|Classic Sports Bar|
28 September 2009
23 September 2009
I unearthed a gem that took me back to my childhood while visiting my brother this week. Stark County is hardly a hot bed of gourmet pizza. However, when I was younger, one place called the Pepper Mill shone brighter than all the other stars. The proprietors Anna and Tony ran a bare bones pizza shop that made great pizza with a medium thick, buttery crust, brightly flavored sauce and high quality topppings. After many years went by, they retired from the pizza business.
However, the friendly couple have now re-entered the pizza fray with Anna's Pizza, Cookies and Ice Cream in Jackson Township. The pie is very similar to the Pepper Mill, and the jovial conversations by the proprietors are identical.
I didn't use a camera to capture the pizza, so you'll have to stop in to relive the magic. The roasted garlic pizza comes highly recommended from my brother.
|The Mad Greek|
14 September 2009
11 September 2009
Alana's is the namesake restaurant of chef/proprietor Alana Shock, a chef with stints at Spagio, Emeril's and Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago as a corporate chef. The decor of the restaurant features whimsical accents that highlight the fun nature of Alana and her staff.
Alana's was jammed for Restaurant Week. The staff seemed a little pressed with all of the business stacking up. I had few problems because I walked in and I figured I'd have to wait. Some guests with reservations, however, were complaining that their reservations were 45 minutes late. Hopefully the weekend sees an increase in staffing.
The Restaurant Week menu actually changes daily. Many of the items on the Web menu were no longer available Thursday night. Of course, the shifting menu guarantees the freshest ingredients will be used.
There was a vegetarian salad and a soup available for the first course. I chose the Indian lentil Dal curry soup because I have a soft spot in my heart for food from the Indian subcontinent. Dal is the Indian name for lentils, and one of the classic preparations is lentil soup. Alana's version was richly spiced with a thick, pureed lentil base and hints of tomatoes, garlic and green onion.
The main course was a risotto made with Ohio shiitake mushrooms and mild goat cheese. The texture of the risotto was perfect, the mushrooms were savory and the goat cheese brought the whole dish together beautifully. The only minor complaint I had was that risotto changes from ethereal to coagulated rather quickly, and the portion might have been slightly large to enjoy the whole dish at the perfect consistency. That being said, how often is having too much of something a bad thing?
The dessert was a chocolate tort topped with chocolate ice cream. The dish highlighted the bitter, dark notes of chocolate, and walnuts add another layer of flavor to a great meal's conclusion.
Alana's is a great restaurant. Despite her feud with restaurant critic Jon Christensen, Alana's is most definitely one of Columbus' 10 best restaurants. Her commitment to vegetarian dining quality also makes Alana's a can't-miss destination for meatless diners.
09 September 2009
Today's news is heavy vegetarian. Locally, the Columbus Dispatch Food & Life section lead story is about occasional vegetarians. There are three recipes for Meatless Chili, Grilled Vegetables with Peanut Sauce, and Pasta with Broccoli, Red Pepper Flakes and Feta included with the article. Whether you are a full- or part-time vegetarian, recipes always come in handy.
And on the National front, the San Jose Mercury News ran an interview with Top Chef also-ran Michael Chiarello as the intro to their profile of vegan cookbooks. If the three Dispatch recipes weren't enough, perhaps a new vegan cookbook could brighten up your kitchen performance.
08 September 2009
|Black Creek Bistro-Restaurant Week|
07 September 2009
|Katzinger's Restaurant Week|
02 September 2009
I scoured the menus for vegetarian options. There could be more options than what I list here. But these ones definitely caught my eye:
Essentially everything on the menu appears to have a vegetarian option. The total damage is $30.09 for three courses.
The options from Katzinger's include an eggplant, mozzarella and tomato jam sandwich and a choice of salad and dessert for two people for a grand total of $20.09.
The house salad is vegetarian and the soup appears vegetarian (check first; don't quote me on that one). The entree is sun-dried tomato and marscarpone cheese ravioli. The panna cotta dessert is made with gelatin, making it inappropriate for vegetarians. The other two desserts on the $30.09 prix fixe menu are vegetarian-safe.
The $30.09 prix fixe features three vegetarian starters, eggplant parmigiana as an entree and three different desserts.
Dinner for two costs $30.09. You get a choice of red bean hummus or jalepeño poppers as a shared appetizer. The Surly Girl pizza is vegetarian. Dessert is two cupcakes.
The menu at Tutto Vino provides plenty of options for vegetarians. For $30.09, two diners get a choice of a cheese plate or salad and can build their own gourmet pizza. For an extra $20.09, they can also build their own five-choice wine flight.
Black Creek Bistro features four courses for $30.09. The appetizer options are squash au gratin or chili rellenos. All three salads are vegetarian. There is a squash-based entree. The vegetarian dessert is a melon granita.
The $30.09 menu buys a cheese plate, two pizzas and two glasses of sangria.
The three-course menu includes a house salad, pesto ravioli and a choice of desserts.
I'm sure I'll have a few entries posted during Restaurant Week. Check back for updates.