Story by G.A. Benton | Photos by Jodi Miller
Mix It Up
Whether you're hungry for fun casual food or something more sumptuous, Grandview's got you covered
A pleasurably walkable neighborhood home to all walks of people, Grandview cheerfully blends old-time, small-town charm with contemporary big-city sophistication. And Grandview's destination-worthy restaurant scene reflects that all-American mix.
Because whether it's a homey joint with the best donuts ever (DK Diner) or a wholly refurbished golden oldie (Grandview Cafe-since 1925!) or a handsome, upscale and modern food palace that prides itself on sourcing (Third and Hollywood), Grandview's eateries can easily please a wide range of appetites and pocketbooks. Here are a few more popular and alluring Grandview restaurants.
1295 Grandview Ave.
As restaurant trends come and go, the decades-old Spagio continues zooming along, absorbing new food fashions with gusto and verve. I'd expect nothing less from pioneering Columbus chef Hubert Seifert.
See, long ago, the German-born Seifert actually helped bring Euro-style haute cuisine to Central Ohio with his little Gourmet Market eatery. Now Chef Hubert oversees a bright and bubbly Spagio complex with a great wine shop and patio.
Try the Asian-inflected wood-fired duck pizza, upscale Mama Seifert's Meatloaf, a bouillabaisse-y Seafood Stew and a locally sourced rolled Italian Porchetta roast partnered with homemade gnocchi and spring peas.
1371 Grandview Ave.
Suave and sexy Brazilian tunes usually set the zesty mood in the urbane and casual Vino Vino. As its twice-as-nice name suggests, the wine flows abundantly here and several flights enable the slurping of more than one grape at a time.
That same play-the-field gameplan holds for the smallish plates of food. Some favorites are the Parmesan Peppercorn salad, Fish Taco and Asparagus Risotto Tower.
As a bonus, Vino Vino's literally joined at the hip to Figlio, so you can get a two-fer by also tucking into Figlio's nifty Cal-Ital pizzas and pastas.
1439 Grandview Ave.
Painted in alternating shades of merry yellow, green and orange, friendly little Mazah has been embraced as the must-visit newest player in the Grandview Avenue casual-restaurant scene.
But Mazah-which makes the best Middle Eastern food in this area-has roots reaching back to Sindbad's, Columbus' Ur-house of hummus. Luckily for customers, Mazah's family recipes taste better than ever, and from phenomenal falafel to killer kebabs, you cannot go wrong.
Hint: Mazah specializes in tapas-y mezze-style dining, so ordering from the combo-packed "Mazah samplers" menu section facilitates copious and glorious grazing.
1447 Grandview Ave.
Tasteful ambient appointments and pleasure-center-grabbing dishes define Trattoria Roma. Vibe-wise, a wooden plank floor capped by neatly white-trimmed burgundy walls form a handsome backdrop to framed black-and-white sketches of famous Italian landmarks. Jazz giants are piped into the small dining room and the cozy little bar is decorated in Sinatra.
When it's time to mangia mangia, saucy delights take center stage. Try the shroomy, rich and intense Polenta e Gorgonzola ai Funghi; a spicy tomato sauce, pasta and seafood bonanza (Linguine alla Pescatore); and a lush and skillful stuffed chicken dish (Pollo Trattoria Roma).
Paul's Fifth Avenue
1565 W. Fifth Ave.
Paul's Fifth Avenue has a dual personality that straddles both older and newer Grandview. By daytime, its coffee-shoppy interior is filled with breakfasting regulars slamming back eggy dishes sided with Paul's famous morning potatoes (either crispy "Joes" or jazzed-up "Callahans") plus lunching locals loving diner classics like meatloaf.
Evening hours bring about a more sophisticated Italian menu. Best enjoyed on Paul's patio with a bottle of vino, the nightly meal can begin with a grilled polenta and portobello appetizer before moving on to, say, whole wheat linguine with a light and lively funghi pomodoro sauce.
Red Door Tavern
1736 W. Fifth Ave.
Open since 1964, yes, here the door is really red and the school is really old. But don't think this vintage working man's tavern/family-friendly restaurant is a relic.
Currently in Jimmy V's clan of eateries, the lively Door has managed to retain its classic, down-to-earth character while also attracting out-on-the-towners seeking pubby dining and a partying patio.
Whether eating outside, at the sporty bar or in one of several rooms hung with farm implements, this is the place for massive grill-seared burgers and the beloved Twisted Pelican (grilled deli turkey and fixins on a pretzel roll).
Food critic G.A. Benton blogs at columbusalive.com