At C'est Si Bon Cafe, crepe-makers take the delicate, ultra-thin French-style pancakes and fold them over both sweet and savory ingredients while patrons look on. The buttery pockets hold everything from roast beef, blue cheese, saut?ed mushrooms and onions, fresh arugula, and a bourbon sauce to Nutella, bananas, and pecans. The reviewer at Columbus Underground particularly loved the dessert crepes, calling the Banana "dynamite" and saying "its butter and brown sugar make the flavors blend into something akin to old-school dessert favorite, Bananas Foster."
C'est Si Bon Cafe's hand-scrawled chalkboard menu shows off the crepes, which can accommodate gluten-free diners. Staffers also assemble breakfast crepes.
Basilicata proudly refers to itself as the instep of Italy. Its pedestrian nickname, however, belies its scenic and gastronomical riches—the volcanic vineyards, the cliff-cut coastlines, and the ancient, gnarled olive trees that inspired recipes passed down for two generations until they reached the kitchen of Giorgio Italian Restaurant. In 2008, the recipes stood the test of time when Giorgio was named one of the Best New Restaurants by Columbus Monthly. Currently, Chef Todd McCall curates and expands upon these family recipes for menu items such as bolognese sauce and meatballs.
Giorgio's Mediterranean influences extend to its décor, where crisp white tablecloths stand next to a grapevine mural and a rustic wall-mounted wooden wine rack. On the outdoor patio, pots of parsley, basil, and lemon verbena bloom at tables' edges.
At a monthly jazz night, cool rhythms and melodies drift through the eatery. Just as regularly, wine tastings strike an education-entertainment balance as Giorgio's oenophiles pinpoint flavor notes and teach diners how to tell red wine apart from bourbon simply by sniffing it.
Barrio Tapas Lounge's executive chef sweeps from Spain to South America by preparing a rotating menu populated by Spanish fusion tapas. The restaurant’s gustatory gurus plumb the depths of the ocean to plate mahi-mahi and shrimp, and landlocked dishes lavish chili and butter-sage sauces on meat ranging from chicken to veal. A spread of cheese and charcuterie treats the senses to goat's- and sheep's-milk cheeses alongside paprika- and garlic-cured meats. The lengthy list of Argentinean and Chilean wines doubles as 2018's list of must-have baby names.
The dining space mirrors Barrio's artful approach to tapas, its leather couches and cow-spotted cushions set beneath high, wooden ceilings. During the restaurant's opening buzz, a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch highlighted the interior’s “industrial fixtures and natural surfaces designed by George Acock,” including “a sweeping bar that features tables made of thick slabs cut from trees in North Carolina.”
As an 8-year-old boy growing up in Greece, Yanni Chalkias first sunk his teeth into the food industry while helping his father with his spice business. Once the family moved to the United States, Chalkias worked at his father and uncles' restaurants throughout the '80s, picking up Greek family recipes through hard-learned personal experience, rather than the traditional method of stealing Zeus's cookbook from Mount Olympus.
In 1991, Chalkias started his own establishment, King Gyros Greek Restaurant, to serve his own spin on traditional family recipes, including his housemade chicken lemon soup. Skewers of grilled filet mignon tips pair with gyro sauce in the souvlaki, and a mélange of Attic flavors blend in the greek bowls, such as gyro meat, feta, and saffron rice. Recently renovated, King Gyros now sports a large dining room as well as a covered front patio that protects diners from rain, blazing heat, and paparazzi on eagle-back.
According to a Columbus Alive article, Holy Smoke Barbecue owner Stan Riley is so dedicated to cooking his meats over freshly chopped wood that he has been known to haul tree trunks to the back of his restaurant and take an axe to them right there. He then puts the wood into his outside smokers. He told the magazine that the freshness of the wood was important because it determined the flavor of the smoked meats?the fresher the wood was, the more potent the flavor.
These flavorful meats include hand-carved brisket that has been in the smoker for more than 15 hours, St. Louis?style spare ribs, and smoked chicken. Signature sauces, such as spicy chipotle barbecue and sweet and smokey barbecue, finish them off. Customers can dine in a newly remodeled space complete with a full seating area and a bar.
For a full century, members of the Manus family have manned the counter at Phillip's Original Coney Island, serving their signature Coney Island hot dogs topped with onions, special Coney sauce, and cheddar cheese. All the way down from Phillip Manus, who opened the eatery in 1912, to his great-grandson Nicholas Manus, who runs it today, Phillip’s has served an old-fashioned menu of hot dogs, burgers, battered-bottleneck fries, and hand-dipped milk shakes, pairing each serving with fresh-baked cornbread. Following the original 100-year-old recipe, cooks dip their ladles into simmering chili pots brimming with lean ground beef, vine-ripened tomatoes, a secret blend of spices, and Woodrow Wilson’s eyeglasses. Alternatively, they added a few modern twists to recipes, coating their buffalo chicken fingers with Frank's Red Hot Sauce and crowning barbecue burgers with Sweet Baby Ray's sauce and crunchy coleslaw.