Almost everyone loves a really good meal from time to time, but after a couple courses, the bill really adds up. That’s one of the main reasons that Clint Watson founded Cincinnati E.A.T.S. (Epicureans About Town Society).
The whole concept behind this group is to get enough people to take over a local independent restaurant on an off night (like Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). Some previous events have been hosted by Lavomatic, Vito’s Cafe and Daveed’s.
Before digging into dinner, everyone mixes and mingles over a cocktail hour (or two) so that you get the chance to meet your fellow dinner guests. Then everyone enjoys a multi-course pre fixe menu, paid for ahead of time with a flat fee that includes the food, tax and tip. (Guests pay for drinks separately.)
"In exchange for filling up their entire restaurant on, say, a Tuesday night, when they might not be able to do that, the restaurants are able to give us a discounted rate," says organizer Stepfanie Romine, a former dining reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer. So you are able to enjoy the restaurant’s culinary offerings without such a high price.
Beyond the great food, the Cincinnati E.A.T.S. events provide you with a great networking opportunity. As you have some drinks, you can get to know new people, and then the family-style seating gives you the chance to eat dinner with a perfect stranger that, by the end of the night, might turn out to be a great friend.
As the group is geared toward finding enjoyment through food, a charitable side of Cincinnati E.A.T.S. helps others who don’t have access to food they need through donations to hunger-based non-profit organizatins. "We really try to build in either a donation or occasionally we have people donate canned goods at the door," Romine says.
Cincinnati E.A.T.S. has events four or five times a year, and all but one have been sold out. For more information about the Cincinnati E.A.T.S. events, you can check out their Web site at CincinnatiEATS.com. To stay up to date on upcoming events, Romine recommends "liking" the group’s page on Facebook.