There's a popular misconception that all the restaurants with terrific river views are located solely on the Kentucky side of the shoreline.

Don't tell that to the folks who run the Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse, a busy restaurant on the Ohio side of the river real estate. Located just two minutes from the Fourth Street business corridor, the Boathouse serves up a tremendous panoramic view as well as delicious luncheon fare.

And before you suggest that the restaurant's famed choice of barbecued ribs isn't appropriate fare for a business lunch, we'll remind you the Montgomery Inn menu is long and varied. Yes, bibs and sloppy sauce are probably not for the average business lunch, but options abound.

From a spring chicken quarter ($9.50) and grilled Northern Pacific halibut ($13.95) to the fried fillet of sole ($8.95) and grilled pork chop ($10.95), the menu goes all over the board at all price ranges. Each lunch entree arrives with a tossed salad (we found the house vinaigrette appealing) and your choice of baked potato, sweet potato, French fries, or Saratoga chips (think homemade potato chips).

On the expense account, Gulf shrimp Cantonese ($18.50) would be our choice. The shrimp is delicately breaded and fried to a golden brown. Order it with the mustard and sweet plum sauces. (The same dish is available as an appetizer portion, for $7.95.)

For dining on the light side, the sandwich menu includes pulled pork barbecue ($5.95), grilled jumbo Black Angus burger ($4.95), ribs King Reuben ($6.50) and chicken quesadilla ($5.95). Or switch to the appetizer menu, which features Boathouse crab cakes ($7.50), calamari ($7.95), and Greek meatballs ($5.95).

The Luncheon Salad menu is simply sweeping, for those on South Beach or Atkins. There's a Greek salad ($8.50), Mel Fisher salad ($9.95), blacked Caesar salad with salmon ($13.50), Cobb salad ($9.95), Maui chicken salad with pineapple and walnuts ($9.95) and blackened scallop salad with warm bacon dressing ($10.95).

If you've left any room for dessert, there's cheesecake ($3.95), carrot cake ($4.95), lemon sorbet ($4.50), shortcake of the day ($5.95), and Graeter's black raspberry chip ($4.50).

We found the service prompt and efficient on our visits. No orders were mangled, and the wait staff proved reliable at adjoining tables as well (we asked neighboring diners if there entrees arrived correctly, and they did). The valet parking operation moved along speedily and accurately as well.

A pleasant surprise is that, not only is there lunch-time valet parking, but the popular restaurant accepts reservations for lunch.

The walls at the Boathouse are done up in a sports motif, with photos of the greats "” Pete Rose, Sparky Anderson, Johnny Bench, Andre Agassi, Arnold Palmer, and more "” who've actually dined here.

When Ted Gregory, the self-anointed Ribs King, opened the original Montgomery Inn in 1951, little did anyone realize the restaurant would become a favorite of Bob Hope, or that Restaurants & Institutions magazine would name Montgomery Inn the No. 1 independent barbecue restaurant in the United States in terms of business traffic.

Despite the image of the Ribs King himself on the front of the menu, chomping on his famed cigar, there is actually no cigar or pipe smoking permitted in the restaurant proper (you may indulge in the lounge, however).

Planning a large business meeting? The private rooms on the second floor, well away from the buzz of the main dining space, seat from eight to 90. Turf Room A accommodates up to 60, and Turf Room B up to 30. The room charge is $300 for both A and B (the wall section between A and B folds away), $200 for just A or $150 for just B. These rooms are available every day of the workweek. There's also the Kentucky Speedway Room, seating up to 30 for $150 (you can opt to section off this room to seat a party of 10, for a $50 room charge).

A sample menu for your business meeting could include the quarter chicken or Northern Pacific halibut, potato, salad, and unlimited refills on coffee, tea, and soft drinks. This prices out at $17.95 per person, including tax and gratuity.

Audiovisual equipment can be arranged on request. To book the meeting space, contact Lisa Mikula at (513) 721-7427.

Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse is at 925 Eastern Ave., downtown. Call (513) 721-7427. It's open for lunch every weekday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club accepted.

Chokolate Morel

When chef Dave Avalos and pastry chef Pam Kennedy opened the Chokolate Morel in historic downtown Mason a few years back, they faced a few challenges.

For one, many people were unfamiliar with the morel, France's distinctive black truffle. And for another, Avalos and Kennedy chose to locate their restaurant inside a Victorian mansion that's said to be haunted (an occupant was murdered here at the turn of the last century). The pair has changed those challenges into benefits.

What makes this place terrific for meetings is that the restaurant has kept the flavor of the home rather than gutted it. There are seven private dining rooms in the house, with labels such as the Cabernet Room and Patina Room, which will seat from two to 20 diners. Each comfortable room is outfitted with white-linen tables, antique furniture, drapes, and framed portraits.

Due to the historic nature of the home, no smoking is permitted.

Among the entrees are the Big Wave Dave's fish taco, with nuggets of battered grouper served with shredded fennel cabbage and cilantro, and espresso tenderloin medallions served with chipotle reduction.

The flatbread tart tapas are similar to pizzas and can be loaded with exotic toppings such as Boursin and brie cheeses. And the Fire Island Caribbean shrimp features rum-laden shrimp with pineapple and peppers. Prices range from $6.95 to $28.

Desserts here include all things chocolate, Havana banana (rum-soaked fried bananas with vanilla bean ice cream and warm mango puree), and the sun-dried cherry custard-style bread pudding.

The Chokolate Morel is at 101 E. Main St. in Mason. Call (513) 754-1146. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Mondays are available by appointment. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club accepted.