Summer fun guide: Patios for a shopping break

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From the May 24, 2012 edition

Marcella’s Polaris

1319 Polaris Parkway, Polaris

614-844-6500

polaris.marcellasitaliankitchen.com

Sorry, shopping mall food court, you’ve got big-time competition in Columbus, and Marcella’s is a prime example. When a lady can’t stand on her stilettos anymore during a serious retail mission, she can retire in a most relaxing manner at Marcella’s. More importantly, she can get a martini.

Marcella’s Polaris is the country-sophisticated, if less urban chic, sibling to the Short North restaurant. The patio is generous and brick-lined. Tables are sheltered under umbrellas that give the space that sun-dappled appearance that results in instant ease.

The restaurant’s famous small plates are perfect for midday nibbling, but there are plenty of substantial dishes and pizzas on the menu, too. Prosciutto & Melon, Beef Carpaccio, Warm Olives and the Tuscan Cheese Board are particularly summery. —Kristen Schmidt

Bon Vie

4089 The Strand East, Easton

614-416-0463

bon-vie.com

There are few better pleasures than meditating on the day’s retail therapy while sipping a glass of wine and watching the foot traffic at Tiffany. Bon Vie has a cool French bistro vibe and great bar snacks at prices that will ease the sting of your latest splurge.

Mitchell’s Ocean Club

4002 Easton Station, Easton

614-416-2582

mitchellsoceanclub.com

When the day’s expedition doesn’t turn out as hoped, lighten your wallet at Mitchell’s Ocean Club. It’s a splurge, certainly, but it’s a really classy one. Dinner on the terrace combines fine food and cocktails with excellent people-watching and easy proximity to your next shopping target. Share appetizers or go whole hog and plunge into the mouthwatering steaks menu.