Living down the street from the Italian Festival is to spend a weekend trying to steel oneself against the siren smells of bubbling tomato sauce and pizza oven aromas wafting over the entire neighborhood. Like a cartoon character that follows a snake line of odor down the street and around the corner, it was the Lomonico’s booth that lured us to its table. The arancini, Sicily’s legendary entry into the appetizer world, were little fried balls of risotto stuffed with herbs, cheese, and hits of homemade sausage that was literally swoon-worthy – as in I almost fell on my ass walking into a clutch of Italian nonnas. The locally-owned Lomonico’s has quite the following at its home base way out there in Pickerington, but it turns out we downtowners will get to wallow in their Italian goodness when a second Lomonico’s opens at the intersection of Grant and Gay streets later this month, or early December. Visit lomonicos.com to start planning your inaugural meal now.
Oddfellow’s welcomes a perfect bedfellow this month with the saloon’s kitchen take-over by Katalina’s Café. Top Oddfellow and Late Night Slice royal Mikey Sorboro believes that the meeting of these two food and drink minds is a match made in heaven. “We’re very particular about who we pair with,” he said. “And this fits awesomely.” The menu will feature an abbreviated listing (about 8-10 dishes) of beloved Katalina’s offerings. “About half will be familiar, and there will be new ones and variations,” Sorboro explained. “There’s this taco trio that’s just amazing.”
The entrepreneurial spirit has been rewarded in our local food scene, specifically through rampant Kickstarter support. Hot Chicken Takeover rocked their campaign ($63,401) and fans should start craning their necks looking for an HCT trailer this winter. The Commissary, another recipient of Kickstarter love, will be unveiling itself to its fans and supporters this November 16 with a Block Party showing off the many facets of our supportive food community. First of all, Kickstarter supporters can pick up their swag and locate their personal wooden spoon on the wall o’ spoons; additionally, Columbus Knife Fight will be holding a cook-off between Chef Stephen Redzinak of Sophies Gourmet Pierogi and Chef Lara Yazvac-Pipia of Two-Top Consulting. Tickets are $55 a pop and can be corralled by signing onto thecommissarycolumbus.com.
If wine is what is takes to warm you up on chilly nights, then make sure to check out the return of Milestone 229’s monthly wine dinners. The October version had “California Old Vines” as its theme and included courses ranging from escabeche to frog legs to lamb ragu. For updates on the $75-per person events, check out milestone229.com.
Recently, 101 Beer Kitchen celebrated its two-year anniversary with an amazing six-course beer dinner. The entire 101 family was in attendance and the mood was extended-family without the simmering dysfunction. Owners Jessica and Thad Kittrell took to the mic and thanked everyone, told hilarious tales, and were so heartfelt and genuine that the entire gastro pub fell for the couple. “This is a dream come true,” Jessica said. “We came up with this idea during play dates in the basement …” Also showing off his kitchen talents was Chris Hamilton, formerly of Smith & Wollensky, who will be helming the culinary ship at the second 101 Beer Kitchen to be located in Gahanna. Visit 101beerkitchen.com for the latest updates and information about upcoming beer dinners.