Dining on the water with island flavors, in Cincinnati.
With the coronavirus changing our dining plans, we have either been eating at home (mostly), getting takeout, or going to places with outdoor seating. When grocery shopping in Cincinnati one Tuesday, we found Pirate’s Cove, which offered both outdoor seating and dining on the water. Most restaurants we found on the water had great views, but their menus didn’t impress. Pirate’s Cove had a menu that reminded us of Hawaii and Caribbean options (along with typical midwestern fare.
From downtown Cincinnati, it was a little bit of a drive, but it was worth it when we pulled into the parking lot and found Pirate’s Cove to be housed in the middle of a marina (the Four Seasons Marina). Parking is easy and you can find the restaurant by wandering the main dock.
The atmosphere is fun and has a nice beach and island/tropical feel. It’s not quite the feel of a restaurant in Hawaii, but closer to a Key West type of feel. If that makes sense. The bar area has a fun sand pit, so you can take your shoes off and put your feet in the sand. Tables are around the bar and Pirate’s Cove occupies the middle part of the marina with breezes blowing across the restaurant.
The menu has a lot of good options. While the typical midwestern fare is found (such as fried pickles), a wide variety of fish and seafood found at tropical bars is also available. These selections are not often found at midwestern restaurants, even those on the water. So, both the atmosphere and selection are inviting and appropriate.
Having been a while since we had coconut shrimp, we had to order it. The shrimp were cooked properly and almost matched the quality and taste we had on the Big Island. While the portion size in the picture looks small, it was more of the basket being big and it was more than enough food. While it seemed odd to pair this with black beans, this was a good combination as the beans were slightly spicy and seasoned well.
Another treat was the Grouper Rueben, a good option and with good battered fish. This was similar to the quality of other types of fish sandwiches you might find in Hawaii, albeit in a Rueben-style. Their fries are also very good and a good pairing with the Reuben.
In addition to these meals, Pirate’s Cove had two additional treats: good selection of beers on tap and sweet potato fries. It’s been quite a while since we had sweet potato fries and it’s a mystery that more restaurants in the midwest don’t offer them. These should be staples since sweet potatoes are common, but they are rarities at most restaurants. The sweet potato fries were a very welcome surprise and were perfectly cooked. We even ordered a second basket. Even our picky kids wanted more.
Overall, Pirate’s Cove is a great option in the Cincinnati area. While it isn’t riverfront dining, it is on the water and provides a great combination of ambiance and food. In these COVID dining times, it also provides the rarity of open air dining to at least make us feel a little safer. We were very happy that we tried this restaurant and will return again.
4609 Kellogg Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45226
Yelp | Webpage
First Visit: 2020
Most Recent Visit: 21 August 2020
# OF VISITS: 1
Cuisine Rating: 12
Decoration Rating: 11
BEST BET (meats): coconut shrimp, grouper
BEST BET (meals): sweet potato fries, Grouper Reuben