Harold's American Grille makes me think of a crafty person who couldn't decide whether to wear a cardigan or a blazer, so he patched together a hybrid and, although there was some awkward stitching in places, wound up with an unlikely combo that was more successful than not.

Harold's American Grille makes me think of a crafty person who couldn't decide whether to wear a cardigan or a blazer, so he patched together a hybrid and, although there was some awkward stitching in places, wound up with an unlikely combo that was more successful than not.

Open since late July, Harold's resides (as its website informs us) "in the historic building that is situated on Lot 100 of the original 1804 plat of the village of Worthington." To honor its early-American roots, the smallish restaurant with a neighborhood-tavern vibe has chosen a colonial-style interior that showcases stark navy blue paint bordered by white trim and a large American flag that anchors patriotic and history-referencing accoutrements. While not a sports pub, ample TVs make Harold's a good place to watch multiple games simultaneously.

The beverage list eclipses most with its large and varied wine selection and solid beer roster. If a cocktail is calling, the Lot 100 Manhattan ($9) will get the job done if you enjoy something strong, orange-scented and light-bodied.

Scanning Harold's menu reveals unadventurous items such as wings, nachos and meatloaf. But look closer, and you'll see that the wings are cooked unconventionally, the nachos are created with peanuts and sweet potatoes, and the meatloaf is made from Ohio bison. Dig deeper, and you'll notice ceviche among the sliders and a stylish vegetable salad hanging out with the Caesar and Cobb.

Those Sweet Potato Nachos might sound odd, but they're hard to stop gobbling. They have a bright flavor emanating from a zingy Thai peanut sauce, cilantro, scallions, shaved carrots and roasted peppers; the thin chips and roasted peanuts offer an appealing crunch. Note: Harold's starters are conveniently priced by small, medium and large sizes - a small nachos order ($8) serves about three.

The Smoked Wings aren't cheap (6 for $11), but are big and meaty, and because they're slowly smoked and skillfully grilled (not fried), arrive invitingly seared, fall-off-the-bone tender and ungreasy.

Conversely, Harold's Fish Sliders (3 for $11) were on the oily side. I still liked them, hooked in by their tender meat, crackly light crust and vinegary jicama slaw.

Harold's Autumn Vegetable Salad ($10) stars a colorful ensemble of roasted and diced parsnips, rutabagas, turnips and braised beets. Their oven-derived sweetness plays off a tuft of pickled onion threads, punchy gorgonzola sprinkles, properly cooked hard eggs, greens and a pleasant lemon-herb vinaigrette. Although my root veggies were unevenly cooked, it was still an attractive salad.

Columbus seems to be having a Reuben renaissance lately, and Harold's entry is outstanding ($13) - succulent, salt-restrained, thinly sliced, housemade corned beef plus all correct garnishes judiciously applied and tucked inside butter-happy, crunchy rye toast. Crisp hand-cut fries make fine plate partners.

Another sandwich scored high: the Lobster Grilled Cheese ($14), a righteous amount of fresh-tasting meat plus melted havarti and "local taleggio" between pan-crisped, puffy sourdough. In lieu of fries, I opted for the fried Brussels sprouts ($2 upcharge), which were nicely cooked-through and appropriately dark but shiny with excessive oil.

Fortunately, the Fried Boneless Chicken ($14) wasn't too greasy. Beneath a modest drizzle of honey was a breast piece with a crinkly, golden-brown crust and tender, juicy meat. Sides are green beans livened by garlic and OK mashed potatoes. If you like, you can sub the mashers for the compressed, whole little Yukon golds with browned and textured skins called "crispy smashed potatoes."

If you're famished, the homey Smoked Tomato Gorgonzola Penne ($14) is an enormous bowl of pasta with a dairy-rich cream sauce punctuated by Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and asparagus. When paired with the deli-like house-smoked turkey ($4), it makes an unlikely but mostly successful combo.

Harold's American Grille

673 High St., Worthington

614-396-8381

www.haroldsamericangrille.com