In Ethiopian culture, it is said that people who eat from the same plate, known as mosseb, will never betray one another. Using injera (a crepe-like bread made of teff, wheat, and corn flours) to scoop up chunks of spiced stew to place in a dining partner’s mouth demonstrate the affection and trust that only a shared meal can forge. While they don’t expect guests to feed one another, the chefs at Blue Nile recreates these Ethiopian culinary traditions with a menu of authentic dishes that range from the spicy berbere sauce to milder stews and delicately seasoned lamb and chicken. Served at a mix of traditional Ethiopian tables with American-style tables and chairs, lamb, beef, and chicken dishes are share space alongside vegetarian options such as fresh eggplant, collard greens, and yellow split peas. These combination specials help up to four diners break bread together, encouraging them to share smiles, flavors, and suggestions for what origami animal to make out of the leftover bread.
W.G. Grinders puts hearty oven-baked sandwiches, hot pizzas, and crispy salads into on-the-go hands, mouths, and bellies. For the lightest level of W.G. Hunger, sink your fork into a signature salad ($5.99), including the meaty original Italian, chock-full chef, tangy buffalo chicken, and aptly located Southwest chicken salad. If flat topography eases your fear of toppling off a mound of greens, choose the single-topping 12-inch personal pizza ($7.99), which spreads sauce and sprinkles cheese over a thin crust and includes your choice of bacon, ham, sausage, green peppers, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, or banana peppers. For some Italian flair wrapped in Italian dough, grab a stromboli ($5.99). Your meal also includes a side—choose from chips ($1), side salad ($2), or deli salad ($2–$2.50)—and a 22 oz. fountain drink ($1.49).
Yabo's Tacos showcases a menu to satisfy a range of appetites at both of its lively locations. A Baja-style menu dazzles palates with an array of fresh, made-from-scratch plates, including flavorful combinations of burritos, tacos, wraps, and salads. Kid-friendly choices, freshly baked desserts, and specialty margaritas from the cantina round out meals. While dining, guests may watch their favorite sporting event on one of Yabo's many large-screen televisions. The buzz of a fun, festive atmosphere beckons families to partake in game-day outings or family dinners.
Yabo's Tacos showcases a menu to satisfy a range of appetites at both of its lively locations. A Baja-style menu dazzles palates with an array of fresh, made-from-scratch plates, including flavorful combinations of burritos, tacos, wraps and salads. Kid-friendly choices, fresh baked desserts, and specialty margaritas from the cantina round out meals. While dining, guests may watch their favorite sporting event on one of Yabo's many large-screen televisions. The buzz of a fun, festive atmosphere beckons families to partake in game-day outings or family dinners.
Intricate notes emanating from a nearby piano. Steam rising off a teacup as it sits on a delicate saucer. Signs of old-world elegance permeate every corner of Mozart's Bakery and Piano Cafe, and owners Anand and Doris Saha wouldn't have it any other way. The European-trained couple have been slinging their famed sugary delicacies in the Columbus area for more than 20 years, after honing their skills in some of Europe's best restaurants and hotels.
However, even their most frequent diners will be astounded by their new, expanded location in a formerly abandoned Beechwold restaurant. While guests still get to enjoy more than 80 European delicacies?some of which helped earned Columbus Monthly's Best Dessert in Best of Columbus 2014?they can now do so on a patio or in one of many rooms stocked with the aforementioned pianos. And even the menu has gotten a slight makeover, with an extensive breakfast selection of savory strudels, quiches, and omelets as well as lunch and dinner entrees including angus burgers, authentic schnitzel, beef stroganoff, and chicken paprikash. The Columbus Dispatch praised the latter for its "excellent sauce of sweet paprika, cream and chicken stock that tastes house-made."
But as proud as the Sahas are of their elegant, continental cuisine, they take just as much pride in helping the community. They were recently honored with the first Columbus Small Business Community Heroes Award from Direct Energy for their fund-raising contributions. The funds have gone toward aiding many different parts of the community, a few of which are a local food pantry, programs for senior citizens, and after-school activities for children.
Old Blue Eyes casts his piercing gaze across the red-walled dining room as the opening strains of “Strangers in the Night” drift into the ears of diners seated at tables dressed in white linens. The aura of a refined 1960s club permeates every nook and cranny of Trattoria Roma, thanks in part to the assortment of framed Sinatra records and photos displayed behind the bar and the ever-present Rat Pack tunes playing throughout the day. Since its opening 22 years ago, the eatery's owners have fostered a cozy-yet-refined atmosphere bolstered by authentic Roman cuisine forged from local ingredients. This tradition continued eight years ago when veteran employee Shawn Mason took over the restaurant’s reigns from the original owners. Though he brought his own brand of hospitality to the mix, he made sure to uphold the kitchen’s tradition of high culinary standards.
As Shawn cheerfully chats with regulars scattered throughout the dining room and at the bar, his partner, chef Matthew Prokopchak, can be found architecting Italian eats with his crew in the kitchen. Having grown up learning the conventions of Italian cooking from his mother and aunts, chef Matthew integrates some of his family’s recipes into the menu, imbuing his dishes with a sense of history and tradition. He assembles his arsenal of fresh produce –from lush tomatoes to fragrant basil– from local farms. While the menu remains largely unchanged throughout the year, each night the friendly service staff sidles up to tables to detail the day's seasonal specials via verbal recitations or interpretive dances.
Amid the dining room’s ruby walls, a series of Orfeo Tamburi lithographs depicting post-WWII Rome––reportedly the only complete Tamburi collection in the United States––hang in elegant frames. The décor works in concert with the savory wafts of garlic emanating from the bustling kitchen to evoke a vintage Italian atmosphere.