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Taste Profile: @eatplaycbus

In Columbus, it’s not just the chefs and cocktail artists and writers pushing our palates forward, it’s the everyday folks who via social media are leaving a trail of crumbs for the rest of us to follow. Taste Profile, a new monthly feature in (614) will introduce you to the local handles and give you [...]
614now Staff

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In Columbus, it’s not just the chefs and cocktail artists and writers pushing our palates forward, it’s the everyday folks who via social media are leaving a trail of crumbs for the rest of us to follow. Taste Profile, a new monthly feature in (614) will introduce you to the local handles and give you the low-down on what’s good in the capital city.

What’s the last great dish you had?  I am a huge fan of brunch. I finally got to Tasi in the Short North and it lived up to everything I’d heard. I ordered the poached eggs and black bean cakes with jalapeño butter sauce. Perks of having a husband who loves food just as much as you do? You can snack on his plate, too! He ordered the cinnamon-challah french toast with bananas and Ohio maple syrup. Not only was the food absolutely delicious, the crew working was so excited and genuinely wanted us to enjoy the food and atmosphere as much as they enjoyed creating it. Since my husband and I love to meet people wherever we go, we loved that they had a community table where we could enjoy our meal alongside other diners.

What’s the last great dish you cooked? I’m not quite as adventurous in my own kitchen as I am when I’m out to dinner, but I am pretty proud of my most recent dish. I tossed some avocado in tempura and fried it up to make some tortas with a spicy turnip, cabbage, and carrot slaw. I used chipotles in adobo to spice up the turnips and make it a little more flavorful.

What drives you to be a tastemaker in Columbus? I have an honest desire for people to adore the city of Columbus as much as I do, especially the thriving food scene. There is such innovation, creativity and excitement about food that I want to share with everyone. It’s a common ground that can motivate you to create connections and conversations with strangers. A low-key meal at a slow restaurant can turn your evening into a memory that you’ll remember forever because of the food and the story it can tell.

What is the most significant way food and drink has changed in Columbus in the last five years? Have you seen the Short North lately? Grandview, German Village, Italian Village? They still have some of their grounded staples but all of those neighborhoods have blossomed with restaurants, food trucks, cafes, bars, pop-up restaurants and a strong community that shows nothing but support for this collaborative food scene. I firmly believe the residents of Columbus have had a new sense of connection and wonder how and where their food or drinks are coming from; the food industry has answered those calls.

Favorite Filter: Does sitting next to a window count?

Put together your perfect night on the town, from pre-meal cocktail, to dinner, to nightcap: I’d start the night off at the original best happy hour in Columbus, Marcella’s in the Short North. No matter how many other cocktails I try, my favorite will always be the Grapefruit Basil Fizz and during happy hour, they are half off which means you can have multiple and not feel guilty, right? Next, I’d pop over to El Camino Inn down on Fourth Street and order The Cubano and maybe a paloma to pair with it. After hopping around the other cozy spots on Fourth, I’d head back to the Short North and finish off the evening at Oddfellows with a boozy slushie, a movie and maybe a slice of pizza from Mikey’s Late Night Slice.

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Food & Drink

Italian Lebanese hybrid restaurant coming to German Village

Regina Fox

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What do you get when you cross Italian food with Lebanese fare? Bistrolino.

The new hybrid restaurant will take over the spot formerly occupied by Harvest Pizzeria at 495 S 4th St. in German Village. A December open date is expected.

Columbus Business First reports Bistrolino is owned by Samer Chedid and Francesco Todisco, who worked together at Aladdin's Eatery. As immigrants, Chedid will bring is Lebanon roots to the concept, while Todisco will contribute his Italian influence.

Todisco told Columbus Business First the menu will be small, offering single-serving baking dishes including zucchini parmesan, braciola, and a Lebanese flatbread called man'oushe.

Keep an eye on Bistrolino's Facebook for updates.

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Food & Drink

Taft’s on Draft: Cinci Brewporium opens first Columbus location in Franklinton

Linda Lee Baird

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After hearing all the hype about Cincinnati’s up-and-coming Over the Rhine neighborhood a few years back, I went to see it for myself. The first stop was Taft’s Ale House, a gigantic brewery inside of a church originally built in 1850, fully renovated for guests’ reveling pleasure. After spending the next few hours sampling beverages and snacking on beer cheese pretzels, I was inclined to believe the neighborhood hype. Did I fully explore OTR that night? I don’t actually remember. But I’m certain that I had a great time at Taft’s. So when I found out that Taft’s was coming to Columbus, the news sounded even sweeter than their Maverick Chocolate Porter.

Taft’s Brewpourium Columbus spans nearly 6,000 square feet in the Gravity development, including over 2,000 square feet of patio space. Like the development itself, Taft’s is building an artistic theme into its new offering. “Our actual design is going to be kind of focused on ‘80s/‘90s pop art,” said David Kassling, Managing Partner for Taft’s Brewing Company. “Being that Franklinton definitely has its art roots, we think that’s a great way to ingrain ourself in the community.”

Kassling said that the word brewpourium literally means the place where the brew is poured. That they’ve chosen to make “brewpourium” part of their name tells you everything you need to know about what Taft’s wants to be known for: its carefully crafted suds. The brewpourium will have at least 10 taps serving Taft’s original varieties, including its signature Gavel Banger IPA, which was voted best beer in Cincinnati last March by the city’s residents.

Taft’s will offer a full food menu as well. Kassling is particularly proud to introduce New Haven-style pizza to Columbus. “We’re recreating a style that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Ohio,” he said. (The style is also known as apizza, which is pronounced "a piece," as in, I’d like a piece of that crisp coal-red cheesy goodness right now, please.) Kassling describes it as a cross between New York and Neapolitan style. Taft’s version features our and tomatoes imported from Italy.

Rounding out the menu is another ‘90s-inspired treat, this time in dessert form. Remember Dunkaroos, those cookies that came in a package with icing designed for dipping, perhaps consumed while you watched episodes of Saved By the Bell? Taft’s will serve up Taftaroos, its unique take on the snack.

Kassling plans to use the brewpourium’s large space to offer patrons activities beyond food and drink. The stage will be open for games of darts when not in use for performances. On the floor, guests will find shufflepuck and Killer Queen, an arcade game utilizing 8-bit graphics in line with the old-school theme. Video game fans will also find gaming stations inlaid in the bar, with several retro options to choose from.

With three Cincinnati locations in operation, Kassling is not new to the business. Even so, expanding to Columbus marks a milestone, and one he wasn’t always seeking to meet. “We didn’t necessarily look at this as we needed to expand to a new city or we needed to expand to Columbus,” he said.

But when the opportunity to join the Gravity Project presented itself, Kassling said it proved too good to pass up. “We’re really excited, not only because of the nature of the building being so modern and unique, not just to Columbus, but to anywhere. But also the shape of our space is funky, and that led to different ideas in what we wanted to do with our build out.”

Kassling acknowledged that in coming to Columbus, Taft’s is joining a few of our communities: the community of Franklinton, to be sure, but also the well-established community of independent breweries operating across the city. An installation built into Taft’s countertop will pay homage to this fact, incorporating crushed cans and packaging from breweries like Seventh Son, Land-Grant, and North High. “It’s gonna be totally an art piece,” he said.

Rather than focusing on the potentially competitive aspect of the brewing scene, Kassling emphasized the camaraderie and common goals within the industry. “At the end of the day, craft beer is a great way to bring people together,” he said. “And at the end of the day, we’re all preaching community and good times.”

While Taft’s new location may not be in a church, Kassling’s words are the type of preaching that I can get behind.

Taft’s Brewpourium Columbus is located at 440 W Broad St. in the Gravity project. For more details about Taft’s, visit taftsalehouse.com.

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Food & Drink

New “relaxed” wine house now open in Dublin

614now Staff

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Next time you're in Dublin, make sure to stop and smell the rosé at the city's newest wine bar. Coast Wine House recently opened at 75 S High St., offering a contemporary wine bar + bottle shop inspired by a blend of the spirit of coastal California and traditional wine country cafés, markets, and bodegas, according to the website.

Coast assures they don't take themselves too seriously "in contrast to the conventional wine world," describes the website.

"The mood is decidedly relaxed. The wine is pleasantly chilled," Coast says.

The wine bar is run by Dustin Snow, who his wife, Molly, believes brings a "warm and relaxed" feel to Coast.

"A visit to our house is by no means fancy, but Dustin makes it special, because he genuinely wants to make you feel at home," she wrote on Instagram. "And since Coast is an extension of our home you will have this same warm and relaxed experience."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2r1Q5OgbAT/

Coast is open Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm- 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm- 10pm, and closed Sunday through Tuesday. To learn more visit coastwinehouse.com.

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