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Orchids at Palm Court earns five diamonds

The Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati's Hilton Hotel has earned AAA's highest award. It's now Ohio's only five diamond restaurant.

Executive Chef Todd Kelly says he was determined to do all he could to earn the lofty designation.

"Every chef, as they're growing up, dreams of awards and accolades like this," says Kelly.

To earn the rating, Kelly says he and the staff had to make some changes to their menu and how they operate.

"Much was really on path to what we were already doing," says Kelly. "We just needed to refine it a little bit more... everything from the way we accept reservations until the time when the guest reaches their car."

AAA inspectors make multiple unannounced visits throughout the year to evaluate restaurants and hotels. The auto club says just 63 restaurants in North America earned the five diamond rating this year.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.