Referencing the tasty time-honored recipes of his grandmother, J. Gumbo's founder, Billy Fox Jr., designed a comforting menu of home-style sustenance. All dishes are prepared using only the freshest ingredients and zestiest spices available, as well as enough love to turn a wooden puppet into a real boy and a sock puppet into a foot. Dive fork first into a hearty bowl of jambalaya, bursting with tender chicken, sausage, and the ubiquitous "trinity" of Cajun cuisine: bell pepper, onion, and celery ($6.50). To deliciously deny the impending mitten season, wrap your hands around a voodoo-chicken po' boy sandwich, a belly-warming feast of spicy chicken and green onions atop French bread ($7.25). The menu is friendly to mild-mannered and thrill-seeking diners alike, with each entree item labeled according to heat––one hot-sauce bottle denotes mild, whereas three signifies a concentration of capsaicin powerful enough to send tongues rocketing to the sub-zero climes of Pluto in search of relief.
Warm, natural woods, terra cotta, wrought-iron fixtures, and exposed ceiling beams lend the upscale eatery an Old World charm studded with pops of contemporary green chairs, red lamp shades, and ethereal purple lights glowing above the bar. Overlooking scenic Big Walnut Creek and its surrounding park, the dining room is a romantic and comfortable spot for first dates that's free of the stuffy atmosphere and snooty waiters commonly associated with date-night fare. For an even better view and more intimate outing, hit the outdoor patio, where a fire pit casts flattering light and warm fuzzies on couples, old friends, and former P.E. teachers.
A spirited place for grub, brews, pool, and live music, The Pub in Gahanna has a little something for everyone. Browse the menu for bar-friendly edibles ranging from pizzas to saucy wings, or sit back and enjoy live music three to four nights a week. TVs broadcast live sporting events across the bar.
Gatsby’s offers its patrons plenty of entertainment, from the cheers that erupt from boisterous sand-volleyball games to the resonating vocals of live bands. Guests can watch performances from their seats or jump on stage during open-mic nights, as servers cart around trays filled with ranch-chicken pizzas and jumbo wings deep-fried in housemade Jim Beam barbecue sauce. Other finger-friendly foods include a half-pound Gatsby’s burger piled with sautéed mushrooms, onions, swiss cheese, and bacon, as well as a deep-fried and breaded pork tenderloin stuffed inside a Kaiser roll. Outside, a fleet of picnic tables provides ample seating, and a nearby sand court proffers games of volleyball to tiebreak sandcastle build-offs.
At Medallen's Gyros & More, chefs with a devout love of Greek cuisine dish out classics such as gyros and Greek salads. Delectable blends of beef and lamb fill out pitas packed with veggies and signature tzatziki. Meanwhile, sandwiches pile combinations such as ham and cheese or vegetables atop soft breads, and housemade soups—including vegetable lentil and chicken lemon—make friends with salads and side orders of stuffed dolmades.
Full might be the best word to describe Rotelli. A full bar, rife with red and white wine selections, backs up a menu full of classic Italian cuisine. Rotelli offers food, from specialty pizzas to stuffed calzones and chicken and veal entrees, to accommodate a variety of palate predilections. It wouldn't be a true Italian restaurant without a healthy pasta lineup; Rotelli presents baked ziti, meat lasagna, and penne chicken and broccoli among other gourmet pasta plates.
Modern chandeliers burst with angular panels, evoking massive, glowing ice crystals. Walls of stacked stone and slatted wood form a backdrop for crisp white tablecloths and coal-black chairs. To complement the sleek, contemporary décor, Restaurant Tora's tables populate with artistically presented Japanese dishes such as yakisoba, fresh sashimi, and more than 25 specialty sushi rolls. Korean-style stone pots sizzle beside hibachi-grilled seafood and thick steaks accompanied by teriyaki and wasabi-yuzu sauces. After polishing off dessert, diners can charm their dates' palates with a bottle of American wine or tousle their dates' hair with a charm of American goldfinches.