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.
Though it isn?t a matchmaking service, Grovewood Tavern is responsible for more than 150 successful relationships in the past decade, all of which were realized over dinner. The brick-enclosed restaurant specializes in the delicious puppy love between food and drink, hosting meals that pair fine wines, beers, and spirits with bites from a globally conscious kitchen. The courses encourage guests to savor combinations in the moment, but also nod to the history inside the glassware. Trivia and origin stories accompany the drinks, detailing their flavors and the favorable reviews they've received. Some dinners benefit from presentation by expert hosts, including vineyard aficionados and people who know how the ghosts are added to each bottle of spirits.
Outside of these showcases, visitors can still enjoy selections from the tavern's regular menu. Duck-burger sliders and spice-rubbed ahi-tuna sandwiches dispel any worries about stereotypical pub fare, and the entrees' emphasis on local and organic ingredients adds a refreshing ease of conscience to each bite. Grovewood?s catalog of savory meats ranges from Japanese-style barbecued chicken to the bison pot roast, which, according to a 2007 feature in the Plain Dealer, "falls gloriously apart, upon gentle forkage." Chefs accommodate vegetarians and vegans as well. A wealth of meat- and gluten-free options speckles the menu's pages, and the pairing dinners list substitutions for nonveggie helpings, replacing tea-smoked duck breast with grilled tofu and skirt steak with vegan beef.
La Petite France's proprietor, Daniele Crandall, grew up in France, where she spent her youth working in family restaurants before emigrating to the United States in 1964. She stayed in touch with her roots by teaching French to students before eventually deciding that it was time to return to the kitchen with her family members.
Today, they bustle among pots of steaming port with sun-dried tomatoes—which will become a demi-glace for duck—and crackling skillets of salmon, endives, shallots, and white wine. They plate filet mignon and pâté that the Cincinnati Enquirer said “has a nice rustic texture, more like a fine meatloaf than a liver pâaté, with a hint of clove or allspice. Little sour cornichon pickles accompany it, just as they do in thousands of bistros and restaurants all over France.” Beneath glittering chandeliers, the glow of fireplaces dances across tables clad in white tablecloths, like a maitre d’ who forgot his uniform. A stained-glass mural depicts the idyllic charm of Peillon in Provence, France, as diners sup on three-course dinners, enjoy tastings of California wines, or sip cocktails and listen to live music during catered banquets.
The good things about morning never end at Al Smith's Place. At booths and tables, customers devour stacks of pancakes, buttermilk biscuits crowned with homemade sausage gravy, and other homestyle breakfast dishes served all day long. Of course, should diners want to move on to lunch and dinner, cooks whip up slow-cooked meatloaf, housemade chili, and a selection of burgers and sandwiches. They also make fresh soups and pies, which double as the world's tastiest pillows.
At Fred's Diner, breakfast is king. Kneel at the feet of the most important meal of the day with a selection from the diner's menu. The three pancakes ($5.99)—with choice of sausage, ham, or bacon—forge a feast from flattened flour, while a three-egg cheese omelette ($4.99, with additional ingredients $0.85 each) sidekicks its stuffed sustenance with home fries and toast. Enjoy bread-bookended breakfast bites with a two-egg sandwich ($4.29), topped with choice of ham, bacon, or sausage, or simply feast on an uncomplicated half-pound of bacon ($2.50) with coffee ($1) or cranberry-orange juice ($2). Lunch-lovers are also in luck at Fred's Diner, with a fallout shelter's worth of soups, salads, sandwiches, and more on tap. Spoon-survey a bowl of Fred's famous chicken dumpling soup ($3.29), tenderly embrace the tenders of the grilled chicken salad ($7.49), or digestively dissect a 6-ounce rib-eye steak ($7.99). Specialty sandwiches include the Cuy-a-Hoagy ($6.39), topped with hot roast beef, and the triple-tiered tastiness of the Diner's Club ($6.99).
Foodgazi offers a diverse range of culinary classes devoted to unleashing the delicious power of farm-fresh, unprocessed meals incorporating as many organic and locally produced ingredients as possible. Foodgazi's savory, unforgettable vegetarian and vegan dishes run the gamut from convenient, casual fare to more involved culinary preparations. The Healthy School Lunches class (Thursday, August 19, 7 p.m.–9 p.m.) teaches the preparation of healthy, gourmet brown-bag fare for young scholars, and may include such offerings as sweet fruit kebabs, tempeh tuna salad with kale, and sweet potato chips. Two upcoming classes, Hearty Home-Style Italian and Pizza with Pizzazz, will dispense the ancient wisdom of whole grains and tomato viscosity, as well as how to toss pizza dough high enough to thoroughly frighten A.P. Astronomy students. On the other hand, the Foods for Entertaining, Holiday Eats, and Holiday Cookies classes are perfect for harnessing the sweetness of the holiday season without the nutritional guilt.