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Invitation Only: Roys Avenue Supper Club features exclusive dinner meet-ups

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Though it doesn’t require the same ritualistic initiation as Eyes Wide Shut, Roys Avenue Supperclub, a private monthly tasting hosted at the home of Columbus chef Andrew Smith, is an affair where both indulgence and experience come together. For Smith, experience is something he often mentions when speaking about his creations.

After attending culinary school in Portland, Oregon, Smith relocated to Columbus in 2010, crafting meals at The Rossi for five years, and partially opening Rockmill Tavern along with the now-defunct Salt & Pine. Recently returning to The Rossi to manage quality control, Smith spontaneously began Roys Avenue Supperclub with the aid of his wife, Devoney Mills.

“It’s really fun being able to put an elaborate dinner together and pull that off with her help, because there’s no way I’d be able to do any of it without her,” Smith says of his partnership with Mills. “It’s very underground, word-of-mouth. We do have an Instagram page, but that’s the extent of it.”

The Instagram page for Roys Supperclub is a detailed visual portal into dishes featured at past and upcoming dinners, along with the curation of menus each month. At a glance, viewers can find a whipped dollop of white chocolate ice cream, dusted by toasted buckwheat and glazed with bay oil, along with a thumb- sized short rib, sprinkled with molasses, garlic lemon and macadamia. Just as you begin to salivate, a nine-course menu may catch your eye, one specifically made with a certain bird in mind.

“One of the things with that dinner is, we wanted to showcase duck in a way that most people aren’t used to eating it. Just because we were using duck, it doesn’t mean that that was the focal point of each dish,” Smith says. “We wanted to be able to highlight a specific ingredient with the duck instead of highlighting the duck with another ingredient. We tried to utilize everything, from the liver, to the fat, to the skin, to the legs, to the breasts, everything was a part of it.”

Constantly forward-thinking, Smith and Mills assess their relationships with other food resources, utilizing the farm-to-table method, and updating guests on what they’ll be served prior to arrival. It’s a build up of communication that eventually leads to the execution of both nourishment and connectivity.

“Menus are generally written three to four weeks out, and they’re definitely inspired by as many local farmers or people who are raising whatever animal we use,” Smith says. “I think that’s where the biggest part of where we get our ingredients is trying to work with people who can provide the highest quality that we can find locally.”

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Held in Smith and Mills’ home, Roys Avenue Supperclub allows not only room for the enjoyment of culinary arts, but the conjuring of discussions between guests who may have been previously unfamiliar.

“The two of us, we have a lot of acquaintances and people that we’re more than comfortable having in our home. Keeping it word-of-mouth and small, it allows us to really provide a comfortable atmosphere for people who want to come and participate in our club,” Smith says. “If someone were to just come in randomly, our home is very inviting and it’s a very chill, laid-back atmosphere. We have people that leave the dinner at the end of the night and they didn’t know anybody else there and they feel like they’ve just had dinner with people they’ve known forever.”

Thoughtfully garnishing dishes that are able to be savored within a few bites, Smith also foresees eventually holding a fully-vegetarian or pescatarian dinner.

With menus being presented in invitation form, for now, the minds behind Roys Avenue Supperclub are only taking allergies into consideration, not wanting to restrict their creativity.

“I really feel like my approach to food, I would like to say, changes as I change. I think that I’ve learned more about the term ‘less is more’ than I ever thought I knew,” Smith says. “The more we do these dinners, the more we’re able to accomplish that in a more efficient way than before. I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but I think we’re getting better and faster with coming up with ideas, because we don’t have any restraints. My wife and I love each other very much, so it really helps in the situation. It provides a really amazing thought process between the two of us.”

More experimental than practical, Smith prides Roys Avenue Supperclub for its innovation and reliability, transforming the dinner table into a meeting place where ideas are interwoven. “We’re trying to provide an experience that is unique to Columbus, not for us, but for the guests. We want them to leave feeling like they’ve had a different experience, like it’s something they’re not used

to having in their city,” Andrew says. “We want them to have made friends with people that were there, we want them to talk about food and keep that conversation going, and hopefully it can spark some creativity in them.”

To see the latest creations from Andrew Smith, visit roys_ave_supperclub on Instagram.

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Food & Drink

You’ll like Buckeye Donut’s newest treat a la lot

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Columbus’ favorite donut shop will be rolling out [literally] a brand new treat just in time for the annual Columbus Food Truck Festival.

We think you’ll like it a la lot.

Ice cream and donuts will converge in perfect harmony for Buckeye Donuts Apple Fritter A La Mode! That’s right, a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream will rest on top of the fan favorite sweet and fruity fried pastry, all drizzled in sticky caramel. You might need a napkin (or sleeve) for this one.

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This special goodie will be available Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM- 11:00 PM only at the Columbus Food Truck Festival on the Scioto Mile.

Click here for our advise about how to optimize your experience at the foodie fest.

BEHOLD! The newest member of the Buckeye Donuts Family: Apple Fritter A La Mode! 🍩🍦Get your hands on this bad boy…

Posted by Buckeye Donuts on Thursday, August 15, 2019
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Food & Drink

Rossi or Ratssi? Rodents force closure at Short North restaurant

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Someone is getting assigned to some “Charlie Work” after The Rossi Bar and Kitchen was served a red sticker by the Columbus Public Health Department.

The Short North restaurants was issued an emergency order yesterday because of “rodent activity in the basement prep area.” Reportedly, inspectors discovered dead rats in traps and excessive rat feces in the bowels of the 895 N. High St. building.

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Rossi will remain closed until the facility is cleaned, holes in the basement are repaired, and the rats are under control, according to a post from Tom Sussi, a local licensed and insured Private Investigator.

Sussi added that sources informed him that employees are not being paid on time.

Rats!The rodents forced a popular Short North restaurant to shut its doors.The Columbus Public Health Department…

Posted by Tom Sussi on Thursday, August 15, 2019

In an Instagram post, Rossi announced it’d be closed “for the next few days due to emergency repair.”

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Food & Drink

Fried, Smothered, & Loaded: Vegetarian Junk Food

Mitch Hooper

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Whenever the words “vegetarian” or “vegan” are thrown around, people’s defense walls go up as they instantly imagine bland salads or unseasoned tofu. Since both diets have become wildly popular trends in the world of eating, they are often associated with exclusive, healthy, clean, natural, raw, whatever…eating.

As a vegetarian, I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. Sure, we vegetarians eat our share of salads, and occasionally tofu is substituted for chicken on our health-conscious dishes, but that’s not the full picture of our plates. Whether it’s loading up on carb-heavy sides, covering things in cheese (or vegan “cheese”), or living off the appetizer menu; living a plant-based diet can be just as much fun and games as any other fare – and here are a few dishes from around Columbus to prove it.

AM Philly

Angry Baker Olde Towne East | 891 Oak St.

Angry Baker has found a way to cover things in cheese and still please the vegans. The AM Philly comes loaded with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers with tofu scramble atop a fresh and soft hoagie bun. To keep it in true “cheese/steak” form, they top the entire masterpiece with vegan cheddar cheese and a little vegan mayo. The sandwich is every bit as flavorful as a regular Philly, plus it’s just as messy to eat. I recommend a few squirts of Sriracha on it, but then again, I recommend that on everything

Buffalo Mac

Woodhouse Vegan Pop-up | 1038 N High St.

Keeping it cheesy, but plant-based, comes from the vegan pop-up at Oddfellows with the Buffalo Mac. The entree is relatively simple, but that just means more chances to really focus on flavor. The Beyond Meat “chicken” strips are marinated in buffalo sauce to really pack a punch and then is topped with more buffalo sauce and dairy-free ranch dressing with a bed of dairy-free mac and “cheese” to dig into. It’s finished off with some raw red onion and scallions to fully recreate that buffalo-style experience. Keep an eye out for Woodhouse’s first brick-and-mortar location setting up shop in the Italian Village.

Fried Cauliflower 

Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen | 260 S Fourth St.

Cauliflower is the new favorite vegetable amongst dieters for being low-carb. It’s inviting to a variety of flavors, and it can be used in many creative ways. At Hadley’s, the fried cauliflower resembles the bar-style boneless wings you might be craving since ditching meat. It’s the little things you miss as a plant-eater (like dipping sauces). So finding a place that offers three different sauce options—Dr. Pepper barbeque, house hot, and General Tso’s—is quite a gratifying moment. Dunk these addicting suckers into Hadley’s house-made ranch or bleu cheese and you’ll be fighting your carnivorous friends off as they ask to try a bite.

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Parma, Italy

Melt | 4206 Worth Ave. & 840 N High St.

Usually Melt’s sheer amount of dairy usage is enough to scare off any vegan within a 10-mile radius, but that all changed once Melt added an entire menu dedicated to vegan options. There are tons of options to choose from, but the Parma, Italy might take the caloric crown when it comes to plant-based indulgence. The sandwich features vegan chicken (or fried tofu) smothered in basil marinara with roasted garlic and vegan mozzarella cheese all in between two crusty pieces of garlic toast. It might not hurt to park a little further away from Melt just to burn a few extra calories on the way to and from devouring way too much food. 

The Joe Vegan Sloppy Sandwich

Lineage Brewing | 2971 N High St.

“Have some more sloppy joes! I made ‘em extra sloppy for you!” If that scene from Billy Madison still haunts you any time you go to break out some Manwich from the cupboard, put that canned sauce down and go to Lineage. Immediately order a beer to wash away the memory of the lunch lady, and then snag the Joe Vegan sloppy sandwich off the menu. It’s a hearty combination of lentils and kidney beans in the iconic sloppy joe sauce, and it’s topped with raw onion and your choice of vegan cheese sauce or cheddar cheese. Throw in a side of potato chips and it’s like being a teenager all over again except this time you didn’t have to steal your dad’s beer.

Vegan Barbeque Jackfruit

Alchemy | 625 Parsons Ave. 

& 1439 Grandview Ave. 

Jackfruit is a delicate fruit that tastes almost nothing like fruit. It’s a great vessel for sauces and flavorings, but if it’s not cooked properly, it can turn into a mushy mess. Thankfully, Alchemy has perfected this process with their vegan take on a classic barbeque pulled pork sandwich. The jackfruit is tender, but stays in form on the roll. For added texture and taste, the sandwich is served on a crunchy ciabatta roll with carrot cabbage slaw in an herbed cashew cream.

Brussel Sprouts

Barrel On High | 1120 N High St.

Don’t turn your nose up on Brussel sprouts, these green brain-looking vegetables are great for absorbing flavor and they have that “meaty” taste. At Barrel on High, these Brussels are oven-roasted and tossed into a Thai chili sauce making them potentially your new favorite thing. While the Thai chili brussel sprouts are worth tripling up on and calling it a dinner, might I point you in the direction of the Impossible Burger as well. The Impossible Burger has grown to fame because it resembles every aspect of meat while remaining plant-based, and Barrel’s straight-up approach of making an American classic go vegan will have you double checking the menu to make sure it’s not actually beef.

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