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Restaurant Week Preview: The best items on Mezzo’s menu

Regina Fox

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Restaurant Week is just days away! Enjoy 3-course meals at 120+ of Columbus’ best restaurants for a fraction of the cost during Restaurant Week Columbus, July 15-20, presented by (614) Magazine & Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

There are price points from $15 all the way up to $40. Coming in right around the middle is Mezzo in Dublin, offering an expertly executed meal for just $30.

So join me as I navigate Mezzo’s upscale, yet approachable, Restaurant Week menu.

First Course

The tomato basil soup was great (love that goat cheese), and so was the house salad (hello, artichokes), but to be honest, the arancini really stole the show. For those unacquainted, arancini are Italian masterpieces made of parmesan crusted risotto and deep fried to perfection. *Closes hand and kisses fingertips*

Second Course

For the main course, guests will have the option of a cracked pepper balsamic filet with rosemary pomme frites, pan seared walleye under an arugula salad, and a 6 cheese ravioli. All three of these entrees are Restaurant Week exclusives, so you’re getting a nice treat no matter what. Personally, I’d choose that cheesy ravioli any day of the week. The chewy dough smothered in a champagne cream sauce and stuffed with six different kind of cheeses? Now you’re speaking my language. And yes, mom, I ate all my veggies, too.

Third Course

For the third and final course, I was treated to both the tiramisu and chocolate decadence. The former was bursting with sweet and spirited (hello liqueur) and the latter was so yummy and rich. I would never want to hurt a dessert’s feelings, so if you’re asking me, I say you go ahead and order both!

Mezzo is located at 12 W Bridge Street, Dublin. The Restaurant Week menu will be offered Monday – Thursday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Friday —Saturday from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Click here to make a reservation.

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Food & Drink

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

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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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Food & Drink

Peace, love, and more pancake balls at Katalina’s second (larger) location

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The city’s beloved (peace, love and) pancake balls now have a second place to call home. Expanding from their inaugural Harrison West domain, Katalina’s, welcomes diehard breakfast lovers to their new turquoise-coated digs in Clintonville. Much larger in space and seating capacity, patrons of Katalina’s, Too! may be reminded of another previous whimsical Columbus staple.

“We kept the integrity of [Vintage Fountain Pen Sales and Repair], so I think you’ll see both elements,” says Kathleen Day, brunch connoisseur and owner of Katalina’s. “It looks a little mid-century modern, but then I also wanted to keep the Katalina’s aesthetic. You’ll definitely see those architectural elements of the original gas station and when I first opened Katalina’s. I did not have a budget at all, hardly.”

Photos: Brian Kaiser

Instead of breaking the bank, Day relied on flea market finds and decorative, chalk-based decor inspired by the original Katalina’s location. Guests of the original Katalina’s may recall the wooden, brightly-colored umbrella-covered porch, along with the heavily trafficked six-hundred square foot interior. While Katalina’s, Too! is six times as large as its predecessor, Day insists that the brand hasn’t strayed far from its roots. Though various Columbus neighborhoods tossed their hat into the ring to house Katalina’s, Too!, it was Clintonville that eventually took the gold.

“Since I opened, people in Clintonville have been the most vociferous about wanting this second Katalina’s. I’ve been very lucky everyone wants a second Katalina’s, but people in Clintonville have probably been the loudest about wanting a second Katalina’s,” says Day. “I looked in German Village as well, but I don’t want to make other people in Columbus feel as if I don’t like other areas of Columbus. I have a soft spot for Clintonville because their values are very like Katalina’s in that they’re independent, peace-loving, local, organic and their values are spirited, quirky and anti-corporate.”

One glance at the Katalina’s, Too! menu, and guests may develop a voracious appetite for the Prego Steak Sandwich, a Portuguese-inspired sirloin tucked between a brioche roll from Majita Breads and smothered by a housemade piri-piri sauce. With the belief that outsourcing may exploit the Katalina’s brand, Day purposely intersects her recipes with local resources, remembering that the first Katalina’s began from just a “pot and a spoon.”

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“I think once they understand my brand values of ‘live, love, local’ organic and ethics, they kind of come on board. People really love working for Katalina’s because of the brand values and the team is wonderful. I couldn’t do it without them,” says Day. “I think the customers and the community here are just so passionate about food, local products and local farms, they just want more and more.”

As High Street steadily grows into a bar and nightlife sanctuary, Clintonville proved to be the leading choice for Katalina’s, Too!, even wiping out the cobblestone o -beaten path of German Village. With Harrison West being up-and- coming in 2009, Day admits that Clintonville’s familial aura is what generated personal interest. “I just happen to know from my friends living in Clintonville that it is a very family- oriented community and especially because I have a much bigger space I know there will be more kids there,” says Day, who expanded the menu to include a new kids menu. “I think my pancake balls are kid-friendly, but I definitely wanted to be a family-friendly destination.”

For vegans and those interested in transitioning into veganism, there’s an abundance of new plant-based specialties to choose from, but for dedicated brunch enthusiasts, Day’s next project is to expand the Original Pancake Balls TM into having a vegan alternative. “I’m a cook at heart and people will tell you you’re either a cook or a baker. I am not a baker and so I finally have a baker in-house and maybe she can help me on that. But it is very difficult to make a pancake that is as good without eggs,” Day admits. “I now have local Fowlers Mill Flour and they have created something that makes it easier for us. Now we just add a few items instead of making it basically from scratch even though it’s stone-ground flour which is much better for you than just regular white bleached flour.”

Joking that she’ll need a brief sabbatical away from the frenzy of opening Katalina’s, Too! and the demand for extended hours, Day is in no rush to create Katalina’s, Three, though she knows Columbus will be her eternal breakfast landmark. “This was pretty daunting and then my employees are all very excited to keep expanding, of course, but I think I need to just decide if it’s best for me and my employees,” she says. “They all love the family atmosphere of Katalina’s, and I just know from past experiences if you keep growing you can’t always keep the integrity of your original location. I would never want to become this corporate-type company because people love Katalina’s because it’s so unique and home-spun. I want to maintain that.”

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Food & Drink

Only 4 days of Restaurant Week remain! View menus, make reservations, win big

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It’s finally here! Happy Restaurant Week July 15-20! What’s Restaurant Week you ask? You must be new. Thats OK! We’ll get you up to speed and in the know.

This week, you can enjoy 3-course meals at 120+ of Columbus’ best restaurants for a fraction of the cost. Dig into deep discounts from local favorites such as City Barbeque with special menus starting at just $15! Restaurant Week is also your to scope out some of the swankiest spots in town on the cheap like Smith & Wollensky and Mezzo !

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Or, you could get meals for FREE if you’re the lucky winner of our grand prize! In our Restaurant Week giveaway, one lucky winner will receive a $500 Marathon Gift Card AND dinner for 4 at 5 Restaurant Week restaurants! Plus, 25 additional winners will receive dinner for 2 at a participating Restaurant Week restaurant!

Your giveaway entries could help you score big, but they also do good in the community. During Restaurant Week Columbus presented by (614) Magazine & Marathon Petroleum Corporation, $0.25 donation will be made to Pelotonia for each unique giveaway entry, up to $5,000.

To view menus, make reservations, and enter the grand prize giveaway, visit eat614.com. And be sure to keep an eye on 614’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for additional giveaways all week!

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