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Tastemakers: 2014 culinary visionaries

It happened on artfully presented plates at a brewpub. Coming out of the kitchen of a dive bar. In the freezer section of the grocery store. From the tap handles at a cocktail bar. On a vintage plate piled high with house-cured meats. Columbus’ dining landscape is rapidly changing, and for the better. Leading the charge: these 11 inspired chefs, bartenders and visionaries who have big plans for the future.
// Daily Crave

Tasting notes from the Vanguard Wines tasting

This week, I had a chance to sample and visit with winemakers from around the world as part of the Vanguard Wines annual portfolio tasting. Here are a few styles sampled that I’d love to see more of when they hopefully make it onto local restaurant wine lists and store shelves this fall.

Oddfellows Liquor Bar opening in the Short North

The guys behind Mikey’s Late Night Slice are ready to unveil Oddfellows Liquor Bar, their new Short North dive bar, this weekend. The bar will open at 3 p.m. Saturday in the former 83 Gallery space at 1038 N. High Street, next to Short North Tattoo and adjacent to The Shack of Mikey’s Late Night Slice.

Meatless Monday: Tacos verde at Hass

While Hass is a favorite for its carne asada and al pastor tacos, I went with three Tacos Verde ($1.75 apiece) and was pleased to find the meatless offerings were anything but a menu afterthought.

Brunch pick: A tale of two French toasts

I’ve been on a bit of a French toast kick lately—craving the semi-sweet, semi-sour, soft centered, crisp-edged breakfast treat. So as you prepare to make brunch plans this weekend, keep these two spots in mind for solid French toast choices. (Bonus! Each option is under $10.)
// In This Issue

Q&A: Rick Lopez of La Tavola

Twice, chef Rick Lopez has closed the doors of La Tavola. First there was the small, understated eatery next to a gun range in Powell, then the grander iteration in Dublin. When the latter shuttered in 2009, Lopez cast his simple Italian cuisine aside, trading it in for urban diner fare at Knead. But he missed cooking the foods he grew up with, so within a week of closing the Downtown spot this spring, Lopez and his wife, Krista, quietly reopened La Tavola, this time in Grandview.

Hot Chicken Takeover’s takeout window

Nashville’s signature spicy fried chicken has made its way to Columbus with the recent opening of takeout only window Hot Chicken Takeover.

Guide: Expert advice on tipping, ordering and more

It’s important to know what fork to use. And, yes, there’s a proper way to place a linen napkin on your lap. But some dining rules are less about pretension than about making your experience (whether it’s a fine dining event or a quick trip to the bistro around the corner) more enjoyable. So what’s wrong and right nowadays? Here’s what Columbus servers and bartenders have to say.