Painted with numbers and flanked by windows with blue shutters, the doors that line the interior of Mykonos Taverna resemble a charming view that one might stumble upon while visiting the restaurant’s eponymous Greek island. Owner and chef Christos Poulias wanted to give his guests an authentic experience, so he designed the interior of his restaurant to resemble an actual street in Mykonos. The effort to re-create the atmosphere of the island was so earnest that most of the decorations were packed up and, with Poseidon’s consent, shipped over from Mykonos itself.
The decor is not the only thing imported from Greece; a trunk of ancient family recipes made its way into Mykonos Taverna’s kitchen, and the chefs promptly revamped each dish to suit the restaurant’s modern, upscale feel. Among these are chicken souvlaki, gyros, spanakopita, and a recipe for lamb shanks directly from Athens. On Friday and Saturday nights, professional belly dancers complete the experience as they swivel their torsos, pop their hips left and right, and flash their legs through skirts made of warm pita.
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.
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.
Johnson’s on Market Street provides a place for New Albany denizens to come together over a sinful scoop of ice cream or a slice of warm, fresh-baked pie. The shop is modeled after the original Johnson’s Real Ice Cream in Bexley, a local community fixture for 60 years. Besides supplying more than 30 flavors of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, and frozen yogurt, the New Albany off-shoot traffics in all types of baked goods, including cake pops, cupcakes, brownies, and pies. Many flavors follow the changing seasons, including autumn’s pumpkin milk shakes or April’s W2-flavored turnovers. Visitors can nibble and nosh on the tables and chairs arranged on the store’s red-brick patio.
The cooks at Zero's Pizza don't take shortcuts when preparing their cheesy pies. That means they knead their dough from scratch, and they'd never think of seasoning garlic butter with dried garlic powder?instead, they use whole cloves of freshly roasted garlic. Their sauce doesn't contain any preservatives or artificial ingredients, like in their custom, three-cheese blend. Pizza isn't their only specialty, though. Diners can also order salads, made with romaine lettuce rather than iceberg, hero sandwiches and indulgent sides, such as beer-battered french fries smothered in bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
Los Jalapenos cofounders Gustavo Salazar and Walter Eguez fill their menu with revamped family recipes from Mexico and South America. They marinate pork ribs with a tequila-based chipotle barbecue sauce, stuff shrimp in chimichangas, and serve the house special burrito with a side of cheese for dipping. Salazar and Eguez also put their own twist on American dishes, topping the southwest fiesta pizza with cheese dip, chicken, and pico de gallo and crafting a macho burger out of 10 layers—roughly the thickness of a college dorm-room mattress—including a beef patty, chicken breast, chorizo, bacon, and cheese dip.