[Columbus] Gallery Hop
I'm new to Columbus and I'm wondering what are some good restaurants for this event. There's going to be a group of about 10 people so I'm looking for a place that can accommodate a larger group. I'm interested in Rossi's so far but I'm open to other suggestions.
As you probably already know, but for the sake of those who don't, Gallery Hop is the first Saturday night of every month in the Short North. Galleries and shops stay open late, groups of 20 something men and women roam, older couples walk hand-in-hand. It is a festive, carnival-like atmosphere. With the return of the OSU crowd and hopefully a couple of good weather months, leading up to the holidays, the streets will be packed.
This said, parking is generally the big issue for this event. It's a good idea to eat somewhere where there is valet parking, then take a stroll after dinner and enjoy the shops and entertainment. And I would suggest you eat early if at all possible. Even the valet lots get packed very quickly. The Rossi is a great choice, I'm not sure if they have valet but they should be far enough North on the strip to accomodate parking. I love Haiku, they have valet, and will be able to accomodate your group with a reservation. Rigsby's is a treat, finer dining, and would be a great choice. Lemongrass has always been a favorite of mine, and again reservations for a group that size is a must. A good choice for casual burgers, salads, sandwiches and great cocktails is Bar Louis by the North Market. Enjoy your evening, your pre-planning will pay off!
Mac's Scottish bar has a fee-based parking lot next to it, it's on High St. I would second the notion of eating as early as possible, especially with so many people. Mac's is a great low rent choice, their burgers are great and they have the best chicken salad in town. Their specialty is Scottish eggs, breaded and deep fried, not my taste but they are supposed to be very good.
Haiku is quite terrible, smells fishy, and overcharges for "atmosphere." With a name like "uni on my mind" I assume you are into finer sushi - avoid it like the plague.
Rigsby's is, by far, the gem of the short north gallery hop dining scene - but L'Antibes, Rosendales Upstairs (haven't tried the bistro yet,) Basi is reportedly quite good, Marcella's is decent pizza and antipasti, Northstar has quality Veg fare, and Piece of Cake is an excellent spot for desserts.
Basi is wayyyyy too small for a party of ten. They may be able to accomodate you on the patio if the weather is nice and you get there at 5:00. A good walk from the Short North, it is on an alley close to Neil Avenue. Food is phenomenal.
I have never had anything less than excellent at Haiku, or noticed any smell, although I dine outside whenever possible. I usually do the noodle dishes, but my husband has the sushi platter, and loves it. We have taken friends there from California and they raved about it.