Brunch in Downtown Mariemont?

You ever wake up and just really want to venture out of your kitchen and enjoy a scrumptious brunch at a near 5-star restaurant? The National Exemplar is a magnificant place for brunch on any morning, as you roll out of bed.

The National Exemplar opened in Mariemont, Ohio, in April of 1983. The restaurant was apart of the Mariemont Inn, which was built in the mid 1920's, to represent a small unique piece of the town, founded by Mary Emery. "The National Exemplar Restaurant was named after learning that Mary Emery once referred to her developing community as the 'National Exemplar,' meaning ‘national model community’.”

They offer an extremely extensive list of foods from the American-cuisine genre. For you “foodies” out there, a couple of famous dishes would still be their Hungarian mushroom soup, wedge salad, and prime rib. As Journalist Polly Campbell, wrote in her article on The National Exemplar, “This is not a restaurant known for its youthful appeal [...] But the meal we had could satisfy any youthful foodie, from a delicious liver plate to a perfectly braised pork shank and a chocolate pot de crème". 

For your average Moeller student, this fancy downtown Mariemont eatery would be great for a celebration or a quiet, fancy dinner for that special someone in your life.  It would also be a perfect spot for a cozy morning brunch, or just an elegant sit-down dinner.  The Exemplar's size makes it easy to get seated, and keeps wait times minimal.  They're always able to seat their guests quickly, even during their busiest hours.

Upon stepping foot into The National Exemplar, one already starts to feel the vibe of this cozy restaurant. The interior décor, all follows the “Mariemont-esque”-style. Mariemont exhibits a variety of English architecture, from Norman to classic Georgian style, as well as the red-brick Tudor buildings around town. Polly Campbell wrote, “The Exemplar is in the same restaurant group as The Phoenix and The Golden Lamb, and Jeremy Luers is the culinary director of them all. He has worked out the formula for bringing a popular menu into the present.”

Right after you walk in, you are pleasantly greeted by a hostess, asking you for “how many people…” and “right this way…” But that’s mandatory for all restaurants, so that’s not much different. But it’s the tone of voice and the vibe that they set off that makes your visit already better than most other American-cuisine restaurants. Once you sit down at the table for brunch, you are almost immediately introduced to your waiter/waitress with a pot of rich, bold coffee on the side. 

The last time that I went to The National Exemplar, it was for Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend. We started the meal with some warm Gigi’s dinner rolls, soft and rich, served with butter and apple butter. I also enjoyed a cup of coffee. We split the appetizer, which was a tasty Caesar salad. When our entrees came, I received an extremely rich and savory Filet Mignon, while my girlfriend enjoyed a Fettuchini Alfredo pasta. Alas, there was no room for dessert. The food, overall, was a tasty 9/10.

The staff at The National Exemplar are all happy and excited to serve custormers. They are mostly in their mid-20s to 30s…with multiple high school students bussing tables. The generosity and genuineness of their happiness is one of the sole reasons I, and many others enjoy meals at The National Exemplar. They are all there for anything and everything you request.

Photo courtesy of   TripAdvisor

Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

A couple visits ago, I was with a big party of people. Our waiter, Matt, made excellent recommendations and made genuine conversation with us. Typically students are probably overlooked as legitimate clientele (for fear of not giving a good tip), but he made my party and I feel like any of the other regulars. Alas, the staff and service is an astounding 10/10!

They’re open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner & provide an outstanding dining experience. There is also a bar available off the main lobby of the hotel, called Southerby’s Bar.

Whether it be for a morning brunch, a celebration, or even dinner before Prom, The National Exemplar is a excellent choice!

Eli Williams