The Next Foodie Frontier
Former vegan restaurant goes biodynamic
By Kimberly StolzPublished March 1, 2012
Till Dynamic Fare is filled with handwriting – on a cupboard, on the wall, on the beer taps, in the logo. The intricate level of detail speaks volumes about the Till experience. The venture is personal; dishes and drinks can be erased and replaced as new inspiration hits or as ingredients are available. Experiencing Till is a hand-delivered invitation to exploration.
This invitation is extended by owners Magdiale Wolmark and Cristin Austin, whose former endeavor in the same space, DragonFly Neo-V, set a national standard for vegan cuisine. From the cocktail menu to the food offerings, the ardor, dedication, and delight that these two take in presenting Columbus with their latest concoction is obvious.
One piece of advice to enhance your dining experience at Till: ask questions. Our server was well educated and generous with his knowledge. Checking out the drink menu, I inquired about the “shrub” – turns out, it’s a method of making a soda base dating back to Colonial days in which fruits are introduced to vinegar and left to dance madly with sugar and acidity. Till serves blood orange and cherry vanilla shrubs ($5). The blood orange offers a sparkle of flavor with a tweak of pucker.
Till presents their vegan version of the French fry dish poutine ($8) with house-made seitan gravy bolstering the earthy elements of the spuds and fresh tofu curd sliding in on a fresh and clean note. The bowl is large enough to share yet delicious enough to hoard.
On a chilly night, opt for the Hot Bird Casserole ($15.50). Similar to cassoulet, the lovely crock is filled with beans, chicken, ham, and a snowfall of goat cheddar cheese with a hefty drumstick jutting out like a herald of flavor. Hand-thrown by potter Jenny Floch, the crock keeps the mélange steaming and each bite promises to be better than the last as the flavors continue to mingle. The goat cheese cheddar is brilliant, as its sharp flavor cuts the briny base to wake up the palate. A slather of barbecue sauce surprises with a sweet tickle now and again.
The BD burger ($14) redefines the American classic. At Till, any dish with the prefix BD means (ask, I tell you!) that the ingredients in question were raised and/or cultivated according to biodynamic agriculture methods. For the past year, Chef Magdiale has been traveling back and forth to New York to investigate this farming ideal that focuses on the harmony and interrelatedness of soil, plants, and animals, respecting the dynamics and energy of the ecosystem.
Back to the burger … plated on a wooden slat with a heap of sesame-tinged carrots and a bowl of luminous grits sprouting two perfect potato chips, the hand-formed burger is rich in taste and not greasy at all. This BD burger serves as a succulent reminder of what meat tastes like when prepared with care. Slivers of lettuce lend a bit o’ green while the special secret white sauce adds a subtle tang.
The space itself is simple and clean. The walls are adorned with black-and-white sketches of biodynamic principles, a throwback to the botanical prints of yesteryear. The hall near the kitchen is formed of reclaimed wooden slats, creating a just-from-the-farm visual connotation. The bar is carefully stocked with emergent beers and interesting liquors, and forward-thinking wine flows from a tap. Coffee is provided by mad indie roaster Thunderkiss and is showcased through the pour-over brewing method.
At Till Dynamic Fare, there is always more writing on the walls to read and more questions to ask. Repeat visits are a must.
Till Dynamic Fare
247 King Ave.