Best New Restaurant Runner-up: Till Dynamic Fare
Tessa Berg Photos
That I can barely remember a time before chef Magdiale Wolmark cooked meat is a testament to the brilliance of Till Dynamic Fare.
On the surface, the Till space doesn’t look all that different from its previous incarnation—vegan fine-dining destination Dragonfly, a veritable Columbus institution. But Wolmark and his wife, Cristin Austin, changed quite a bit more than the name when they revamped the place in early 2012.
The biggest difference, of course, is an omnivorous menu that, despite still being one of the most adventurous in town, feels more approachable than Dragonfly’s ever did.
There are also longer hours, a robust happy hour, late-night eats, brunch every day and even a kids’ menu. All of that adds up to a completely new vibe—and that’s the most impressive part of this makeover story.
Wolmark and Austin succeeded in their lofty goal of transforming their high-end restaurant into a neighborhood hangout.
Expanding the menu, which still incorporates plenty of vegetarian and vegan fare, to include meat raised biodynamically (Wolmark describes it as a method that treats animals in an ethical, compassionate way) opens things up to a much wider audience. On the small menu, there are options for any appetite, at any price point.
You can order seitan poutine if you’re up for a challenge, or you can opt for fantastic takes on familiar burgers or fried chicken.
Not much changed in the way of decor, which is a good thing. Dragonfly’s understated elegance made it one of the city’s most confident restaurant spaces, and Till retains a similar look. Rough-hewn wood tables are adorned with a fresh-picked flower or two, lights are turned low, vintage ceiling tiles are painted white and the main visual attraction is a massive chalkboard that details the ever-changing menu.
Also, Till is one of just a few “nice restaurants” that I can confidently describe as family-friendly. Wolmark and Austin have two smallish kids who can occasionally be spotted running around the place. So you’ll never feel guilty when your kids inevitably do the same.