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Food & Drink

Decade in Review: Food and Drink

Mike Thomas



The evolution of eating in Columbus

cover image: Brian Kaiser

The second decade of the new millennium marked some big changes for Central Ohio—especially when it came to the dining scene. Bigtime booms, heartbreaking busts, and some much-deserved national acclaim—the 2010s will always be remembered as a defining era for food and drink in the capital city.

Photo: Megan Leigh Barnard

When discussing the Columbus restaurant scene, it should come as no surprise that Cameron Mitchell is still the logical starting point. Expanding to include hit concepts like The Pearl, Del Mar, and Lincoln Social, Mitchell’s stable of offerings remained at the forefront of local food and drink in the 2010s. But this was also the decade that Cam had to make room at the table, as newcomers like Corso Ventures (Short North Pint House, Forno) and A&R Creative (Market Italian Village, The Crest) looked to carve out their own gastronomic kingdoms.

Separate from the upscale dining set, a bounty of homegrown fast- casual chains hit the ground running throughout the decade. From Korean- inspired Bibibop to a taste of Nashville from Hot Chicken Takeover, these brands now dot the landscape of our neighborhoods while proving that eating local can be fast, fun, and affordable.


Along with the emergence of many new and noteworthy food and drink brands over the past ten years, several beloved Central Ohio institutions also met their tragic ends. Whether it was banging your head at a punk show in Bernie’s basement, kicking back with a cold one at the Dube, or warming your belly with a nice big plate of pasta at Mamas, you’ll always have the memories from these dearly departed joints.

Through all the ups and downs, the 2010s were the decade in which the outside world began to take notice of our city’s growing dining scene. Watershed Distillery and Middle West Spirits both burst onto the scene in 2010, immediately putting Central Ohio on the map as a destination for craft spirits. The kitchens of each distillery also earned kudos from the national food and beverage press, thanks to first-rate culinary chops that matched their quality bottled goods.

Of course, Columbus isn’t just famous for the hard stuff.

Throughout the decade, brands like Seventh Son, Wolf ’s Ridge, and Land-Grant helped fuel the city’s craft beer boom, with creative brews and taprooms that serve as indispensable neighborhood hangs. While Four String Brewing came and went, flagship brew Hilltop Heritage Lager was quickly revived, and it seems as though it’s here to stay.

A true melting pot of cultures from across the globe, Columbus’ diverse international dining scene has continued to thrive. Opening in 2013, Saraga International Grocery shared new and exciting avors while giving members of diverse immigrant populations a taste of home. Momo Ghar, a Nepali dumpling stall that got its start inside, was even featured on the Food Network.

From fine dining to top brews and food with an international flair, the 2010s put Columbus on the map as a destination for food and drink.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Regina Fox



In less than 10 years at its natural sunlight-soaked digs on N 4th Street, Wolf's Ridge Brewing has managed to become a place revered not only for brewing some of the best beers the city has to offer, but also for serving some of the best food.

What better time to experience them both than Restaurant Week January 20-25?

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Wolf's Ridge three-course menu before it was released to the public, and we think you're really going to like it.

First Course: Choice of baked brie, endive salad, or bread and butter

The endive salad offered depths with every bite: the brightness of the shaved pear, the fresh earthiness of the endive, the texture of the fennel, the crunch of the walnuts. But the star of this dish was certainly the pool of tangy, creamy blue cheese dressing hiding below the colorful mixture.

Second Course: Choice of salmon, grilled cauliflower, or pork tenderloin

Without a shadow of a doubt, I believe each one of the entrees offered during Restaurant week are slam dunks, but to me, the choice was obvious: pork tenderloin.

The three plump and pink cuts of pork were so tender, they could be easily cut with just a butter knife. The succulence of the meat played well with the sweet, nutty sunchoke puree, and rich smoked hazelnut butter. Like the french origin suggests, the demi-glace soaked into the tenderloin truly was the "icing" on top.

Third Course: Choice of cheesecake or fudge bar

If at the end of your meal you're feeling bright, light, and flirty, the cheesecake is for you. The toasted coconuts coating the mousse-like rum cheesecake, icy pineapple sorbet and orange marmalade will send your palate on an all-inclusive trip to the seaside.

Feeling a little more dense or moody? The punch of the espresso ice cream, thick chocolate bar, and sticky caramel crémeux will have you closing your eyes, and "mmm"ing through every bite.

At $40, the Wolf's Ridge Restaurant deal is quite possibly the best time to experience the creative, elevated menu. But, you and the other 900,000 residents of Columbus already know that, right? So, don't wait to make your reservation!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Pig out on amazing deal from Hoggy’s

Mike Thomas



Longtime fans of barbecue in Central Ohio will remember Hoggy's, the family-owned local barbecue chain which originally opened in 1991. Recent history saw Hoggy's step away from the restaurant game in favor of a thriving catering business. With a newly-renovated store on Bethel road, this OG Columbus BBQ joint is getting back in the retail mix.

Scroll down for an exclusive giveaway

We recently stopped by Hoggy's to preview all the delicious goodness they've cooked up for Restaurant Week. With a deal this sweet, it's time you got reacquainted with this awesome, homegrown barbecue spot!

Restaurant Week Deal: Choose three meats, two sides, and your choice of cobbler or banana pudding, all for $15.

You read that right: THREE meats. While Hoggy's brisket, pulled pork, or pulled chicken are all solid choices, be sure that one of your trifecta of picks is the baby back ribs. These are truly some of the best ribs we've tried in town.

Bonus sleeper pick: we found Hoggy's wings to be exceptionally crispy and flavorful, serving as the perfect delivery method for their great BBQ sauces.

When it comes to sides, you really can't go wrong at Hoggy's. From the potato salad to the "cowboy style" baked beans, each side has the same home cooked flavor that you'd hope to find at a family cookout.

As long as you're treating yourself, don't be afraid to go double-starch in the sides department. The mac and cheese (with both penne and elbow macaroni) is a can't-miss, but then who in their right mind can can pass on cheesy potatoes?

If you have any room left for dessert, either of the available options will be sure to send you over the edge into a food coma. Hoggy's satisfying cobbler is served oven-hot, just like grandma used to make. Likewise, the decadent banana pudding is everything it should be and more, with a fluffy, creamy texture that is unlike anything we've seen elsewhere.

When it comes to Restaurant Week, Hoggy's isn't playing around. For $15, this is one of the best bang-for-the-buck deals on the entire RW lineup. Don't sleep—there will be time for that after you've stuffed yourself with sides, dessert, and all the delicious smoked meats you can handle!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit

Comment your favorite BBQ side dish to be entered to win dinner for two at Hoggy's!

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Food & Drink

New plant-based diner takes root in Downtown

614now Staff



From the people who brought us Eden burger comes a new plant-based diner sure to satisfy your hunger.

4th & State is a vegan cafe and diner located in the heart of downtown Columbus under the leadership of Chad Goodwin.

Click here to read more about Eden Burger

Featuring fare aimed at both breakfast and lunch, hours will soon be expanded to cover dinner service to coincide with the launch of the restaurant's beer and wine program.

Below are pictures of a few of the most popular breakfast items thus far:

4th & State is located at 152 E State St. and is open Monday through Friday from 7am- 3pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 9am- 4pm. To learn more, check out their Instagram.

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