There’s no escaping the rise of plant-based alternatives. On West Lane Avenue, foodies can discover a new haven for healthy noms with a seasoned dash of ecological balance.
With thoughtful consideration by owners John and Sunny Fahlgren, the acronym for SŌW Plated represents three guiding principles: sustainable, organic and wellness. As one-half the restaurant’s creation, Sunny prioritizes food as the best medicine, implementing cultivation that’s fully represented once visitors arrive at SŌW Plated. The presentation is lush with greenery surrounding tables to promote balance, and a minimalistic comfort that allows the dining experience to be communal.
“SŌW offers a flavor-forward menu that will rotate seasonally to ensure guests consistently enjoy the most nutrient-dense culinary compositions possible,” says John. “We wanted a space that was clean, timeless and classic with a hint of the unexpected. We refer to it as a fresh, modern farmhouse design—Southern California chic mixed in with Midwestern sensibility. This look purposefully is very inviting and allows our food to be celebrated.”
Within its inviting decor, SŌW Plated houses entrees that are both delicious and healthful. As an alternative to Key Lime Pie, SŌW’s Yuzu Pie is dolloped with coconut whip, as Yuzu is a fruit native to Asia and loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In fact, the Yuzu fruit itself has more vitamin C than an orange. More stimulating dessert options, you ask? Made with dark chocolate, the flourless Cacao Cake promotes good brain health and can be topped with dairy-free ice cream. The cheekily-named Date Night dessert is made with truffled Medjool dates, and is yet another superfood.
“As people in growing numbers adopt healthier lifestyles as a result of evidence-based information, we thought it was time to open a restaurant that embraced everyone’s individuality in a joyful space, regardless of dietary preferences,” John says. “We proudly offer many delicious options to suit every guest’s unique taste.”
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And the options are abundant. For those who aren’t as apt to meaty cravings, there’s the SŌW Burger. Sandwiched between alfalfa sprouts, smooth avocado and creamy, vegan aioli, the burger itself provides a housemade authenticity, different from slapping a brand-name vegan protein on the grill. Don’t feel guilty just yet, meat eaters. The local Sakura Wagyu burger is 100% all natural and hormone-free, as Wagyu is considered the healthiest of all beef, containing the highest levels of monounsaturated fat, low cholesterol content and is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Not hankering for pita chips on the side? Try the side salad, which subtly replicates coleslaw. There’s limitless drinks to opt for, from juice to refreshers and cocktails, but it’s the SŌW Kombucha that steals the show. Fermented and on tap, the kombucha is fully organic, with sweet options like peach blossom, ginger lemon and pomegranate.
Opening SŌW’s first location on West Lane Avenue was a challenge that both John and Sunny decided to conquer, but increasing the accessibility to healthy food was a passion that they wished to share. “There are so many exciting developments happening right now all across Columbus. It’s such a great city that is only beginning to realize its full potential,” John says. “Our menu has been carefully designed with your health in mind, without sacrificing flavor. Our philosophy is that both can live together happily in the same conversation. While science supports a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, eating is a very personal experience and people ultimately need to make decisions they believe suit them best.”
Working with 80 Acres Farms—the world’s first fully-automated indoor farm—gives SŌW Plated the ability to source vegetables from grower to guest often the very next day, year round, using 100% renewable energy, 97% less water and zero pesticides. “We seek out opportunities every day how to help our ecosystem, be it eliminating the use of fryers, committing to a reduction in the usage of plastic, recycling our food waste or sourcing local foods,” John says. “Living here in the Midwest as we do, people are growing acutely aware of the limited access we have to fresh food, particularly vegetables. Our growing season is short, meaning we must import a majority of our fruits and vegetables. Through our partnership with 80 Acres Farms, our guests will be able to enjoy many vegetables within 48 hours of harvest and thus at their absolute peak of nutrition.”
SŌW Plated is gradually becoming a pillar of community health, as the Fahlgrens plan to become a clear voice in the current mental wellness conversation. Moving ahead, visitors can find occasional yoga classes at SŌW, periodic roundtable discussions along with a menu crafted with ingredients scientifically proven to help brain function. In September, SŌW Plated will move into their Sunday brunch option, which will feature live entertainment and inspiring courses.
“The decisions we make today will live with us tomorrow, so we’re simply doing our small part for the greater good of the community we serve and the planet we share,” John says. “Significantly narrowing that gap from field to fork is not only ideal, it’s amazing.”
SŌW Plated is located at 1625 W Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington. Visit sowplated.com for a menu and private dining options.