The recently opened cantina and coffee house—Symposium in East Walnut Hills—was the ideal escape for peace and quiet after my long and busy week. Located in the DeSales Plaza at Woodburn Avenue and Madison Road, it’s the perfect balance of comfort and luxury.
Symposium, which opened May 11, is the creation of its owners J. Matt and Chef Aaron Owen, who both have extensive experience in the food and beverage industries. They call the space a place for guests to “raise a glass and break some bread together,” according to the Symposium website.
Whether you’re there for the coffee, the snacks or the wine bar, the atmosphere is casual and hip. Take a seat in “The Nest” where a set of blue and yellow suede chairs form a cozy spot to chill. Or head outside to the patio, which offers a nice view of the exterior of St. Francis de Sales church.
On this particular Sunday, I ordered an iced latte with oat milk and honey plus a savory toast special of smoked salmon, Boursin cheese spread and marinated cucumbers on top of sourdough bread made by local bakery Allez.
Then I landed in The Nest and read while I waited.
In addition to savory toast, there is a sweet toast offering, made with peaches, basil, and ricotta cheese. The toast selections rotate depending on the season and availability of products. You can also choose from an assortment of baked goods.
A lunch menu is served on Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 4 p.m. to close. The menu includes a Fog Horn Chicken Salad Sandwich, a Truffle Grilled Cheese with Fontina and Croque Monsieur.
There’s a selection of charcuterie boards with cheeses, olives, marinated cucumber, orange and beet salad and smoked salmon. You decide what you want and the staff will happily curate a board for you.
In the late afternoon, the snack bar converts to a wine bar. Drink selections are plentiful with an impressive wine selection and a back bar stocked with curated liquors. The barista mentioned the bestseller among the late-night crowd is the espresso martini, a cold, caffeinated beverage made with espresso, coffee liqueur and vodka.
Symposium’s operating hours vary throughout the week:
- Tuesday-Thursday: 7 a.m. - Midnight.
- Friday and Saturday: 7 a.m. - 2 a.m.
- Sunday and Monday: 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Check the website for more details: https://www.symposiumcincinnati.com