The chefs at Blue Elephant Restaurant craft Thai curries, Japanese sushi, and Italian pasta dishes, tying them all together with the common thread of fresh ingredients and careful preparation. They specially order ingredients that are not available locally to ensure that each dish contains the freshest possible items. Basil leaves flavor the Thai-style basil chicken, and cashews add salt and crunch to mango chicken. Within sushi rolls, thinly sliced fish such as tuna and salmon complement the silky texture of cream cheese and avocado.
Prior to establishing the restaurant, the owners committed themselves to observing environmentally responsible building practices. As a result, the entire building is constructed from sustainable and recyclable materials. Energy-efficient light bulbs illuminate the dining room, and a geo-thermal heating and cooling system regulates the temperature. On stormy days, an onsite pond directs raindrops into the soil, preventing them from falling into a gutter or discarded chip bag.
Tan Thai serves up savory noodle dishes, authentic Thai entrees, and sweet curries in a relaxing, casual atmosphere. The menu showcases a smorgasbord of seafood specialties, including spicy salmon with basil and red curry ($14.95), as well as hot and spicy scallops, piled atop a mound of bamboo shoots, baby corn, bell peppers, basil, and red-chili sauce ($13.95). Tan Thai allows guests to customize meals with one of six protein choices—tofu, vegetables, pork, chicken, beef, or shrimp—and one of five levels of spiciness, ranging from the relatively mild level one, to the will-testing level five, capable of generating enough mouth heat to melt a harmonica. Personalize a plate of pad thai ($9.95–$11.95) or one of five colorful curries ($10.50–$12.50), such as the green, yellow, and red—inspired by Bangkok traffic patterns. Sip a refreshing thai iced coffee ($2.95) or nibble on a sweet treat of mango sticky rice ($4.95) in Tan Thai's cheery dining room adorned with serene, pale-yellow walls, comfy booth seating, and arched doorways.
Bolly Bears, located within Findlay Market since 2010, serves up an eclectic collection of ethnic foods and Indian favorites, such as shrimp curry.?Visitors can enjoy these treats from the east while taking in the sights and sounds of the market's other vendors and artists.?
Bolly Bears' chef Dan also teaches?people how to prepare similar dishes during 90-minute Indian cooking classes. He introduces students to the different Indian spices and helps them prepare such popular Indian dishes as golden yellow curry, chicken tikka masala, and the creamy spinach dish saag, which students then get to eat. To ensure participants don't forget their newfound skills, chef Dan sends them home with a copy of the recipes, an instructional DVD, and a vial of memory potion.
The Foreign Exchange was established with a simple mission?to unite the culinary traditions of several nations. The menu's largest influences are the flavors of Asia, from the spicy fried noodles and curries of Thailand to more than 50 Japanese sushi rolls. Hints of Chinese cuisine sneak into the chefs signature dishes, with the country's ever-popular sweet-and-sour sauce heightening the flavor of deep-fried walleye or salmon. Regardless of the origins of their dishes, the staff at The Foreign Exchange aims to please. They even go so far as to customize the spice levels of all their Thai curries, using an eight-point scale that goes from mild to profound regret.
When Basil Restaurant opened in 2009, the Columbus Dispatch reported on owner Rhome Ruanphae's inspiration: his mother?s string of successful Thai restaurants?beginning with Thai Village in Chicago?s Wicker Park neighborhood?that she ran with her husband while he was growing up. Rhome borrowed his mother?s culinary mastery for Basil, which teleports taste buds to Thailand with a menu of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine. Chefs gather rice or egg noodles to lay the foundation for many entrees, such as specialty kee mow, a soft or crispy maelstrom of rice noodles with thai basil, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The menu also features a rainbow of curries, soups, salads, and appetizers to keep ravenous diners from eating their napkins.
The seasoned confines of a former antique shop welcome diners to Basil Restaurant, decked out with bare brick and a retro advertisement for ice painted on the back wall. As a glittering chandelier casts light on colorful curries, wine-dark panels of varnished wood gaze at diners from the wall, and exposed lengths of ductwork add a neoindustrial aesthetic without the overkill of steam-powered dessert trays or austere Orwellian maitre d's.
Bold, earthy paintings line the canary-yellow walls of Lemongrass, but they have to contend with the vibrant spreads of sushi and pad thai that top the plates at the pan-Asian bistro. Sushi, sashimi, and nigiri options run the gamut from barbecue eel and asparagus to a specialty Manhattan roll glazed with shrimp caviar. A lighter lunch menu presents smaller portions of the dinner entrees, along with handheld options such as chicken bacon and shrimp-tempura wraps. An extensive wine menu complements the dinner and lunch menus, and the tempting dessert menu catalogs fried plantains and mango sorbet served in a mango rind.