Unique Comfort Food

The Keep by Collins Laatsch

See Food Restaurant

Restaurants all about sharing these days.

Community seating. Sourcing info. Family-style dining.

There are also plenty of places opening up the, typically, most hidden, yet imperative part of ant establishment—the kitchen.

All over the city, customers are invited to be a part of the entertainment and drama of the restaurant—that famed “back-of-house” environment—seeing for themselves exactly how and by whom their food is prepared.

Dining with the kitchen in view cranks the excitement and anticipation for the coming morsels and helps us foodies be a part of the action.

Think of like catching an episode of the Food Network—then actually getting a taste.

The Keep 50 W Broad St.

It’s hard to keep anything hidden at The Keep, where the backdrop of the historical Leveque Tower begs to keep everything in view. You can see Chef Jonathan Olsen directing French dishes, as well as a raw bar and seafood tower. The Keep is high-class cuisine and cocktails against the backdrop and history of a significant Columbus staple—and a show of its own.

Pat and Gracie’s 340 E Gay St.

With the sound of pots and pans clanging, Pat and Gracie’s new downtown location serves up hearty dishes all day. Particularly bangin’ is brunch, where you can enjoy your own cast-iron skillet of Hangover Casserole or Roast Beef Hash, which you can see from a-z in their thin, long open-sliver set-up.

Toast Bar 1028 Ridge St.

Which leads us to Dan the Baker, the badass with the bread that is as close to a food star in this town as we have. Nice, quirky, simple, the show in Dan’s kitchen isn’t flashy, but damn if we don’t wanna sit in front of that little window and take it all in. A toast to you, Dan…

The Table 21 E Fifth Ave.

Perhaps one of the most environmentally sustainable restaurants in C-Bus, The Table takes pride in their skillfully-sourced and prepared ingredients. Their charcuterie boards are made with in-house cured meat and local cheeses, their bread loaves are baked daily, and the rest of their swanky menu is painstakingly sourced for the best possible display of local cuisine. The warm atmosphere will have you feeling relaxed and connected to your plate—not to mention feeling like guests and their chefs are all invited to the same space. Dining at The Table feels more like a dinner party at a friends’ house than an upscale restaurant—and we mean that as a compliment.

Fox in the Snow • 1031 N Fourth St.

Sure, there’s no real secret to what Fox and the Snow is cooking up. (And no, we don’t get to see that brilliant breakfast sandwich constructed), but we can sit at the bar and drool over the bakers doing their thing behind the glass. Open? Open to interpretation, we suppose, but any place where you get to sample and see belongs on this list.

GoreMade Pizza 936 N Fourth St.

Is it still an open kitchen if it’s most of the restaurant? We think so. It’s a simple menu with a handful of brews and cocktails, so you can spend most of your night decided what to chit-chat about while Nick Gore and his team cook you up something special. And by special, we do mean special: take advantage of the customization experience by choosing the “chef’s choice.” Trust us, it’s always different and never bad. Plus, you can see it all get made at a close enough distance to literally feel the heat. 

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