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Food & Drink

Pint House owners feel the heat with new Short North restaurant

614now Staff



From the people who brought you the Short North Pint House comes….Forno.  Forno (that’s Italian for “oven”) is located at 721 North High Street and is setting up some pretty high-markers to meet.  Promising a unique dining experience, the open stone-fired kitchen sits in the middle of the restaurant offering diners a front-row seat to the food prep.  Old-world charm, modern design…opening to the public this Friday.  We can’t wait to hear what you think about this place!  (jj)

More info

We do want to let you know that even though the official opening isn’t until Friday, (614) is giving you a chance to check things out early with a sneak peek night on Wednesday!  Details here


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Food & Drink

Cheers! Winning recipes from inaugural Winter Cocktail Competition

614now Staff



The inaugural Winter Cocktail Competition is officially in the books! Thanks to everyone who joined (614) Maker's Mark, and Jim Bean for the sipping, sampling, and socializing event at Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph on Monday, February 24.

With 17 of Columbus' best mixologists present, the competition was fierce. While everyone walked away with the piece of the prize having just been in attendance, there could only be one winner.

Scroll down for the winners and fan favorite, a photo gallery, and recipes of all 17 bars so you can recreate the evening without ever leaving the house!

Oddfellows Liquor Bar "Florida Man THIRD PLACE

2 oz el Tesoro repo
1.5 oz spicy Agua Fresca
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz martini ambrato
2 dash saline
Bartenders/Assistants: David Yee

Denmark on High "Turn Around Dark Ryes" SECOND PLACE

1oz Old Overholt Rye
1oz Basil Hayden's Dark Rye
.5oz House Cherry Cordial (we can use Effen Vodka for this)
.5oz Averna Amaro
.5 Vanilla Turbinado
.5 Maple Everclear
Bacon Sugar Rim
Bartenders/Assistants: Sean Taylor

Novak’s "Fog in Hakuba" FIRST PLACE

1oz Shitake infused Toki Japanese Whiskey
1.5oz Oolong Tea
.75oz Yuzu
1.5oz Strawberry Dragon fruit Puree

VASO Rooftop Lounge "Banksy Bubbles" FAN FAVORITE

2 oz Haku Vodka
3 oz Green Apple Juice
½ oz Midori
¼ oz Green Apple Cordial
2 Dashes Acid Blend
Bartenders/Assistants: Logan Demmy

Antiques on High / Seventh Son Brewing "Bloodtwig"

1/2 oz El Tesoro Reposado
1 1/2 oz Roku Gin
3/4 oz orange liqueur (Courvoisier infusion)
3/4 oz seasonal fruit shrub
1/4 oz simple
1/4 oz grapefruit
Bartenders/Assistants: Matt Waite, Ryan Eilbeck

Asterisk Supper Club "Obviously You're Not a Golfer"

.5 Peppercorn + Lemon Peel infused Effen Vodka
.5 Coffee Liquor
.5 oz Toasted Cream infused with Chai
Bartenders/Assistants: Steven Riska

Barrel and Boar "Rose + Rye"

1.5oz Basil Rye
3/4oz Lemon Juice
3/4oz Rosemary Syrup
1/2oz St. Germaine
Bartenders/Assistants: Chris Scarver

Buckeye Bourbon House "Pearl and Gay"

2oz Knob Creek Single Barrel
.75oz Luxardo
Maraschino Liqueur
.25oz Fig Jam
1 dash Black Walnut Bitters
3 dashes Angosture Bitters
Bartenders/Assistants: Onisha Burch

Final Cut at Hollywood Casino "Apple Strudel Martini"

2.5oz Jim Beam Apple
1oz Rumchata
.5oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1.5oz Apple Cider
Splash Orange Bitters
1/8 size slice Muddled Orange
Apple Slice Garnish
Bartenders/Assistants: William Sanders

High Bank Distillery "The Ski Trip"

2oz Courvoisier VSOP
.5oz Toki Whiskey
1oz amaro ango
1oz sweet vermouth
1oz spiced blackberry syrup
Bartenders/Assistants: Zach Jensen

Mitchell's Steakhouse "Tableside Torched Apple Manhattan"

2-1/2 oz - Bakers
1/2 oz - Berentzen Apple Liqueur
1/2 oz - Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
Garnish 1 Black Cherry

Combine above ingredients
Stir with ice
Strain cocktail over black cherry in a beaker
Place the Apple Wood chips in cast iron skillet
Torch the Apple Wood chips with a low flame until smoldering
Place serving glass over smoldering wood chips 20 secs
Remove glass and place large 2x2 ice cube in it
Pour cocktail into the serving glass

Nosh on High "Take Me Home"

2 oz Effen Vodka
1/2 Egg white
1 1/2 oz Smoked Apricot & Rhubarb compote
1/2 oz St Germain
1/2 Aperol
Blonde Lillet spritz
Dried Rhubarb Garnish
Coupe Glass
Bartenders/Assistants: Andre Baskins

Short North Pint House "Apple Pie Whiskey Sour"

1.5oz Makers Mark
Maple Syrup
Lemon juice
Apple Pie Spices
Garnished with a spiced apple slice
Bartenders/Assistants: Kierstin McCracken

Soul at The Joseph "Banana Foster Old Fashioned"

2 oz Knob Creek Single Barrel (infused with vanilla, fig, and walnut)
1/2 oz Giffard Banane de Bresil
Mole Chocolate Bitters
Bartenders/Assistants: Alex Burch and Bee Zaccaria

The Brew Brothers at Eldorado Scioto Downs "Scioto Showdown"

1.5 oz Jim Beam White
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Allspice
Muddled Cherries
Orange Slice
Bartenders/Assistants: Robert Tabler & Anna Dowden

The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar "The Honey Maker"

1.5oz Chamomile infused Makers Mark
.75oz egg white
.5oz Honey Rosemary Simple Syrup
.5oz Lemon Juice
Lavender and Rosemary garnish
Bartenders/Assistants: Rachel Kaufman and Erin Mason

Watershed Distillery "Far From The Tree

1.25oz Suntory Toki Whiskey
1oz Watershed Distillery Apple Brandy
.25oz Giffard Passion Fruit
3 dash Bittermen’s Tiki Bitters"
Josh Gandee, Matina Bliss, Anthony Tenney, Tommy Householder

All photos by Rebecca Tien

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Food & Drink

Neighborhood Nostalgia: Columbus’ legendary Top steakhouse will never go out of style

Jeni Ruisch



When I was sent on assignment to Columbus landmark steakhouse The Top, I had no idea that my editor was figuratively handing me a ticket to a time machine.

Naively, I thought I’d stop by for a bite and dash o a quick write-up. Bada bing, bada boom. Instead, what I found, in addition to the mind-blowing top shelf fare, was an altogether encompassing experience, making me homesick for a place where I’ve never been, and nostalgic for a time when I never was.

More like this: The very last York Steak House is on Broad St. and it’s perfectly nostalgic

It’s not a cliche to call The Top a throwback; it’s impossible to call it anything else. From its geometrically shaped mirrors hung on warm wood-paneled walls to its retro-font menus, to when you walk in the front door and catch a quick glimpse inside a private room where’d you expect to see a Ray Liotta character closing a deal—every facet is sealed in our collective nostalgia.

Photos: Collins Laatsch

The Top is vintage vintage—authentic down to the carpet, rather than the “fauxback” trends we see so often in post-Mad Men pop culture.

It was, and still is, a true supper club, a relic in the restaurant industry that’s barely changed since it began operations in 1955. Lucky for us. Because the only thing harder on the budget than steak—is time travel.

Seated in a booth, absorbing the Rat Pack vibe, I perused the extensive wine list. The price points make this place a special occasion destination for most. The service was impeccable and friendly. The dim lighting created an ambience even before the dinner rush.

I started with an Old Fashioned, as you do when in a supper club. The stiff mix begged a slow imbibe. I ordered Oysters Rockefeller from my server and silently wished I had done my hair and worn pearls. I smelled the oysters before I saw them. Had I not already been seated, I may have been carried away on the aroma, Pepe Le Pew-style. The cheese bubbled and steamed as the plate hit the table. Lava-hot and savory, the toasted cheese enveloped the delicate mollusks on the half shell.

I had to stop at two to save room for the main event. The specialty here is no secret: steak. I ordered something that had been foreign to me previously: a 40-day aged, 24-ounce ribeye. Sourced from Michael’s meats, whom the owners, Regina and Denver Adkins, have partnered with for decades. Michael’s ages some of their meat selections, altering the liquid balance in the tissue. This affects everything from spice and salt absorption, to cooking time and, above all, flavor.

The entree’s arrival felt like a right of passage. The char-broiled cut was topped with huge grilled shrimp, like buttery pink ornaments on a tree. Branches of fresh broccoli hugged the side of the steak. Beautiful to look at, sure...but good lord...the flavor. The crisp char crunched lightly, and the tender red inside melted in my mouth—the kind of bite that urges you to close your eyes and exhale as you chew. Along with my huge steak and veggies, I got a crock of shareable-size au gratin potatoes. (Don’t you judge me.) When I cut into them with the side of my fork, and the smell of cheesy, creamy potatoes drifted up from the dish, I made a silent apology to my dear departed mother for already having cursed her her au gratin from memory.

More Like This: Neighborhood Nostalgia: Ringside Cafe, one of Columbus’ oldest bars

Would I like some dessert? the server asked. My waistline said hell no, but luckily it wasn’t conducting this Dionysian train. What arrived was a pair of golden, house- made, phyllo dough triangles full of creamy mascarpone, laid on a bed of saucy berries, and drizzled with caramel. Baked to order, and worth every moment of wait. (You’ll need that time to digest anyway, you nihilist.)

Perhaps it’s because every bite forced me to stop and borderline genuflect—but time truly seems to stand still at The Top.

Between bites, I peered around the dining room in quiet amazement. The nooks and booths lend each seat in the house a certain intimacy. I meditated on the lover’s quarrels, marriage proposals and anniversaries these walls had witnessed over the decades and wondered if, like a Jack Torrence vision, it would cease to exist once I left.

Maybe it was the stiff drinks, or maybe it was because the pianist started playing my parents’ song, but as the music fell around me like soft snow and I mouthed the lyrics I had heard a thousand times, I began to understand the draw to the this bygone environment in a way I hadn’t previously.

The big takeaway (besides a Herculean pile of leftovers):

The Top remains relevant with nary an update because it’s a place holder—keeping open a door to a bygone era that people can step through when a meal deserves to be dining, darling.

The Top has been voted Best Steakhouse and Best Neighborhood Restaurant (Bexley) in the (614) Magazine ColumBest readers’ poll. It is located at 2891 E Main St.

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Food & Drink

Craving Creole: 5 of our fave cajun joints

Regina Fox



Despite being a few hundred miles from where the real action is taking place, we think you deserve your piece of the King, pie.

Take your palate on a vacation to NOLA this Mardi Gras at five of our favorite cajun restaurants around Columbus.

Yats | 1386 Grandview Ave, Columbus

Go cajun creole crazy at Yats in Grandview, where you can get an array of sauces and stews + rice and cajun buttered baguette for under 10 bucks. No waiters, no tablecloths, just the way we like it.

J. Gumbos | 64 Granville St, Gahanna

Want a bowl as big as the Bayou? Head to J. Gumbo's for delicious and authentic creole and cajun food at a great price.

Gallo's Kitchen and Bar | 2820 Nottingham Rd, Columbus

Join Gallo's for our Fat Tuesday celebration with live music all night long, Hurricane cocktails, Abita beers, and the best creole cooking in Columbus.

Kai's Crab Boil | 839 Bethel Rd, Columbus

Roll up your sleeves and tighten your bib, it's about to get messy! Kai's brings the flavors of the coast to the Midwest. Shake up your favorite seafood any way you like 'em.

Chef Butcher's Creole Kitchen | 1052 B Mt. Vernon Ave, Columbus

In 2006, 54-year-old Louisiana native Chef Henry Butcher decided it was time to be his own boss. Now, his restaurant is one of the top cajun authorities around here. The menu is all Bayou: seafood jambalaya, fried gator, Po Boys, several gumbos, fried catfish creole and of course, red beans and rice.

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