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Man vs Mimosa: My experience with a champagne brunch

Mitch Hooper

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I’m no competitive drinker; I’m just a regular guy with a serious appetite.

Okay, so maybe I stole that from Adam Richman, but his show Man vs. Food always was a pleasure when I was growing up. He would take on these seemingly impossible challenges, and within a few minutes, you’d see his game plan unfold and his plate empty out. And it’s his bravado and courage that inspired me one sunny Saturday morning at Hadley’s.

Photos: Collins Laatsch

Browsing the menu, I noticed a mimosa cost about $6. Anyone who’s ever started their day with mimosas knows this: there’s no such thing as just one mimosa at brunch. What’s the harm? Champagne supposedly wears off quickly, orange juice provides vitamin C to fight scurvy, and a stemless glass at 10 a.m. says, “I’m sophisticated, and I like to party.”

With that in mind, I started to calculate my totals. Two mimosas came to about $12 before taxes and tips, but they came in a larger glass if ordered separately. Let’s just say each $6 mimosa holds about two actual mimosas since the glass is larger. So if you really want to stretch the truth, $12 for four drinks isn’t too bad. That being said, once you hit $18, the question arises: if the brunch special offers endless* mimosas per person at about $20, wouldn’t it just be easier to pay the $20 up front? But what if I can’t even get past four mimosas? Then I would’ve been better just getting the two drinks separately.

My head was spinning with equations like that meme of Zach Galiffanakis in The Hangover. And then the voice of reason hit my subconscious: What would Adam Richman do? He wouldn’t worry about silly dollar signs, and math is for nerds. I’m getting the brunch special, dammit!

And so I did.

The first bottle of champagne and orange juice arrived and I started the first two drinks with the same ratio: a shit ton of champagne and a splash of OJ. They went down almost too easily. The stemmed glass in my hand combined with a refill-my-own-adventure at my fingertips; I was on cloud nine. Or maybe it was just the bubbles getting to my head. When my meal arrived, I was convinced: if I was wrong about cloud nine, I didn’t want to be right.

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Drinks three and four went down almost as easy as the first two and instantly my worries if I should’ve gotten the brunch special disappeared. Who cares about anything, really? I had mimosas. I should mention that these ones were a bit stronger than the first and the bottle of champagne is about half empty. Still had plenty OJ, though.

I poured up drink number five and, what do you know, it went down easy. Or did I chug that? I don’t know. Empty glass. Refill.

When it came time for drink number seven and eight, it came time for another bottle of champagne. The first bottle was running on low, and I thought I had plenty of gas left in the tank. I quickly slammed back the last of the first bottle, and had a slight moment of pride. Somewhere, I hoped Adam Richman was proud of me at this moment.

It’s when I poured up any drink after 10, but not before 13, that I realized I had made a grave mistake. My belly was about to burst from all the bubbles. My fun and playful head buzz turned into a headache. My eyes were drowsy and, honestly, who knows if they were both even open. I squinted at the second bottle and felt I had done enough damage. A bottle and a half for one man is too much. I threw up the white flag, was whisked home by my designated driver, and instantly fell asleep on the couch.

Though man was done with the mimosas, the mimosas weren’t done with man. The cold sweats ensued, the room began to spin, and I decided the cold tile in the bathroom would feel nice on my skin. It had nothing to do with the evil brewing inside of my stomach. A few hours later, I woke up feeling a bit groggy but I definitely didn’t get sick… So don’t ask me about it. Got it?

In the battle between man and mimosas, let’s just say it was a tie.

* Short of alcohol poisoning.

millennial | writer | human

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Food & Drink

10 Restaurant Week destinations for date night out

614now

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Sometimes just getting out of the house is the priority. Other times, getting out of the house without the kids is the priority. When that time strikes, get the sitter on lock and hit the town.

Restaurant Week July 15-20 is the perfect time to reconnect with your significant other without breaking the bank. Here are our top 10 picks for date night out during Restaurant Week!

South Village Grille | 197 Thurman Ave, Columbus

South Village Grille is a romantic little spot tucked in a happening strip of Thurman Avenue. During Restaurant Week, indulge in oysters (aphrodisiac), scallops, and even pork chops. Round out your night out with beignets.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing | 215 N 4th St, Columbus

You may have been to the taproom out back, but have you dined in the front? It’s a beautiful space where beautiful food is served, like lamb racks and Black Forest Chocolate Cake.

Trillium Kitchen & Patio | 2333 N High St, Columbus

Trillium is a modern kitchen with a splendid patio, often times hosting live entertainment! Wine and dine your loved one with Trillium’s diverse wine list, tasty Restaurant Week menu, and romantic digs.

The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar | 50 West Broad Street Mezzanine Level, Columbus

With the watermelon salad in the first course, BBQ chicken in the second, and strawberry shortcake for the third, this summer-time menu will be the perfect seasonal date. And the dark wood ambiance will make you want to cozy up close to your date.

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The Boat House at Confluence Park | 679 W Spring St, Columbus

Suggested wine pairings with every course during Restaurant Week will help direct you and your lover down a path of sensuality. And if you’re lucky enough to get seated by the fireplace, the heat will turn up even more, literally.

M at Miranova | 2 Miranova Pl, Columbus

M recently underwent a stunning remodeling that is sure to wow your date. The menu features both surf and turf, so your taste buds will be wowed, as well.

Asterisk | 14 N State St, Westerville

This intimate supper club will really encourage you to relight the flame between you and your significant other. And with familiar favorites like ravioli, meatloaf, and chicken pot pie, you’ll go back to your roots and remember why you feel in love in the first place.

Lindey’s | 169 E Beck St, Columbus

We know it’s hot outside, but Lindey’s patio is worth the sauna experience. This restaurant is the epitome of romance and can be yours to experience for just $35 during Restaurant Week.

Spagio | 1295 Grandview Ave, Columbus

Spagio is the perfect spot for a nice dinner and, with a window on Grandview Avenue, people watching. Let the conversations flow over seafood, pastas, and prime cuts of steak during Restaurant Week.

The Market Italian Village | 1022 Summit St, Columbus

For a fun, light-hearted date with lots of character, this is your destination. Exceptional quality, outstanding service, and approachable atmosphere: The Market Italian Village.

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Food & Drink

Newly-remodeled M at Miranova has the most unique cocktails ever

Laura Dachenbach

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After a quick spring break, M at Miranova is back and open to the public with a new look, shedding its old browns and bronzes for pops of purple and elegant, cooling grays. The 18-year-old fine dining establishment is ready to show off a beautiful wooden floor, its terrace with spectacular views of the river and the city, its lounge made for an evening of small bites, an almost complete menu change, and its new line of seasonal signature cocktails.

Two Ships (Photos by Brian Kaiser)

Developed by award-winning bartender Cris Dehlavi and the beverage team, the line showcases the classic flavors of summer: coconut, pineapple, lemon, and rum.

M at Miranova aims to welcome all, and the line covers a spectrum of tastes. There’s something for everyone at your table, from the light, refreshing oral mix to the heavier, spirits-forward drink, all with an emphasis on superb and fun presentation.

“Gone are the days of the plain old glass,” said Dehlavi from behind the bar, bringing forth her concoctions.

Magic Elixer

The appropriately-named Magic Elixir, a beautiful balance of spirits and flavors, comes to your table as a blue liquid (thanks to butter y pea tea) poured over ice and garnished with flowers. Your server will add a vial of lemon tableside and ask you to stir as chemistry turns the drink a beautiful lavender. Botanist gin and an aloe vera liqueur give the drink a taste as sophisticated and surprising as its presentation.

“There’s nothing like the look on somebody’s face when you put something down in front of them like that,” said Dehlavi.

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The AHA!, a simple and refreshing drink combines a California Brut sparkling with pineapple and coconut flavors, and comes served in light- bulb shaped glassware, a nod to its moment of creative inspiration.

“We really wanted a low-proof cocktail, and kept playing with different ideas. Nothing was working,” said Dehlavi. “My daughter loves coconut water and she had coconut water in the fridge one day and I had a swig of it […] and I thought, ‘What about pineapple liqueur, coconut water, and bubbles?’ and it worked.”

AHA!

Ordered solo, the Two Ships combines Don Pancho rum, amaro, banana, and bitters over whiskey rocks. Ordered for two (or as a taster for four), the drink comes in a globe suspended on a wooden stand containing a blown glass ship and a bit of dry ice for effect.

The creamy You’ve Met Your Matcha and the rich Great Vieux round out the summer line. Your server will snap a Polaroid of the latter, but each of the drinks plays to an audience of Instagrammers, so your own phone is welcome, too. After all, it’s an experience—an impressive, yet accessible array of cocktails, and Dehlavi notes a few are already starting to become favorites.

You’ve Met Your Matcha

“I think presentation is super-important,” said Dehlavi. “We take a real culinary approach to our cocktails. Just like a culinary approach to food, you can put a piece of salmon on a plate with some asparagus and there it is, or you can make it gorgeous. And we always think about that with cocktails, too.”

M at Miranova is at 2 Miranova Pl. To book a reservation, visit matmiranova.com.

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Food & Drink

Get an insanely delicious dessert + a laugh at comedy bake shop coming soon

614now

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Soon, you’ll be able to get some sweet comedy and even sweeter desserts in Old North. High on Sugar will be open in the space formerly occupied by Buffalo Exchange at 2643 N. High St. sometime in September.

The menu will feature inventive indulgences like shakes piles high with different cakes, ice creams, and toppings—all built your way.

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Entertainment will be offered daily, along with free WiFi and comfortable seating options. More details on the comedy component to surface closer to the open date.

Want to help make sure this sugar train stays on the tracks? Check out High on Sugar’s GoFundMe campaign here.

Learn more about the comedy bake shop here.

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