So I'm realizing that plate to the left doesn't look all that spectacular and amazing - but let me tell you - IT IS! (click on the pic to see the full range of decadence!)

I live in Pleasant Ridge and we are an eclectic little portion of Cincinnati. We've got Molly Malones (irish yumminess), PRC (chili - oh man) and the Ridge Donut Shop (the best donuts in the city) - as well as lots of other fun things...but we were kind of lacking something...

Well not any more!

On the corner of Ridge & Losantiville used to be a huge blue building that housed #1 Hip Hop Fashion. While I didn't frequent the store - it was a great landmark for my friends to navigate by. About a year ago #1 Hip Hop went away :-( and a sign appeared that advertised emanu - a soon-to-come Ethiopian restaurant. What the heck is Ethiopian food????? Well, turns out they had a place open a block away but decided to close that and relocate to a larger, nicer space. And I'm so glad they did!

I spoke with Sammy (the son - it's a family restaurant) and he was saying that they didn't think it would take as long as it did to open Emanu...(the sign said coming Dec 2007 - it just opened in July 2008). But wow - it was worth the wait!

Okay - enough history - on to the good stuff...

Sammy recommended we order family-style. There were 4 of us - so we should get 3 dishes. We started out with sambussas - basically like a samosa at an Indian restaurant. We tried one of each (beef & veggie). If you like spicy - get the veggie - it's full of lentils and awesomeness.

For the main dishes, we chose:

Tesbhi Derho (Doro-Watt)

Tender marinated chicken sauteed in lemon, stewed in a red pepper sauce with onions, garlic, ginger root and a pinch of cardamom and nutmeg.

Hiwswas (Beyaynetu)

A combination of Yemisir-Watt, Gomen, cooked chopped collaged greens and cabbage. (Tekel Gomen)

Kilwa Sega (Sega-Tibs)

Strips of marinated beef sauteed with onions, green pepper and spices.

They serve family style - starting clockwise with the red dish is the chicken, then the steak and then the veggies (red lentils, cabbage, collard greens, carrots/green beans and yellow lentils). The prices on the website are a little off - each dish was about $13 - still a deal for the quality of the food.

The other item to note is the bread - injera - you can read about it on their "About Us" page. When served, it resembles a rolled up "hot towel" like you'd get on a plane. Tradition says that you tear the bread off and eat the food with your hands. It's sort of a cross between a crepe and a pancake - not a lot of flavor but the perfect accompaniment to the food.

Now to the dishes - the chicken was my favorite - it's spicy and delicious. It is bone-in chicken - so you have to cut it off the bone before you dig in. You definitely need to order a veggie dish so that you have some veggies - which they let you know - so don't worry about forgetting. I highly recommend the combo - that way you can try everything!

We also ended the night with dessert - I'm not a coffee drinker - but my friends got that - it's thick and will keep you up a while from the look of it! :-) I had the cheesecake - WOW! It had goat cheese, mascarpone, cream cheese and HONEY! It was sooooooo good! Everybody had some and everybody raved about it! We also got baklava - which was good - but not near as amazing as the cheesecake!

Side note - it's BYOB - for now...

The food was extremely tasty - the service was great and I can't wait to go back! I am already craving the chicken and lentils again!

So everybody out there in the blogosphere - head over to tha' P-Ridge and try Emanu!!!!! I'm easily going with 3.5 stars!!! It's my new favorite place!

Just to reiterate how much we loved the food...here's what was left! SCRAPS OF NOTHIN!


  1. glad to see a new bloggger from PR area. We live close to the restaurant and drive by the place often. 2 weeks ago, we went in and couldn't stay because we didn't have enough time to eat dinner and make it for our live show in downtown. My husband is itching to try it, hopefully it'll be soon. I am happy to read a positive review about it!

  2. I only live a few blocks away!!!!

    If you guys ever want to go - let me know - I'm always up for meeting new folks and having dinner...

    it's so delish!

  3. Hi Heather,
    Just wondering if you've had a chance to back to Emanu.

    My vegetarian hubby and my meat-eating self are coming to Cinci this weekend, and were wanting to check it out.

    Let me know what you think!

  4. I haven't been back - mostly because of work and life...but I loved it and can't wait to go back! I would HIGHLY recommend it!

  5. I love Emanu! It's my favorite restaurant, and it's just down the street! The Kilwa Sega and the Kilwa Derho are my favorites (they're basically the same dish, just Sega is beef and Derho is chicken). I like to go earlier in the evening when there aren't many people there, that way you're more likely to see Emanu (the Mom/chef who's super sweet). Be warned though, it usually takes a while for the food to arrive, since everything is made from scratch to order (but it's tastier that way)! Just bring a bottle of wine and you won't care how long it's taking!!

  6. Jessica - i live just down the street too! I really think we need to remind people how great Emanu is. Sammy said business is okay but not great - let's get the word out - go back to Emanu!!!!! I love the doro watt myself.