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Let the Good Times Roll: Jony’s brings sushi to German Village

Mike Thomas

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In the tried-and-true narrative of all once-foreign foodstuffs, sushi has gradually made the move from exotic curiosity to mainstream staple in the U.S. From fast casual joints to swank sit-down restaurants and even the cooler section at your local supermarket, the signature dish of Japan is all but inescapable.

Rightly or not, sushi is sometimes treated as a yardstick of civilization—a locale having no place to grab a roll is the mark of a backwater burg. Food deserts and one-horse towns aside, the absence of sushi in a bustling neighborhood almost feels like a glaring omission.

Luckily for diners in German Village, there are people out there who make it their business to spot these deficits—and correct them.

“I realized that there was a void for sushi in the neighborhood,” says George Tanchevski, serial restaurateur and owner of such establishments as Local Cantina. “I feel that I can basically create any type of restaurant concept. In fact, that’s how a lot of the stuff that I’ve done has come to fruition: I realize that there’s a void for that particular item in the market, and I just kind of create it. That’s always been my m.o.”

Tanchevski’s latest endeavor, Jony’s Sushi, brings a taste of the far-east to a neighborhood best known for burgers and beer halls. Situated on a bustling block of Thurman Avenue, Jony’s shares a wall with South Village Grill—one of Tanchevski’s other properties—where the sushi is also available for purchase.

For those who prefer their sushi on-the-go, Jony’s primary means of transmission comes via carry out orders from a walkup sushi bar. Here, tantalizing cuts of whole sh are laid out in orderly rows within a deli-style case.

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While viewing the sushi chefs at Jony’s in action is a spectacle in its own right—the cozy environs of the shop itself have been decorated with care to set the sushi eating vibes just right. Various Asian-themed knick- knacks adorn one wall, while a series of pieces from local artist Paul Giovus form a mural of anime characters, pagodas, and a sushi-dragon hybrid on another. Tying all of this together are the ultra-modern flat screen displays that feature the restaurant’s menu, as well as a rotating gallery of mouthwatering shots of the food therein.

Speaking of the menu, the dozen-or-so specialty rolls at Jony’s sport an impressive array of imaginative ingredients. Sushi purists will surely balk at the inclusion of items such as sliced lemons, strawberries, or cilantro in many of these rolls. For the rest, Jony’s offers new sensations that push the conceptual boundaries of the familiar dish into delicious new territory.

For a jumping-off point into this formidable offering of flavors new and old, try the Hot Jony Roll—named, like the restaurant itself, for head chef Jony Ventura. A veteran of the South-Florida dining scene, Ventura points to the influence of his grandmother, who was of Japanese descent, in helping to form his passion for sushi. That love is on full display in the roll that bears his name, which features spicy tuna, cream cheese, asparagus, and daikon, topped with seared tuna and a decadent combination of garlic butter, wasabi aioli and a spicy kimchi sauce.

Thanks to a separate menu of classic rolls in its repertoire, Jony’s is prepared to accommodate purists and less adventurous eaters alike. With familiar favorites such as the spicy tuna or California rolls on hand to soothe the less daring palate, diners can further take charge of their experience with a-la-carte pieces of nigiri and sashimi.

It’s not as though the perpetually hip and cultured German Village was in any danger of appearing “uncool” for lack of sushi. Still, Jony’s arrival on the scene is a welcome addition to the fabric of the neighborhood, filling a void for this culinary mainstay in the area—and in our stomachs.

Jony’s Sushi is located on 195 Thurman Ave. in German Village.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Regina Fox

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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 eat614.com.

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

Mike Thomas

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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 eat614.com.

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

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New plant-based diner takes root in Downtown

614now Staff

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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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