Japanese, Chinese, and Thai dishes share space on tables at Kogen's Far East Fare, an Asian-fusion restaurant inspired by Shandong, China's dry-goods marketplaces. Kogen's atmosphere and menu aim to be unique, contemporary, and fun by serving classic and inventive dishes to a diverse clientele, from families to sushi connoisseurs.
Like the secret undersea tunnel that links Athens to New Jersey, Easy Street Cafe binds America together with the sunny Mediterranean. The cafe is the brainchild of George Stefanidis. Back in 1983, he envisioned a place that would honor his family's oldest recipes—but he also wanted to serve up killer burgers. Today, his eclectic menu of Greek and American cuisine promises burgers and pizzas alongside savory gyros and flaming saganaki cheese. Craft cocktails and wines pair with Greco-American dinners. For brunch, choose from a selection of breakfast-influenced dishes, including The Hercules—three lollipop lamb chops with a side of eggs, pig sticks, and home fries.
Vittoria cofounder Vince Romanelli hearkens back to his hometown of Alvito, Italy, with a menu of modern and Old-World Tuscan dishes. The kitchen crafts tender housemade pastas for traditional eats such as chicken cannelloni and lemon-pepper linguine tossed with shrimp, and veal osso buco simmers in white wine and spices. Beneath the barrel-vaulted ceiling of a large, open dining area, patrons can also dig into updated entrees such as a pistachio-crusted breast of chicken adorned with marsala-caramel sauce. For dessert, chefs fill tarts with lemon curd made from Vittoria's signature limoncello and surround amaretto and white-chocolate napoleons with fluctuating borders of raspberry coulis. Wines and cocktails from behind Vittoria's marble-topped bar pair with dinner or with the musical stylings of local bands nightly.
Each year, hundreds of people flock to The Bogey Bar and Grill to watch a golf tournament they could easily see on television. And it?s not just the tournament that draws a crowd?it?s the atmosphere, the fresh fare, and the live music. The eatery keeps up this excitement all year long: Each day until at least 11 p.m., the kitchen releases its bounty?a menu of burgers, fish and chips, and baskets of fried pickles to go along with craft beers poured fresh from the bar. The Bogey also fills its huge patio space with frequent live music, spurred on by a lengthy outdoor bar that slings drinks to prevent guests from having to smuggle in flasks of vanilla extract.
At The Lazy Chameleon, chefs bring out the best in fresh seafood with tropical flourishes: they serve back-fin crab cakes with creole mustard, for instance, and drizzle cilantro-lime sauce over blackened tilapia. The environs are similarly subtropical, with hanging fishnets and verdant plants enlivening the dining room. In keeping with the jovial atmosphere, guests can try out experimental dance moves to the beat of live music four nights a week or feel the adrenaline rush that accompanies winning a card game at euchre night on Tuesday.
For 10 years, Wholly Joe's has provided the Columbus metro area with made-to-order Chicago-style eats and treats, saving residents a trip to the eerie, ghost-laden terrain of northeastern Illinois. Joe's uses authentic Chicago-sourced ingredients (including Italian sausage, Italian beef, sport peppers, and Turano Bakery breads) to capture the Windy City's savory, meat-packed cuisine. While Joe's does offer traditional Italian and grill fare—burgers, chicken and fish sandwiches, and pastas—its commitment to the mythic triumvirate of deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Italian beef is what keeps visitors' salivary glands replacing their th's with d's. The hand-shaped deep-dish pizza ($14.99 for 12", $16.99 for 14") is made from scratch (Chicago's most abundant commodity after political corruption) and can be topped with Second City staples such as Italian sausage, bacon, and hot peppers. Encased-meat enthusiasts can sample an original all-beef hot dog ($2.75) or Polish sausage ($3.35) with mustard, relish, chopped onions, sliced red tomatoes, cucumber, kosher pickle, and sport peppers—all stuffed into a steamed poppy-seed bun like so many cans of beans in a hobo's bindle. The Italian-beef sandwich ($5.39) features a pile of succulent, thinly sliced roast beef on French bread, soaked in the natural juices of its own delicious iniquity, and can be partnered with a side of crinkle-cut fries (regular, $1.89) or a Chicago-style tamale ($1.99).