The Food: The menu is small, but I'm all for sticking with what you know. City View's burger consistently wins "best of" status in Cincinnati, so on my first visit for food (my other couple trips have been post-kitchen close) I tried something else - the BBQ Beef. Not the healthiest choice - although it should be noted that City View has a few vegetarian options (with American cheese as the main attraction) - the sandwich was passable. A side of Grippo's barbecue chips accompanied the spicier than sweet and somewhat dry bites, which have an interesting topping of coleslaw that's actually a pretty good original twist.
This is bar food. And for bar food it's not too bad. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
The Drink: City View also consistently wins for it's Bloody Mary's, and the 2 of us at my table who made the order were not disappointed. Presentation was solid, with a spicy, seasony salt rim with a pickled green bean (which wasn't gross, as I have to admit it I thought it looked). My girlfriend said "as a connoisseur, I was satisfied." She noted it wasn't exactly to her taste though - it's a bit sweet. In other news, Bell's Oberon and Christian Moerlien OTR are both on tap, so even your beer snob buddies will be happy. But don't order a tequila or Jagermeister, see The Story for details...
For a small place, the selection was more than solid. 5 out of 5 stars.
The Setting and Service: City View Tavern's location is hard to beat. The P&G towers and Cincinnati's beautiful skyline are highly visible in the distance. The river is just below your outdoor deck seat, and the jukebox jams with old school R&B, classic rock, and more. With an owner tending bar, a pool table in the front, and a side street location that's as unpretentious as Mount Adams gets - this is a great spot. One small note though, it's a skinny little street, so if you're scared of parallel parking (or having more than a couple drinks), take a cab.
5 out of 5.
The Story: This place has a history. You can tell when you walk in the door, see postcards from patrons on the walls, and look at the photographs rich with Cincinnati history. But when my girlfriend tried to order a shot of tequila, and was told no, we got a very interesting explanation as to why. Apparently, there was a regular who lived down the street from City View Tavern, who drank quite a bit of tequila in the early 60's. The guy would talk about how he was going to jump off the deck when he got drunk. Well, he didn't jump, but his name was Charles Manson. Yup, the Charlie Manson - who grew up in Cincinnati. Gotta love this city.
5 out of 5. The City View Tavern has personality.