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NYC girl looking for food in Columbus, Ohio.....help!!!

  • m

I grew up in Ohio, however I moved to NYC six years ago to attend culinary school and work in the trenches known as the New York restaurant scene. I moved back to Ohio about a month ago because I'm having a baby girl and NYC is not the place for me to raise a family. HOWEVER, this is coming as a huge sacrifice to me......the food!!! I'm not trying to be a snob.....but I've been immersed in food culture with people that are passionate about their ingredients and above all possess the technique and finesse to put out some seriously tasty food. Do people like this exist in Columbus? I'm not talking about the Cameron Mitchell 'wannabe's' (or any CMR restaurant for that matter) who have been running the same menus for years and lack the ability to season properly. I'm looking for suggestions in any style of food that is high brow or low brow, my only request is that it be delicious! I will step off my soap box now, I appreciate anyones input.

p.s. this girl is desperate!

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  1. Here's a recent thread of mine, with some Columbus recommendations.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691706

    One of the things I miss most about living in the midwest is the freshly picked sweet corn!

    1. There is a vibrant independent restaurant scene in Columbus, you just have to know where to look. There are many chain places that have outposts here and you have to make a concerted effort to reach beyond those. Do some searching on Chowhound. The best areas to look for these kinds of places are in the German Village, Short North, Arena District areas and parts of downtown. The chains seem to run in the suburbs, but not always.

      Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

      Lola's - Gahanna, small,intimate family run Italian food.
      Mac's - Short North, very good "bar" food, great burgers
      The Top Steakhouse - Bexley - old school steak and atmosphere
      G. Michael's, Barcelona, Banana Bean Cafe, Brown Bag Deli, German Village Cafe - group of delicious German Village eateries ranging in menu and price
      Graeter's, Jeni's, Johnsons - Columbus is home to great ice cream
      Trattoria Roma - Grandview Italian
      Paul's Pantry - Grandview coffee shop/diner
      Bakeries - Pistachio Vera, A Piece of Cake, Suisse Shop, Resch's (traditional cakes)
      Indochine - very fresh Vietnamese/Laotian in Whitehall
      Bagels - Blocks
      North Market - where to start? so many places, almost all very good, get yourself there NOW

      BTW, are you a Bexley HS grad? I have a feeling I know you

      Here is a great website written by Lisa the Waitress on what's happening culinarily speaking in Columbus:

      http://www.restaurantwidow.com/

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      Trattoria Roma
      1447 Grandview Avenue, Columbus, OH 43212

      Brown Bag Deli
      898 Mohawk St, Columbus, OH 43206

      North Market
      59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215

      Banana Bean Cafe
      340 Greenlawn Ave, Columbus, OH 43223

      Grandview Cafe
      1455 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212

      Indochine Cafe
      561 S Hamilton Rd, Columbus, OH 43213

      1. Third and Hollywood in Grandview
        Rigsby's in the Short North-Chef just got nominated for a James Beard award
        Dragonfly Neo-V-Victorian Village-just got nominated for a James Beard award
        Alana's on Campus
        Sage Bistro on North Campus
        Kihachi-Anthony Bourdain ate here while in town
        Indian Oven- downtown
        Sorry can't really think of a place that has NY pizza but maybe the North Market and our Mexican food here is well.......... but that being said my fav place is Cuco's Taqueria on Henderson Road.
        Another good food local blog is:
        http://hungrywoolf.com/
        http://cmhgourmand.com/
        http://www.columbusfoodie.com
        http://www.photoeats.com/
        http://breakfastwithnick.blogspot.com/

        Welcome home!

        1 Reply
        1. re: nemis

          Rigsby's and Dragonfly were actually Semi-finalists for the Bread Awards - and it was the chef, not the restaurant.

          I run my blog at uhockey.blogspot.com - just search for restaurants tagged Columbus. Having been to NYC myriad times in the last few years there is nothing here you can't get in New York - but the nice places do shine, regardless.

          In order:
          Refectory
          Kihachi
          Rigsby's
          Luce
          Dragonfly
          M (yes, at Mitchell restaurant, but excellent)
          Alana's
          L'Antibes
          I've not been to G.Michaels, but I've heard good things.

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          Rigsby's Restaurant
          698 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

          L'Antibes
          772 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

          1. I've nothing to add, but would include some encouragement. We drive between Brooklyn and Indiana, and I always try to stop in Columbus. Not only is it a charming town (German Village, especially) but the food quality is quite hight.
            We always try to lunch at Rigsby's and stop in the North Market when passing through.
            And once you are in a position to enjoy wine again-Barcelona has a lovely garden in which to spend the evening, and a pretty interesting wine by the glass.

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            Rigsby's Restaurant
            698 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

            North Market
            59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215