eat & drink

Restaurant review: Charming new La Tavola in Grandview is off to an impressive start

Hopefully, the third time’s a charm for La Tavola. I know I’ve been charmed by it. And so were swarms of other Grandview-alighting diners last week, digging the new La Tavola’s soulful, carefully sourced and “ain’t fakin’ it” scratch-made Italian food whipped up by talented chef/owner Rick Lopez.
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Happy hour review: Shrunken Head’s $.75 drafts are worth leaving work early

The Shrunken Head’s happiest hour is one of the Columbus bar scene’s better kept secrets. For one hour, six days a week at the Victorian Village psychobilly bar, you can catch a buzz for what it costs to catch the bus.
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Distilled: Rivertowne beers are going to be popular this summer

It finally started to look a lot like spring last weekend in Columbus (though hopefully Tuesday’s snow was the last winter blast), which was perfectly timed with Rivertowne Brewery releasing some good spring/summer seasonals last week.
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Restaurant review: Charming new La Tavola in Grandview is off to an impressive start

Hopefully, the third time’s a charm for La Tavola. I know I’ve been charmed by it. And so were swarms of other Grandview-alighting diners last week, digging the new La Tavola’s soulful, carefully sourced and “ain’t fakin’ it” scratch-made Italian food whipped up by talented chef/owner Rick Lopez.
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Wine: Warm temps, hot sips

You know that feeling you get when temperatures start to rise? Suddenly, you want to get outside and grill meat, potatoes … anything under the wonderfully warm sun.
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Bar Profile: Circus reinvents itself as a restaurant and bar

Circus Restaurant & Bar may be in the same big top, but the show has completely changed.
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Event preview: Surprising pop-up restaurants spice up Moonlight Market

After prudently taking the last three frigid months off, the Moonlight Market is returning with renewed purpose and passion on Saturday, April 12. If you’re not familiar with the Moonlight Market, its name might suggest some sort of shady or bootlegger operation at first, but of course it’s not.
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Downtown Abbey: On a Saturday; topics discussed: Jawas, roeVy, spiritual enlightenment

On March 29 at The Bluestone, roeVy delivered the gospel of EDM from a double-laptop pulpit and baptized their flock of loyal party-goers in a tidal wave of heavy bass. Somewhere between the flashing pentagram projections and the neon angel wings, I remembered I was in a defunct house of the Lord.
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Restaurant review: 101 Beer Kitchen brunch delivers a comfort-food punch

The newish brunch service at 101 Beer Kitchen aptly displays this place’s charms. Its hearty and sneakily crafty fare is unabashedly masculine, yet smart, stylish and accessible enough to have broad appeal. Plus, while 101’s scratch-made, relatively inexpensive brunch dishes exhibit many down-home Southern and zesty Southwestern influences, there’s a decent-enough range of meats, seafoods and sweets to please a wide swath of eaters. No, it’s not vegan-accommodating, but the only other thing in super-short supply on 101’s succinct brunch menu is effete fussiness.
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Restaurant review: Rishi Sushi pops with fresh flavors

Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar takes fun seriously. Even saying “Rishi Sushi” aloud while attempting a straight face practically makes you slur into a smile. Then there’s Rishi’s Downtown space, which formerly housed ill-fated Fleur. Rishi worked hard to convert that odd-angled, two-floored building with the eye-catching wall of windows facing Third Street into someplace so full of fizzy whimsy, that the best descriptor for it would be an all-caps “POP.”
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Wine: Exploring riesling’s range

Consider it a riesling mini-flight.
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Distilled: Jameson offers new whiskey, excites columnist

I can’t believe it, but this is the first time I’ve written about Jameson for this column, which has been around for more than a year now. Given my proclivity for the Irish whiskey — I am kissing a bottle of it in that lovely, slightly embarrassing profile picture — I’m not sure how this happened. Whatever the case, I’m very pleased to write about a Jameson product, and especially pleased with how good this one is.
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Food truck review: Teodora’s Kitchen trucks out good Panamanian food

Panamanian food is rare around these parts — in fact the only specialist in the fare I know of is a mobile vendor called Teodora’s Kitchen. A mother-and-daughter-starring food truck, Teodora’s has been garnering buzz at weekly concession-dishing gigs for kitchen-less beer halls such as Seventh Son and Zauber Taproom. Since I hadn’t yet visited the new Zauber locale, I caught up with the less-than-a-year-old Teodora’s during its regular Sunday stop there.
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Ugly Tuna Saloona named one of American's best college bars

Girls+Cheap drinks+Fun times =scientific equation for fun.
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Bar profile: One door closes, another opens for Front Street Bar and Grill

The freshly minted Front Street Bar and Grill came with a built-in fan base.
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Downtown Abbey: A Sunday. Topics discussed: Divas. Industrial music. Conjoined twins.

They were completely unapologetic. They were outrageous and gracious and terrifyingly confident all at once. Most noticeably, they weren’t sorry about any of it. "How are my tits?" the host asked rhetorically. Huge, was the answer.
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Best of Columbus 2014 readers poll winners

It’s fitting some of our Best of Columbus winners earned their designations during March Madness. See, this year featured multiple buzzer-beaters, including the closest-ever finish in the competition’s history.
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Restaurant review: Harvest Pizza grows its vanguard brand in Clintonville

The Harvest Pizza restaurant family has grown from indie upstart to ambitious juggernaut in less than three years. This sort of progress can augur diminished quality and/or we-loved-you-as-an-underdog backlash. But, as the bustling new Harvest Bar & Kitchen in Clintonville demonstrates, this budding company — which includes edgy-cocktail-sloshing Curio, retro-mod Sycamore Cafe and the original brilliant pizzeria — seems too smart to screw up. In other words, I’m already considering HBK for my 2014 list of Best New Restaurants.
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Staff Pick: Sample Clintonville’s finest foodstuffs

Clintonville, quite quickly, has become one of our city’s best food destinations over the last couple years. If you haven’t visited my hood yet to fully realize this on your own, you need to.
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Best of Columbus 2014

Best Bowling Alley: Columbus Square Bowling Palace

The fortress has once again been named best in the city for a ball-dropping good time. Eh, you know what we mean.
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