In what seems to be an ever-evolving game of Monopoly, the Columbus grid has been steadily filling up with new bars, breweries, and restaurants, a trend that has persisted in 2015. It’s not just a legitimate boom for the Columbus food and drink industry, but for the city’s economy as a whole. These are just a few of the standouts to explore during the spring season:
The Guild House
624 N High St. | theguildhousecolumbus.com
Cameron Mitchell’s newest dream has come to life to complete a triangular Short North stronghold along with Marcella’s and The Pearl. The Guild House’s towering ceilings encapsulate a charming ambiance complete with a cocktail lover’s bar and an epicurian’s dining space. Inspired by—of all things—carrots from New York Eataly market, Executive Corporate Chef Brain Hinshaw has crafted a creative menu filled with carrot creation as well as other dishes of greens, agnolotti and more. This is the first CMR establishment to serve each of the three courses throughout the day. Placed as a CMR “culinary homage to our top chefs,” Hinshaw said, Columbus ought to get in on the experience even if they aren’t in the biz.
220 W Nationwide Blvd. | eatdrinknada.com/Columbus
Hailing from Cincinnati, Nada’s contemporary Mexican offering does things in a much bigger way. Mononymous creative director Palmer admitted, “Honestly, if Cincinnati could see this place, they might feel just a little bit slighted. This is everything we always wanted Nada to be.” The place is so huge that employees and customers alike rarely need to proceed wth caution while maneuvering around the room. Not to mention there’s an outside patio for when it ever gets warm again. As overwhelming as it is physically, the food matches the mighty architectureg. From house-fried cantina chips with chunky guacamole to the tinga quesadilla, the flavors stand out in their own desireable ways. If all that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps you’ll be interested to know that Nada recently dropped its prices immediately after concerns from initial customers. They care, damnit.
Uptown Deli & Temperance Row Brewing
41 N State St., Westerville | uptowndeliandbrew.com
People have learned to eat up a hearty scoop of irony when served in the proper setting. Uptown Deli in Westerville is fully aware of this fact, setting up shop in the historically Prohibition-friendly Uptown neighborhood and then not unlike its moniker establishing its very own 10-barrel brew house. The Temperance Row Brewing Company boast a noteworthy pilsner and a Scottish ale with a pleasently dry finish. Order up a partner for your beer from the deli fare: sandwiches that don’t skimp on volume and pastrami so rich it’s like the candy of meat.
The Whitney House
666 N High St. | thewhitneyhouserestaurant.com
This new eatery features two bars: one with the bottles and draft options and another with a wide-open gaze upon the inner workings of the Whitney kitchen. At this Worthington spot, you literally get your fix of the TV-popularized, high-octane kitchen chaos. At the location formerly held by PK O’Ryan’s, Whitney House is named after a place where owner Ian Brown spent almost every family occasion. Therein, the vibe is comparable to what you might feel going to that annual gathering on your less crazy side of the family. And even if both sides drive you insane, the food rarely lets you down. Let real-life culinary fireworks entertain you as you enjoy artisan cocktails, tasty veggies, bone-in pork chops, and so on.
1227 N High St. | condadotacos.com
Craving delicious tacos? You could invent teleportation and travel instantly to Mexico City, or… go to Condado on the far north side of the Short North. Your call. A Día de los Muertos artistic theme lines the walls surrounding the low-hanging, low-wattage lightbulbs. Patrons may vibe with the stained glass, the candles, and the shout-outs to La Virgen de Guadalupe, juxtaposed with a “TACOS delicioso” sign. With the visual stimulation comes the fill-out-your-own-order system that provides plenty of options for some tasty, spicy taco combinations. Take note: tacos are $1 cheaper from 4-7 p.m. Plus they have chocolate and vanilla dessert tacos.
721 N High St. | fornoshortnorth.com
This Italian piece of eye-candy is sleck yet fiery addition to cocktail-dress dining in the Short North. Providing you with a figurative choice of hot or cold, the bar area is laced with blue light and white marble while the dining room houses a gigantic oven—nicknamed “The Boss” —and sunset color palettes with warm wooden tables. The features menu ranges from tiny shareables to a 22-ounce behemoth Tomahawk ribeye to gourmet pizza options. In addition the glamour, Forno’s Monday through Thursday Happy Hour offers pizzas, shareables, and some entrées at half-price. •