grain ciabatta bun. This time my accompanying soup was the red pepper pesto with chicken. I enjoyed the heartiness of the sandwich, but could have used a bit more spice from the habanero. The hit of cranberry was a welcome touch.

The soup, which seemed to have been thickened using cornstarch to appeal to gluten-free clients, had a shiny, sticky viscosity to it that I found unappetizing. The chicken and red pepper flavors were good, but I think a flour-based roux would have made it more appealing.

The Natural sandwich with red pepper pesto soup and chicken "The Natural" with red pepper pesto soup

Service was a bit spotty during both visits, although everyone is extremely polite. Patrons order at the counter and the food is brought to the table. On one occasion, my sandwich arrived without my soup, napkins, silverware and drink.

There are a dizzying number of special offers to drum up business, including an "early bird" special in which people dining between 10:45 am and 11:30 am get 10% off; a 20% off special for those ordering online; and a free cookie to those who get an emailed receipt.

V's Cafe on 7th is off to a solid start. I hope they succeed where others in that general location have failed (RIP, Mythos). Given Vonderhaar's exceptional catering reputation, they're poised to become a hot downtown lunch spot.

V's Cafe on 7th Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
V\'s Cafe on 7th

Price: Cheap (under $11 per person)
Service: Good
Rating: 3.0 out of 43.0 stars






Other Recent Reviews

  1. Downtown Lunchiness: V's Cafe on 7th
    -posted Tuesday, February 2, 2016
  2. Pizza and Beer Impressions: MadTree Brewing and Catch-a-Fire Pizza
    -posted Sunday, January 24, 2016
  3. Pizza Impressions: Catch-a-Fire Pizza
    -posted Sunday, January 24, 2016
  4. Breakfast Review: Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill
    -posted Saturday, January 16, 2016
  5. Getting Reacquainted with Bella Luna
    -posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Ratings Legend
four stars = Outstanding
three stars = Good
two stars = Fair
one star = Poor
  • From Cincinnati Bites about Bella Luna:
    Several bloggers have commented on the bread pudding --can't recall if I'd tried it a decade ago-- but will definitely give it a try next time.
    posted: Thu., Jan 7th, 2016 @ 10:37 AM
  • From TJ Jackson about Bella Luna:
    The only good thing we have found at Bella Luna, and it is very, VERY good, is the bread pudding
    posted: Wed., Jan 6th, 2016 @ 4:33 PM
  • From Jennifer about Aladdin's Eatery:
    Alladins is one place we miss since moving to Dayton. Mark loves their salad with chicken. I love their side salad, lentil soup, rolled pitas and hummus. I agree about the unheated pitas being unremarkable. Their desserts are good too. Just nice to have a restaurant that serves fairly healthy food and with a lot yummy vegetarian options.
    posted: Fri., Jan 1st, 2016 @ 7:53 AM
  • From Jane about Django Western Taco:
    Django is under new ownership. There are changes going on with the menu, but hopefully it will all work out. I first noticed that the "complementary" chips and salsa are no longer complementary - there is a charge for chips and salsa now. And the salsa is served in a very, very small vessel. Very disappointing. The portions are considerably smaller and missing key ingredients that used to be included. Taco Tuesdays are a thing of the past. On the upside, Sunday brunch is returning at the end of November. I will hold off on my final judgment hoping that things will settle down......but for now, I'm highly disappointed.
    posted: Sun., Nov 15th, 2015 @ 10:48 AM
  • From TJ Jackson about Rooted Juicery + Kitchen:
    Dude! Dont go all vegan on us! :-)
    posted: Tue., Nov 3rd, 2015 @ 6:31 PM
  • From TJ Jackson about O Pie O:
    11 dollars for pot pie?

    I hope it was served with a 5 dollar bill on the side

    Then again, I might pay 11 dollars at this point for one from Tom's Pot Pies
    posted: Mon., Oct 19th, 2015 @ 2:06 PM
  • From Tabitha about Alfio's Buon Cibo:
    Yum, I still need to check this place out!
    posted: Wed., Sep 23rd, 2015 @ 12:44 PM
  • From verne dodson about Barresi's:
    could i have your zepole recipe. i hear it takes a special flour
    posted: Tue., May 12th, 2015 @ 11:04 AM
  • From Tabitha about Bamboo Kitchen:
    So sorry to hear about your health issues - I've ran into a couple of health concerns myself starting the first week of January, so I have a theory that 2015 is cursed. I'll be holding my breath till the next year arrives. ;) In the mean time, I hope you're able to keep trying new restaurants!
    posted: Mon., Apr 6th, 2015 @ 2:52 PM
  • From Eden about Taco Casa:
    Back in the year 1978, I enjoyed my very first taco salad at the Taco Casa located next to LaRosa's in Clifton at 2717 Vine. I instantly fell in love with that delicious salad! After leaving the area and then returning briefly in 2009, my husband and I went to the Oakley location and I was once again able to enjoy that wonderful salad! The taste, texture and scent of it was all just as I had remembered, right down to the last bite. I cannot say enough how wonderful Taco Casa is, and I it is on the list as the first place to go when we return again to the Queen City. My one and only wish is that the location in Clifton had still been there when we visited last time and that I would have been able to see the young couple who ran it at the time! That would have been so amazing! Cheers! X
    posted: Sun., Mar 1st, 2015 @ 5:09 PM
Where The Locals Eat featured blog
Cincinnati Web Design | Cincinnati Mobile Web Design
The Best Dash Cam