When Da Levee opened in 2010 it was a welcome addition to the Cajun and creole dining options in Columbus. Since that time, the Short North eatery has been serving up pleasingly authentic, made-from-scratch dishes.
This February, Da Levee closed shop for a couple weeks to build a small bar, an addition that is just as welcome as the restaurant itself was a few years ago. Built using entirely reclaimed material, the bar area has a comfortable appeal to complement its industrial aesthetic.
“It’s been my dream since the beginning to have a bar. I wanted it to be a place where people want to hangout and feel like they’re at home,” said owner Justin Boehme.
The standout at Da Levee is the handful of well-crafted NOLA-inspired cocktails, especially when they’re $7 a pop. The cocktail menu changes seasonally but has staples in The Sazerac, Derecho! (Da Levee’s twist on the Hurricane) and The Bloody Mary. The Sazerac sticks to the traditional recipe and executes it perfectly, while The Bloody Mary is a slight variation, using a house-made creole sauce in lieu of tomato juice adding a little spice and substance.
The seasonal items currently on the menu—Da Levee will soon be switching to three or four margarita variations, including a 32-ounce Strawberry Abita-Ritaare also worth getting before they’re gone. The Crusta, a timeless bayou concoction dating back to the 1880s, has a pleasant citrusy bittersweet flavor in its combination of bourbon, Cointreau, lemon juice, Maraschino liqueur, raw sugar and Angostura bitters. The Count Roffingnac is a rare Hennessey cocktail and the fresh raspberry syrup is a nice touch.
In addition to the cocktails, Da Levee has a few beers on draft. The Abita Amber is a solid option at $3 all day, every day. Other pints are $4-$5, and $3 during the 3-7 p.m. happy hour Tuesday through Friday.
Da Levee also has a cooler with a number of bottle options, including appropriately the entire line of Abita brews. The cooler also acts as a carryout for to-go beers, where patrons can create a mix-and-match six pack.