CINCINNATI, OH (February 21, 2018) — AAA has unveiled its prestigious list of Five Diamond restaurants, and Orchids at Palm Court in the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel has once again earned the elite distinction. Orchids is one of only 68 restaurants in North American chosen by inspectors for the AAA Five Diamond Rating in the past 12 months. As Ohio’s only Five Diamond-Rated restaurant, Orchids is celebrated for its sophisticated dishes such as the seasonal sweet corn soup with lobster, as well as seared scallops with lardo, sunflower seeds and mint.
“Orchids at Palm is the shining star of fine dining in the Queen City,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “By producing its own bourbon and beer and housing a herb garden and beehives on the roof, Orchids consistently provides leading cutting edge cuisines of the finest ingredients uniquely prepared by an acclaimed chef and served by expert service staff in extraordinary surroundings.”
Just 0.2 percent of the more than 31,000 AAA Inspected & Approved restaurants are Five Diamond Rated. While some Five Diamond restaurants still have lavish surroundings, others feature counter seating or chef’s tables overlooking or surrounding the cooking area. And many Five Diamond restaurants, including most of those new to the list this year, have tasting menus offering a frequently changing array of intricate small dishes prepared from the finest ingredients and presented in an interactive environment.
“Five Diamond restaurants have evolved over the years to meet the changing expectations of restaurant enthusiasts who are increasingly sophisticated about cuisine,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings. “Guests want to learn about cooking techniques, ingredient sourcing and the latest trends. They are looking for a wide-ranging dining experience that includes being educated and entertained. No longer does world-class necessarily mean formal attire and opulent surroundings. And that’s where AAA’s Diamond Ratings can help guide the discerning diner.”
AAA Four Diamond restaurants are also an exclusive group, offering distinctive, creatively prepared cuisine, skillfully served in a notable environment. Only 2.1 percent of AAA Inspected & Approved restaurants – 665 – made the Four Diamond list for 2018, including 52 added this year.
Locally, Boca Restaurant and Nicola’s have earned this year’s coveted AAA Four-Diamond award for the 10th and ninth year, respectively.
Boca, recognized for its spacious and sophisticated charm offers a seasonal menu curated by chef and owner David Falk such as wild boar Bolognese and seared branzino with bouillabaisse and saffron garlic foam. Nicolas, located in Over-the-Rhine in a brick structure that in the 19th century served as a car barn for the system of incline trolleys that were the transportation system for much of the city, offers signature dishes such as foie gras with walnut cake and potato gnocchi with burgundy truffle.
In late January, AAA unveiled local recipients of the coveted Four-Diamond hotels. Click here for more information on the recipients.
ABOUT AAA DIAMOND RATINGS
For more than 80 years, AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct anonymous, in-person property evaluations. AAA offers the only rating system using comprehensive, on-site professional hotel and restaurant evaluations guided by member priorities. AAA’s rating system covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments and inspector insight in AAA’s trip planning products: the AAA Mobile app, the online AAA Travel Planner mapping and routing tool, searchable online AAA Travel Guides and AAA TourBook guides available to members at AAA offices.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.