Part 3 of a Series
The innovative Columbus culinary scene has come a long way since my first visit to Columbus many moons ago. The creative chefs and entrepreneurial restaurateurs of “C-Bus” offer an outstanding culinary experience from dawn through dusk. Let me begin with breakfast and show you how I ate my way through a recent visit to Columbus.
- KATALINA’S CAFÉ, a little café with lots of local goodness, is housed in a 100-year-old gas station that Katalina brought back from the brink. Known as the Dine Diva, Katalina slings “local homemade food with attitude –but no pretense”. Her mantra is “Peace, Love & Pancake balls”. It is said that people “line up for miles and enter with smiles” for her pancake balls (sales number over a million to date). These little round balls from heaven can be filled with dulce de leche or jam. However, the all time favorite filling is Nutella.
NUTELLA FILLED PANCAKE BALLS
- 2. GALLERIE BAR AND BISTRO is located in the art-filled atrium setting of the Hilton Columbus Downtown. The oversized lamp in the Bistro is one of the favorites in the hotel’s $1-million dollar art collection consisting of 225 original works of art from more than 100 area artists.
ONE OF THE FAVORITE PIECES OF THE HOTEL’S ART COLLECTION
The Bistro serves up Ahi Tuna Tacos that are as delicious to look at, as they are to eat. These crispy tacos are stuffed with ponzu-marinated rare ahi tuna, shaved cabbage-cilantro slaw, picked ginger and sesame. Sriracha aioli is drizzled over the top.
|CRISPY CRUNCHY AHI TUNA TACOS|
- FOOD TRUCKS have taken hold in Columbus. Foodies, eager to taste a variety of foods, can have a field day indulging in a delicious mix of tastes from the food trucks that abound in Columbus. From Dos Hermanos there was authentic Mexican food. Tacos were served with onion and cilantro on a corn tortilla and burritos were filled with meat, rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, onion, and hot & verde sauce.
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FOOD FROM DOS HERMANOS
From Ajumama, we tried fast and sassy Korean street food. The Bimbim Balls (seasoned rice and veggies, panko breaded and fried, were topped with sweet and spicy bimbim sauce and toasted Korean seaweed. Sweet Carrots’ mac & cheese was topped with fried artichokes, an aioli sauce drizzle, a pinch of Parmesan cheese, and scallions.
|BEST MAC & CHEESE EVER!|
- SCHOKKO ART CAFÉ, an artful concept in restaurants, is located on the main floor of The Columbus Museum of Art. It looks out onto Patty’s Garden, the sculpture garden named in honor of the late Patricia M. “Patty” Jurgensen, long-time CMA Trustee. This vibrant, contemporary café features specially created signature items including a variety of healthy and hearty dishes like the Roasted Creole Tomato Soup and the Black Bean Burger. The café takes its name from the 1909 Alexej Jawlensky painting “Schokko with a Red Hat”. The model was nicknamed “Schokko” because she loved hot chocolate and eagerly accepted a cup of hot chocolate following her session posing for Jawlensky. The painting is one of the Columbus Museum of Art's signature pieces in their Sirak Collection.
|SCHOKKO NAMED FOR HER LOVE OF CHOCOLATE|
- THE GUILD HOUSE is an artisan eatery that brings a one-of-a-kind restaurant to the Short North community. It features seasonal offerings that are regionally and globally inspired with an artistic technique in an energetic and inviting space of repurposed wood, local art, and contemporary accents. If dining with friends, order a variety of appetizers such as the ahi tuna ribbons, oysters with cucumber coriander mignonette, prime rib cap with sweet onion relish and blue cheese, and flatbread with white bean puree, grilled ramps, ham and shitake mushrooms. You could almost stop there, but why not go for the sea bass in a lobster broth?
OYSTERS WITH CUCUMBER CORIANDER MIGNONETTE
- THE REFECTORY RESTAURANT has a long and distinguished history in Columbus. This upscale restaurant, complete with soaring ceilings & stained-glass windows, was first used as a church built in the mid-1800s. The Refectory began serving Columbus in 1976 and in the 1980s it assumed its role as Columbus’ premier French restaurant. You might begin with Cured Foie Gras & Duck Breast with Apple Fondant and Onion Compote, Aged Balsamic Reduction and Champagne Vinaigrette. Follow that with a whole Dover Sole served tableside with Lemon Caper Butter Sauce. The food, the atmosphere, and the service were superb.
|DOVER SOLE TO PERFECTION|
One thing I can guarantee, you won’t go to bed hungry in Columbus.
JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer and International Travel Consultant with THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY in Mariemont, Ohio