Tela Bar + Kitchen

Tela Bar + Kitchen in CincinnatiTela Bar + Kitchen is a trendy little spot in Wyoming that has the feel of a local neighborhood pub. The atmosphere is as warm as the décor whether you’re sitting at the bar or in the dining area. Perhaps my favorite spot in the restaurant is the short bar tucked away next to the open kitchen area. If you’re lucky enough to get seated there, you can see all the dishes as they come up which gives you a better idea about what you might want to order. Of course, for me, it only makes things more difficult because I want to order one of everything I see go by.

Below I detail items I’ve tried, but here are a few dishes that other patrons have raved about: Pretzel Nugs served with beer mustard and roasted garlic caramel, Duck ‘Au Vin’, Tomahawk Pork Chop, and Crisp Chicken Wings which come in a variety of unique sauces.

The Food

Tela Bar + Kitchen poutine
Pendery’s Poutine
Tela Bar + Kitchen poutine
Shrimp + Grits

Tela Bar + Kitchen Royale with Cheese
Royale w/ Cheese

Tela Bar + Kitchen Royale with Cheese plus Beer
Royale w/ Cheese + Little Kings

Generally speaking, Tela is all about the zing and zest – many of their dishes will make you sweat or open up your sinuses at the very least – and based on the dishes I tried, unique and distinguished flavor combinations.

The poutine features a heaping pile of thin, seasoned fries (perhaps my favorite fries in all of Cincinnati), cheddar cheese curds and pork belly lardon coated with house gravy and beer mustard and topped off with a fried egg. The smoky crunch of the pork belly lardon really elevates this poutine, but a little more added to the mix would send it sky high.

The Multibeast is a sandwich comprised of two patties, one angus reserve beef patty and one very tasty chorizo patty. Add in the bacon jam and whipped herbed goat cheese, and this beast is truly multi-talented in that its size and flavor will rock your taste buds. At $15, this burger holds its own against any other gourmet burger that can be found in Cincinnati. The Royale w/ Cheese is also a very good burger, but at $13, might be priced a bit high. Just spend the extra $2 and get the Multibeast.

The Shrimp + Grits feature what might be the best grits I’ve ever tasted (hey, Cincinnati is sometimes considered the South). They simply melt in your mouth. Besides the grits and jumbo shrimp, the dish also features chorizo and pork belly lardon in a savory beer sauce, giving it a rich, smoky flavor that leaves you wanting just a little bit more.

The Drink

As a bourbon fan, naturally two of Tela’s handcrafted cocktails caught my attention. First, I tried the Ruby Claire, a breezy, slightly spicy concoction perfect for spring and/or summer. Next I tried the C Brown, made with apple cider, maple syrup and cinnamon. It might just be the quintessential fall cocktail. But the best thing about both of these cocktails is that you don’t have to be a bourbon lover to enjoy the unique flavors – the bourbon really just adds another subtle layer of flavor without dominating the overall taste.

Tela also offers an eclectic selection of craft beers, including several from popular Cincinnati brewery Rhinegeist. But they don’t just cater to the hipster, craft brew crowd. You can also get Yuengling and Hudy Delight in a can or, better yet, Little Kings in a 7 oz. bottle.

The Upshot

With its unique and original flavors paired with tasty cocktails and a wide range of beers, I would make Tela my neighborhood bar if I lived in or near Wyoming. But even though I’m not in the neighborhood, there’s a good chance I’ll make myself a regular anyway.

—Ryan Varney