Inside Downtown’s New Khora, One of America’s “Most Anticipated” Restaurants of the Year

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Back in 2019, both Food & Wine and Vogue magazines named a forthcoming Cincinnati eatery to their lists of the "most anticipated" American restaurant openings of 2020.

Well, the wait is over, because Khora inside downtown's Kinley Hotel is now open.

Khora is helmed by chef Edward Lee and executive chef Kevin Ashworth.

Ashworth, who worked alongside Lee for over a decade in Louisville at 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry, is from Greater Cincinnati and is offering innovative twists on area classics. A press release says the restaurant — named after the ancient grain khorasan — aims to showcase "modern pasta dishes and small plates with a Midwest sensibility." And that includes a Cincinnati-style 3-Way made with lamb ragù.

“My hope is our dishes will evoke a memory and bring comfort to guests with recognizable flavors,” says Ashworth in the press release. “Khora is meant to bring people together to have fun and treat themselves, especially during these difficult times.”

The current menu includes the aforementioned 3-Way featuring gemelli made with Ohio semolina, topped with lamb ragù, pumpkin seeds and caramelized goat cheese; a German-inspired tartare with sauerkraut kimchi, everything seasoning, smoke and rye crackers; Spoonbill Caviar served with Saratoga chips, French onion dip, Grippo’s seasoning and chive; and a toasted rye Zucca with green apple, charred cabbage, pickled peppers, taleggio and black pepper.

Desserts will be handled by executive pastry chef Megan Ketover, previously of Boca Restaurant Group.

The current sweet offerings include a cornmeal cake with ras el hanout ice cream, cardamom plums, concord honeycrisp and caramelized milk jam; milk chocolate mascarpone with elderflower pear sorbet, candied citrus, chocolate almond cantucci and blood orange jam; and quince with tart green apple sorbet, quark custard, oat cake and crumble, and crispy wafers; among others.

Khora is currently open for dinner 5:30-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and for Saturday brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A release says lunch is coming soon. Call 513-977-2800 to make a reservation.

| Photos by Hailey Bollinger