From stunning French breads and dreamy pastries to bargain-bin workday lunch deals featuring homemade soups, salads and rich little sandwiches to full sit-down dinner menus of hearty French classics, the three La Chatelaines have for many years sustained their status as Columbus' go-to casual French eateries.
Toss in nifty Euro-style bars and pretty little patios, add some well-selected Belgian ale and wine tastings, and you wind up with restaurants that can rightfully claim the often-overused rubric of providing "something for everyone."
Why this pie?: With Alsatian roots from near the French and German border, La Chatelaine's version of pizzas, called Flamekuches, manage to be a food with Germanic style that's also pleasing to Franco palates. Now that's a true culinary achievement.
Eat it: I can't imagine a healthier "pizza" out there that's more devourable. Arriving on a cheeseboard is an ultra-light, smallish-sized rectangle of salady stuff - cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, peppers, good black olives and snipped basil - baked atop a papery thin whole wheat crust.
Serving as a sauce and providing a perfectly calibrated bite of necessary richness is a slightly lemony spinach, artichoke and swiss cheese dip. What's especially neat about this crunchy and colorful melange is that all the veggies are roasted just long enough to shed their raw character but not so long that they go soft; and the super-slim crust has a preternatural ability to stay crispy throughout the masticating process.