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weekend birthday in columbus, oh

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i'm visiting columbus this weekend with a few friends to celebrate the birthday of a dear girlfriend. we are coming from nyc and our birthday girl is a nyc girl but currently living in columbus for work.

we'd love some foodie suggestions for a great sunday brunch, as well as fri/sat/sun dinners. we like places with an emphasis on fresh food (doesn't have to be gourmet, but good quality a must!) as well as a comfortable room with atmosphere.

would love ideas for one dress up meal and other casual ones. sushi, burgers, italian, french bistro and market driven foods are all welcome! also a great cheese shop as our girl loves her fancy cheeses but i'm not sure she's located a good cheesemonger yet.

to give you an idea of our tastes, places we love in ny include: peasant, otto, lupa, market table, blue ribbon sushi, balthazar, etc.

your suggestions are most appreciated!!

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  1. For a dress-up meal, you might like Rosendales:
    http://www.rosendales.com

    For slightly more casual italian with a real village/park slope vibe, try Basi:
    http://www.basi-italia.com

    Another upscale/urban italian possibility is Rigsby's
    http://www.rigsbyskitchen.com

    I haven't had their brunch but have heard really good things about the Worthington Inn (which I otherwise highly recommend):
    http://www.worthingtoninn.com

    and you need to try Jeni's ice cream after dinner. best flavors ever. thai chili is my favorite!
    http://jenisicecreams.com

    I just moved here from NYC two years ago... have fun!

    1. For a dress-up dinner, Barcelona in German Village is great. They have good martinis and fabulous paella. I also recommend Rigsby's in the Short North and Basi Italia in Victorian Village. All of these places have menus online.

      For casual brunch and lunch, Northstar Cafe is your best bet. Tasi Cafe also has wonderful brunch, though it can be hard to find a seat. They make walnut-raisin bread that is to die for.

      Have fun! Columbus is a great restaurant town.

      1. For a weekend brunch, check out Zen Cha Tea Salon (982 N High St).

        Check out Alana's (2333 N High St) for one of the dinners. They have a cheese board that will let your friend sample several cheeses.

        Columbus has some good Korean restaurants which also serve sushi. The one I like the best is Kaya (4710 Reed Rd).

        I can't disagree with the Basi Italia or Barcelona recommendations.

        1. Not sure if she has tried it yet, but for cheese Curds of Whey in the North Market is an option. The owner is very knowledgeable and if he doesn't have something you want he will order and keep the item in stock if he likes it himself

          1. Thye Columbus Restaurant Widow web site has great reviews of local restos http://www.restaurantwidow.com/ Agree with others on recs, not sure what part of town you are interested in or visiting.

            Here is a link to the top 20 from the local newspaper http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/...

            Cheeses - Whole Foods in Dublin, TJ's in Dublin or Easton in addition to North Market

            Personal recs:
            Brunch - Banana Bean Cafe, The Mohawk
            Burgers - Thurman's, Flat Iron, The Mohawk
            Sat night - Lola's in Gahanna (small homemade Italian), Barcelona, Rosendale's, Rigsby's, Basi Italia, The Top Steakhouse, Back Creek Bistro, The Refectory,

            1 Reply
            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              Thanks to all of you for your great suggestions! I thought I'd include a list of where we ended up. We really enjoyed our time in Columbus and were really impressed with the selection.

              Lindeys - in the garden for late lunch in the sunshine!
              Marcella's - for take out pizza (it was hectic on a Friday night!)
              Basi - for big group birthday dinner
              Northstar - for Sunday brunch
              North Market - artisnal bread for snacks
              Barcelona - for martinis and dinner on outdoor patio