Connect with us

Food & Drink

Delicatessen Delicacies

Harvey & Ed’s brings noshes and nostalgia to Short North. If an upscale deli sounds like a half-baked idea, you obviously haven’t been to Harvey & Ed’s. The latest creation from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants combines Jewish comfort food classics with artful execution in a Short North space that evokes the unpretentious ease of an East [...]
J.R. McMillan

Published

on

Harvey & Ed’s brings noshes and nostalgia to Short North.

If an upscale deli sounds like a half-baked idea, you obviously haven’t been to Harvey & Ed’s.

The latest creation from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants combines Jewish comfort food classics with artful execution in a Short North space that evokes the unpretentious ease of an East Coast eatery. Named for best friends and brothers-in-law, Harvey and Ed are the father and uncle of CMR President David Miller, with many of the menu offerings inspired by his childhood and the familiar fare of the family kitchen.

But merely trading on pieces of the past isn’t enough to build a cohesive brand that carefully couples corned beef with a cocktail bar. That’s why it took a team of talent to craft a dining experience new to Central Ohio, yet still unique among the establishments from which they drew their influence.

“We wanted to do something that felt East Coast,” revealed General Manager Jill Armstrong. She and Executive Chef Jonathan Basch traveled to New York and Philadelphia to find the elusive balance between uptown appeal and downtown authenticity. Both hail from Ohio and started relatively recently with Cameron Mitchell, and in the Short North—Armstrong as a server at The Pearl, and Basch as a prep cook at Marcella’s—affording the first-hand insights necessary to connect with the neighborhood and the clientele.

“We went to Katz’s, which is ‘go-go-go’ and not quite fine dining. We really loved Russ & Daughters and Sadelle’s, which have great vibes,” Armstrong noted. “In Philadelphia, we went to Abe Fisher, which is a high-end, more polished version of what we liked, all the way to Zahav, which is more critically acclaimed with a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences.

“That’s how we wrapped our heads around what Harvey & Ed’s was going to be, the difference between being a delicatessen and deli-inspired, a concept that didn’t really exist in this market, but would fit well in the Short North,” she explained.

The location was already a done deal, though the updated deli counter and dining room bear little resemblance to Rigsby’s Kitchen. Amid construction hassles that abound in the area, foot traffic is brisk, even if parking is still a mess. Despite the newness and faint echoes of the former Italian eatery, the restaurant feels like it’s always been there, or always should have.

“Some people are just excited about the new concept, but we also have people who moved here from New York,” explained Armstrong, noting the table where we were seated served a couple originally from Brooklyn the evening prior. “It’s a mix of adventurous eaters who want to see what we’re all about and transplants to Columbus from the East Coast.” 

It’s an easy oversight for ambitious restaurateurs to focus first on atmosphere and aesthetic, and let the menu evolve over time. But Harvey & Ed’s is in many ways new for Columbus—built around a pent-up demand for delicatessen delicacies for some, yet having to essentially introduce ingredients and entire entrees to many. Even I didn’t know Columbus had a dearth of pickled herring until a friend was unwittingly pinched by the TSA trying to bring back a small jar from Russ & Daughters in his carry-on and made him toss it. He still can’t stop kvetching about it.

Though the capital city’s Eastern European roots are represented in the restaurant scene, and with a Jewish community among the largest in the Midwest, some dishes may still require a little deciphering for the uninitiated, offering a new appreciation of why Mrs. Maisel deftly described pot roast as “Methodist for brisket.”

“Not everyone knows what a knish is,” confessed Basch, charged with keeping the menu traditional, approachable, and innovative—which is a tall order for any chef. “We use chicken livers in our chopped liver. Some use beef livers, but there’s a little less iron and they’re sweeter, and we sweat the onions down in schmaltz.”

Bubbe’s Matzo Ball soup is far more familiar, even if it’s the size of a fist, just like Miller remembers them as a kid. Egg Creams are my own long-awaited soda fountain staple, despite the misnomer, containing neither—just Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer in perfect proportion.

“Then we got more creative, from the Knoblewurst, which is beef sausage made at The Butcher & Grocer in Grandview, to the Pomegranate Braised Lamb,” he revealed. “Our brisket is confited. It’s so tender, you can cut it with a spoon.”

Purveyors were thoughtfully curated between authentic brands and local sources, a deliberate mix of homage and in-house. Block’s Bagels were a given, with Matt’s Bakery and Orlando for challah and rye, and Turano potato buns from Chicago rounding out the rolls. But the babka and pastries on the deli side are all baked in the back. After some trial and error, Basch decided his Columbus kitchen could hold its own preparing almost all of the fish you’ll find on the menu, from kippered salmon to gravlax. Detroit’s Sy Ginsberg is synonymous with corned beef, closer than Katz’s, and for my money, just as likely to make Meg Ryan writhe in her seat.

More sophisticated tastes won’t feel shorted either, from the Latke Royale (with crème fraîche, cured salmon, caviar, fennel, and green apple) to the seared seabass (served with vegetable goulash, spatzle, and cucumber yogurt), or keep more Midwest with a Pastrami Burger (aged Havarti, horseradish pickle, tomato, and brown mustard). They’ll even put a fried egg on it if you ask.

Adding a fried egg isn’t the only nod to Columbus culinary expectations. Their brunch expands the menu even further, while their deceptively simple cocktails are the thread that ties the days, nights, and weekends together.

“We don’t serve cocktails with a giant garnish and ten ingredients. We’re more spirit forward, with three or four high-quality ingredients,” explained Armstrong, with the Boozy Egg Cream served in a milk bottle with a metal straw offered as an example of the more playful, less stuffy, cocktail philosophy. “Our seven-day happy hour also includes wine and beer specials, with half-off craft cocktails and noshes as well. We wanted to be sure we reach the bar crowd and keep that a focal point. It balances the restaurant. We want Columbus to know we’re more than just a deli.”

Harvey & Ed’s | 698 N High St. | harveyandeds.com

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Harrison West brewpub announces open date

614now Staff

Published

on

The highly-anticipated brewpub coming to Harrison West finally announced its open date. Cleveland-based Saucy Brew Works will celebrate the grand opening of its 443 W Third Ave. establishment in early April.

The 190-seat space, formerly occupied by Caffe Apropos, will feature a brewpub with both indoor and outdoor seating. Guests can enjoy specialty New Haven-style pizza, appetizers, sandwiches, and more alongside their brews.

In many ways, the new location will be similar to the flagship Cleveland brewery and brewpub. But, Columbus will have something unique: Saucy Coffee.

A craft coffeehouse owned and operated by Saucy Brew Works, the offerings will include a single-origin house roast, pour overs, espresso, and a specialty menu inspired by Saucy beers such as What’s His Nuts, a Vanilla Stout with Peanut Butter and Coffee, and Modern Crimes, a Toasted Coconut Porter.

"Saucy’s Columbus location in Harrison West has been a long time in the making,” said Brent Zimmerman, CEO and Co-owner of Saucy Brew Works. “We have deep roots over multiple generations in Columbus and wanted to make our entrance perfect! We are excited for Saucy’s next chapter in Columbus. Columbus has embraced us with open arms, and we love them too!”

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Secret Swensons: Off-menu items you have to try

614now Staff

Published

on

It was a dark time in Central Ohio two years ago when there were no Swensons drive-ins. Now, we've got four locations to choose from (Dublin, Polaris, Hilliard, and New Albany), and a list of off-menu items to spice up your next visit.

Because the restaurant begins cooking your food the moment you order, a wide range of customizations are possible. Pair this "kitchen-at-your-command" concept with Swensons “never say no” attitude, and you've got a unique cornucopia of hidden-in-plain-site item customizations available.

"Over the course of our 86-year history, eager and loyal customers (known as Swenatics) have found hidden treasures in our menu possibilities," Swensons said in a release.

Below are a few customizations you won’t find listed on the menu but are crowd favorites.

Sandwiches

  • Grilled Cheese with Coney Sauce: For those who love a little bit of burger with their cheese.
  • Fish Sandwich “Galley Boy Style”: Galley-boy goodness isn’t only for burgers. Swenatics often order fish sandwiches or fried chicken “Galley Boy Style,” with two secret sauces (one tangy, one sweet) and cheese.
  • Egg Salad Sandwich with Cheese and Bacon: Although Swensons don’t serve “breakfast,” Swenatics have found a tasty breakfast hack by adding bacon and cheese to their egg salad sandwiches.

Crispy Extras

  • Broken Onion Rings: Think of an onion ring that handles like a fry. Swensons takes their onion rings and breaks them apart before cooking, which creates the perfect bite-sized piece. No more worry of half of the onion falling out on the first bite!
  • Ordering “Cajun-style:” Amp up the flavor by ordering something “Cajun-style.” The smoky, garlicky, and peppery Cajun spice can be added to any crispy extra or sandwich.

Sweets

  • Swensons has 18 different milkshake flavors available, and you can mix as many as you want. Really. Some favorites include a PB&J shake (Peanut Butter and Grape), Mocha & Mint, Blueberry & Lemon, and Peanut Butter & Hot Fudge.
  • Swensons is always down for a dessert mashup. Try asking for a Hot Fudge Milkshake with a brownie or Xango (our cheesecake rolled in flaky pastry) mixed in.

Never been to Swensons? Check out the following tips to optimize your first visit:

  • Park facing the restaurant. Since all dining takes place within your vehicle, service revolves around your headlights. Turn them on and a Curb Server will come sprinting over to help you. Leave them off and they’ll leave you to enjoy your meal.
  • No need to leave your car—Swensons is a drive-in through and through. Once your order’s ready, their Curb Servers run it out to you on a nifty tray that either hooks to your window or the inside of your door, weather permitting.
Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Discount Date Destinations: Saturday Samplings at The Refectory

Lindsay Pinchot

Published

on

Welcome to Discount Date Destinations, where we’ll bring you the best places in the city with date-night-worthy atmospheres and food and drink specials that won’t break the bank. In today’s installment, we head to The Refectory.

For many, The Refectory evokes images of elegant anniversary dinners and impressive date nights, and rightly so. The Refectory has long been established as one of Columbus’ best and most beautiful restaurants, serving contemporary American and classic French cuisine. It probably isn’t one of the first places you think of when you hear “discount,” but maybe it should be.

Every Saturday afternoon from 12pm- 3pm, The Refectory hosts Saturday Samplings, a weekly wine tasting event. For only $15-$20 per person, depending on the flight that week, you taste a selection of different wines and help yourself to light hors d’oeuvre while relaxing in the Refectory’s charming bar area.

When you’re done tasting, additional glasses of the wines are only $5 each, so you can stay and sip your favorites. Last weekend, my husband and I attended the first in a themed, two-part Saturday Sampling series: For the Love of Wine. We had a great experience.

The ambiance was wonderful, especially for a wintry Saturday. Upon arrival, we were given a warm welcome and tasting cards listing information about each of the wines we’d be sampling. At the top of the tasting cards was a question, “When did you first fall in love with wine?” which led to some entertaining conversation, both between the two of us and with the staff. The sommelier poured each wine as we were ready for it, giving us a little background on it and explaining what we could expect from the taste. Between glasses we snacked on an array of breads, cheeses, oils, and hearty dips.

The best part? None of the selections were too pricey and all were available for purchase from The Refectory’s wine shop. Our favorite taste of the day was only $12.99 a bottle.

Saturday Samplings is a fun, relaxed way to experience The Refectory where all wine drinkers, from newbies to decades-long aficionados, will feel welcome. For the Love of Wine (Part 2) is this Saturday, so grab your valentine and head to The Refectory for a cozy afternoon. When you’re done, buy your favorite bottle to take home and split snuggled up on the couch.

https://www.facebook.com/refectoryrestaurant/posts/10158294760883826:0

The Refectory is located at 1092 Bethel Rd. For more information, visit refectory.com.

Continue Reading

No mo’ FOMO

Missing out sucks. That's why our daily email is so important. You'll be up-to-date on the latest happenings and things to do in Cbus + be the first to snag our daily giveaways

Shop Now!

The Magazines

X