Rigsby's Kitchen has been leading the sophisticated, Italianate food charge in Columbus for about as long as I can remember. The formidable Short Norther just hired a new chef de cuisine named William Fugitt, and not only is his cooking not missing a Rigsby's beat, but it's adding a few Franco chansons to the mix. Check out the rich yet balanced babies below, and check out my full Alive article here.
Dark crusted pork belly cube appetizer leavened with bracingly acidic pickled onions and tongue-tingling applesauce
More piggy in the form of a pork terrine; it's almost carnitas (pork cooked in evaporating water then crisped in its own rendered fat--a la Mexicana) character tempered by tagine-appropriate fruit, a salad and a crunch-tastic bruschetta (correctly pronounced by my waiter--"ch" in Italian is always pronounced as our "k" sound--get it right people!)
Cibo Bar + Restaurant is a very welcome upstart whipping-up terrific real deal Italian food. Most times the service was good, but unfortunately one time it was absurdly forgetful. I'll chalk that up to either 1) par for the course for a newbie or 2) a hilariously bad server who mispronounced nearly every Italian word he came across on the menu. Still, here's a taste of Cibo's (it means food in Italian) delicious output:
Very good--not great--homemade gnocchi upstaged by slices of completely believable braciole (a relative rarity in town)
Lusty, luscious double cut lamb chops you coulda cut with a butterknife! On top was a chunky dried fruit and grainy mustard sauce that showed-off, didn't overwhelm, the top quality meat.
Read more about this place in next week's Alive