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Omaha Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


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#1 bilrus

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 09:53 AM

I am posting this here are in the West forum Simultaneously.

I am leaving to go to Omaha on business in 15 minutes and wanted to find a place to go for a fairly nice dinner by myself with a book.

Any suggestions?

I will be cehcking the boards again this evening.
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#2 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 10:12 AM

Mark's

And I've heard good things about another place called Espana.

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#3 sladeums

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 10:51 AM

Yes, Marks would be one recommendation

Marks
4916 Underwood Ave
Omaha, NE
402-502-2203
Last I heard eGullet user pariahkerry was on the waitstaff here, his comments are on the previous thread cited and are quite encouraging. I'd request a seat in Kerry's section if he's there...let him know you read his post on eGullet.


Citiez
2413 South 13th St
Omaha, NE
402-46-0206
Offers a basic Italian/Florentine menu, but then they also have a special rotating menu that places the focus on a specific regional cuisine - right now they are doing Oaxaca. Small, quiet place.


Espana does tapas and I've also heard good things. If you are looking for something a little quiet though I would strongly discourage going there, though. They can get very full on the weekends and I've heard the acoustics make for a quite loud atmosphere.
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#4 exenewyorker

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 10:59 AM

Hey Bill,

Finally a subject I can reply to! (I'm a relatively new member, and have been completely overwhelmed by the responses to my favorite forums so far. Like the Rick Baylis/ Burger King issue.)

Anyway, haven't been to Mark's yet. But I can tell you it is one of the most interesting Omaha neighborhoods, Dundee.

Espana is great, but it's very HOT, and I don't think you'll be able to comfortably read a book there. Read small, crowded, and noisey, but in a good way.

As an "exenewyorker", the bar at Passport (in Omaha's historic Old Market) is a favorite of mine. You don't mention whether you've been to Omaha before or not. So if you're new to Omaha, the Old Market may be of some interest for browsing. The local mass purveyor of fine foods, Con Agra (OK, just kidding!) has a huge quite beautiful campus down there. I keep wishing they would leave and I could move in!!!

Another place I like is La Buvette. It's a funky little wine bar where some interesting characters hang out. They have light meals and it's a great place to sit and read.

Edited by exenewyorker, 10 October 2003 - 11:18 AM.


#5 pariah_kerry

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 01:14 PM

Yes,  Marks would be one recommendation

Marks
4916 Underwood Ave
Omaha, NE
402-502-2203
Last I heard eGullet user pariahkerry was on the waitstaff here, his comments are on the previous thread cited and are quite encouraging. I'd request a seat in Kerry's section if he's there...let him know you read his post on eGullet.


Citiez
2413 South 13th St
Omaha, NE
402-46-0206
Offers a basic Italian/Florentine menu, but then they also have a special rotating menu that places the focus on a specific regional  cuisine - right now they are doing Oaxaca. Small, quiet place.


Espana does tapas and I've also heard good things. If you are looking for something a little quiet though I would strongly discourage going there, though. They can get very full on the weekends and I've heard the acoustics make for a quite loud atmosphere.

Hey, thanks for the reference, but I"M A CHICK!!! (As confirmed by this week's
Omaha Pulp.)

#6 sladeums

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 02:05 PM

Hey, thanks for the reference, but I"M A CHICK!!!  (As confirmed by this week's
Omaha Pulp.)


My bad.
Sorry dude. :biggrin:

bilrus missed out, though...dinner at Vivace for him.

I heard Mark's is also selling wine/cheese retail (?).
What's the scoop on that?
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#7 bilrus

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 09:32 PM

bilrus missed out, though...dinner at Vivace for him.

Yeah - it was ok, but not anything to rave about. I had a scampi appetizer that reminded me why youshouldn't serve seafood and cheese together (at least not in the ratio they did with that dish - about 2 to 1 cheese to shrimp).

It worked out OK though - got to read a lot of an interesting book and didn't have to do pizza in the room.

Its Mark's next time though. About how far is it from the airport?
Bill Russell

#8 sladeums

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 06:26 AM

Its Mark's next time though.  About how far is it from the airport?


Approximately 7 miles.
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#9 pariah_kerry

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 11:16 AM

Vivace...dude...

Some people really like it which makes me question life seriously.

The same people own M's right around the corner, which has been an Old
Market staple for the last thirty years. Don't order the escargot if you don't like seafood and cheese. They melt havarti on it. Personally, I like it, but I've been eating it for about fifteen years. The current fave of mine is the Omaha Grill sandwich. Lean, juicy beef on rye with red o's, provolone, and horseradish on the side. The bartender/manager Smitty is funny as hell.

If you ever DO have to do pizza in the room, make sure you cab it out to La Casa's (the Leavenworth location) and pick one up; they don't deliver. You'll just have to trust me on this: only order the pizza.

#10 sladeums

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:15 PM

La Casa was in a Jeopardy! question once.

"...The world’s best pizza can be found at La Casa in this large Nebraska city..."
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#11 exenewyorker

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 03:34 PM

Vivace...dude...

Some people really like it which makes me question life seriously.

Glad to know someone else in Omaha feels the same way. I thought I was the only one!

#12 pariah_kerry

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 10:46 AM

Had the pleasure of meeting exnewyorker, Diana, last night. Thanks again for stopping in; my boss, Mark, hates all things internet/computer related, but he's intrigued by eGullet.

Now if sladeums would just get his sh** together and come in, the Omaha Trinity will be complete. :biggrin:

#13 bilrus

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 11:32 AM

Vivace...dude...

Some people really like it which makes me question life seriously.

Glad to know someone else in Omaha feels the same way. I thought I was the only one!

There's one in DC too who agrees.
Bill Russell

#14 exenewyorker

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 02:04 PM

Went to Mark's last night. I gotta tell you, I am loving the eGullet connection! It was VERY busy, but when Kerry could find a couple of free minutes she was very gracious. I was alone so I ate a lovely seared salmon and salad plate at the bar. Yes I braved fish in the big "O". They told me it was just delivered that afternoon. It was very good, simple fresh food. Kerry also introduced me to Mark, the owner. He actually took time out of his extremely busy night to sit down and talk to me. Added to that were a couple of glasses of pinot noir (don't remember the name), one glass of Veuve Clicquot, and a dbl espresso.

Also the restaurant interior was as warm and inviting as my hosts were.............

#15 exenewyorker

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 02:13 PM

Had the pleasure of meeting exnewyorker, Diana, last night.  Thanks again for stopping in; my boss, Mark, hates all things internet/computer related, but he's intrigued by eGullet. 

So that's why he was relieved I wasn't a computer geek, when I told him I had been a fashion designer.
Don't tell him, but I am a little bit of a computer geek too. :raz:

#16 tedwarin

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 08:25 PM

Random Thoughts on Omaha food:

I don't mind Vivace. They had a wonderful pumpkin soup a few years ago. Most of their food is bland but I like their new menu better than the old one. I think it is an improvement.

Nicola's (sp?) on 13th and Jackson is a delighful lunch spot that seems like it will unfortunately fail. The hideous sign on Jackson betrays the simple and good lunches they offer inside.

I still love Ahmad's, although it is tired. It is far superior to the Indian Oven next door, and a bargain for lunch, if expensive for dinner (the same food, the same portions save salad, for $10 more).

The fish at Stokes is good---particularly the tuna. It is ahi but I enjoy it nonetheless. It is quite sporadic and when they have it I almost always order it.

I have not yet been to Mark's, although I have heard the food is delightful, the space wonderful, and the service needs improvement. However, I generally have no problems with slow service. It always appears busy for dinner so I will attempt to pop in their for lunch on the weekdays. Mark's seems like the ideal place in Omaha for a snowy winter afternoon with a plate of macaroni and cheese and perhaps a glass of wine.

Among the restaurants I am eager to try include Citie(s/z), the two newish restaurants at 119th and Pacific (the culinary center of Omaha, between the Bread Oven, the Bagel Bin, the Polish Deli, Sherm's/Absolutely Fresh Seafood, Big Fred's, Brother Sebastian's, and the legendary Bronco's), Cascade, Tremont (if they still are still open)...unfortunately many west Omaha locations for this near Field Club dweller.

#17 exenewyorker

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 08:06 AM

Among the restaurants I am eager to try include Citie(s/z), the two newish restaurants at 119th and Pacific (the culinary center of Omaha, between the Bread Oven, the Bagel Bin, the Polish Deli, Sherm's/Absolutely Fresh Seafood, Big Fred's, Brother Sebastian's, and the legendary Bronco's), Cascade, Tremont (if they still are still open)...unfortunately many west Omaha locations for this near Field Club dweller.

What are the restaurants you're refering to as the two newish restaurants at 119th and Pacific?

What's a "Field Club dweller"?

I've been to Cascade for their lunch buffet, which I thought was very good. So did one of my lunch companions who is Malaysian of Indian descent. She'd also enjoyed dinner there.

Was treated to dinner at Tremont I think shortly after they openned last winter. I had a flavorless seared tuna over risotto which I didn't care for the taste of, so my experience there wasn't the greatest. We shared an intense chocolate mouse for desert which was excellent. It was also VERY expensive, for Omaha anyway.

Has anyone eaten at Citiez? Having spent a lot of time working and eating in Italy, specifically Firenze, I'm kind of leary. Especially since my experience of Italian restaurants here has been disappointing to say the least.


edited for memory lapse and Omaha qualification.

Edited by exenewyorker, 20 October 2003 - 06:36 AM.


#18 sladeums

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 07:34 PM

Cascade is definitely (last I was there) the best Indian buffet in town. Where you go to Sitar, the Inidan grocery place or Tondoor in Bellevue you will get generally four entrees, rice, tandoor chicken, naan, soup, salad and desert...Cascade usually has 2-3x as many dishes out (and at least one lamb dish every time I've been there) plus all the usuals and several pickles.

I have not eaten anything there that was disappointing...and the variety just totally blows away any other Indian buffet available in town. It also is the most expensive game in town - $10 lunch buffet, Sitar is $9 and the others are $8.

I have been extremely worried, though, that this place will end up going under because they don't have the patronage to support them...they are still in Austin's old spot and they are totally being overlooked in strip-mall hell.


Vivace, though nothing great definitely has a better menu composition than they had in the past...if you don't recall, they used to be an upscale Spaghetti Works - pick a pasta, pick a sauce and add toppings if you would like.


Don't know nothing about the Pacific restaurants alluded to.

And it's Citiez (with a 'z')...although the Italian menu is intact the only reason they went with that is that because there were so many people that knew the restaurant as Villa Fiorita...the Italian menu is not the draw - see what "city" they are focusing on for the season for the best chioces - this season it's Oaxaca...the Italian menu is for the tourists, and actually may be helpful for dining there w/ less adventurous eaters.

By the way, I live a block and a half from Citiez and have not eaten there yet....I rarely have disposable income for this and when I do this is not my wife's type of place. Yet, I do drive by here everyday on my way to work and feel guilty for not supporting one of the few (apparently) real chefs in town.

I chatted a bit with the chef of Citiez on the original discoveromaha.com (now taken over by Cox and no longer available) message boards when he first took over the restaurant and he is obviously serious about what he does and he is in the same restaurant providing a fallback menu for those that knew the space in it's previous incarnation, or are not interested in the more foward-thinking offerings.

edit: my spelling was apparently total shite

Edited by sladeums, 19 October 2003 - 07:45 PM.

...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#19 exenewyorker

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 09:19 AM

By the way, I live a block and a half from Citiez and have not eaten there yet....I rarely have disposable income for this and when I do this is not my wife's type of place. Yet, I do drive by here everyday on my way to work and feel guilty for not supporting one of the few (apparently) real chefs in town.

I chatted a bit with the chef of Citiez on the original discoveromaha.com (now taken over by Cox and no longer available)  message boards when he first took over the restaurant and he is obviously serious about what he does and he is in the same restaurant providing a fallback menu for those that knew the space in it's previous incarnation, or are not interested in the more foward-thinking offerings.

edit: my spelling was apparently total shite

By the way, I live a block and a half from Citiez and have not eaten there yet....I rarely have disposable income for this and when I do this is not my wife's type of place. Yet, I do drive by here everyday on my way to work and feel guilty for not supporting one of the few (apparently) real chefs in town.


I don't have a lot of disposable income either. :sad:

I chatted a bit with the chef of Citiez on the original discoveromaha.com (now taken over by Cox and no longer available)  message boards when he first took over the restaurant and he is obviously serious about what he does and he is in the same restaurant providing a fallback menu for those that knew the space in it's previous incarnation, or are not interested in the more foward-thinking offerings.


Why don't you get the chef of Citiez to join this forum???

#20 pariah_kerry

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 11:32 AM

Tremont is closed, but the cooks are at Marks...I, however, am not any longer. Don't want to invite a lawsuit...enough said. :angry:

#21 exenewyorker

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 02:16 PM

Tremont is closed, but the cooks are at Marks...I, however, am not any longer.  Don't want to invite a lawsuit...enough said. :angry:

That totally SUCKS!!!

Especially the part about "inviting lawsuits". Very ominus. :huh:

#22 tedwarin

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 08:37 PM

What are the restaurants you're refering to as the two newish restaurants at 119th and Pacific?

What's a "Field Club dweller"?

One of the restaurants is The Daily Grill. I forget the other one.

I live near the Field Club at 36th and Woolworth.

Citiez spelling is weird, because it is Citiez on the signs, and Cities on the credit card receipt (didn't eat there, but I will soon).

Sorry to hear about employment difficulties---can totally sympathize.

#23 ejrunde

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 03:47 PM

I just recently moved to the Omaha area from Minneapolis, and I'm wondering if anyone has any good restaurant tips. Omaha seems to have cornered the market on chains...I'm looking for some good, independent restaurants.

Thanks for the help

#24 jsolomon

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 06:53 AM

Howdy neighbor!

What kind of food are you looking for? Down in the Old Market, there are some good, non-chain places. I can get some more recommendations for you if you toss over some likes/dislikes.

To name a few: M's Pub, Butsy LeDoux's, Upstream Brewing Company, The Indian Oven (I think that's its name), Bohemian Cafe (FANTASTICALLY rustic). I've heard good things about the French Cafe, but I've never been there.

Cheers from Lincoln.

Edited by jsolomon, 06 December 2005 - 06:58 AM.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

#25 moosnsqrl

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 08:02 AM

Until a couple of years ago I traveled to Omaha semi-frequently on business. I second the suggestion to hie yourself to the Old Market -- it is your best defense against chain-mania. I always liked Vivace for Italian, Ahmad's for middle eastern.

There is an old-time favorite there that purportedly has the best fried catfish and the like, but I can't remember the name of it. Probably if you said that much to a local, they would know what you were talking about and direct you to it, if you like that sort of thing.
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#26 ejrunde

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:49 AM

I'm really a big fan of a broad array of food types(anything asian, italian). I tend to stay away from steak restaurants, etc. However, I'm searching for a good burger place and I also haven't found any good Mexican restaurants (not tex-mex). Does anyone have any Japanese/sushi favorites?

I have been to, and liked, La Casa, Marks, Espana and Taste.

Thanks for the suggestions so far...

#27 jsolomon

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:56 AM

Sushi Ichiban on Dodge St by Children's Hospital is where I had my first wasabi burn.

There is a weird little wine bar around 52nd St just north of Dodge St that's okay. Watch out for the red head that shows up in her pj's, though.
I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

#28 loiosh

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 02:57 PM

Sushi Ichiban on Dodge St by Children's Hospital is where I had my first wasabi burn.

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Is that the one in the old IHOP?

I'm glad to see so many of the same places are still around. I'll add an extremely dated recommendation for Zio's Pizza (various locations). And you *have to* go to Mister C's, not so much for the food (which is Omaha-style Italian steakhouse...prime rib with a side of spaghetti) but for the whole experience.

#29 FlourPower

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 03:16 PM

Definitely, definitely try Riveras. Awesome, made-from-scratch Mexican.

There's a good barbecue place way, way north, off the Irvington exit called Big Jack's Barbecue Shack.

You might also like Lo Sole Mio or Pasta Amore for Italian.

The Bread Oven has two locations. They make terrific baguettes and croissants. Dharma Bread, sold only at Wohlner's market in midtown, is an excellent sourdough.

Feel free to PM me with questions.

#30 FlourPower

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 03:17 PM

Oh, for burgers, check out Dinker's bar. It's in a neighborhood off the interstate. I want to say 19th and Vinton -- somewhere around there. They use trimmings from Omaha Steaks for the hand pattied burgers. And the onion rings are great too.