Taking over the space of what used to be Rosendales, one of Columbus’ most elegant restaurants, Hubbard Grille is still fairly swanky but offers a more humble atmosphere.
The “supper” menu is eclectic yet maintains a comfort food focus. There are some tasty, filling half-price appetizers during happy hour that pair perfectly with the excellent specialty cocktails.
Hubbard Grille has one of my favorite cocktails in the city, the Seven Nine Three ($10), which is the main reason I head to the Short North spot after work.
Old Forester Bourbon mixed with a brown sugar simple syrup and muddled with lemon and mint, the Seven Nine Three is strong but also refreshing. “Refreshing” isn’t an adjective usually used to describe a bourbon-based cocktail, but it’s appropriate here.
The other standout cocktail is the Hot & Filthy Martini ($10). Containing Oyo vodka (or Watershed gin, if you choose), a heavy dose of olive juice and jalapeno-stuffed olives, it lives up to its name.
The beer list at Hubbard is mostly composed of bottle and cans, with only three drafts available. Beers on tap rotate regularly, and there’s a featured draft each month, which is usually a craft or local brew.
The bottles are a mix of domestics ($3.50) and crafts ($5-10), with standouts like Stone Ruination IPA ($9) and Troegs Hopback ($5.50). The cans include cheapies like Pabst Blue Ribbon ($2.50) and the always-changing Stimulus Package special ($2), and other crafts and imports. The 16 oz. Old Speckled Hen ($6) is also a good choice.
With a half-dozen apps on the menu, Hubbard Grille has a few options for affordable grub. The Shortribs & Shrimp ($13) is served over a bed of grits. The off-the-bone short ribs have excellent flavor, and you can never go wrong with shrimp and grits.
There’s also a large calamari appetizer ($10) with Sriracha garlic aioli and a jumbo crab cake served with sauteed zucchini and squash ribbons, spicy slaw and lemon aioli ($10).
The standout was the Bacon and Beer Cheese Fritters special ($7.50), which isn’t always on the menu. Man, are those little buggers deep-fried heaven.