Chef William Fugitt has been quietly working his magic on the menus at the MoJoe Lounges around town, crafting menus tailored to each location but all filled with local, seasonal ingredients.
I checked out the offerings at the newest MoJoe Lounge, across the street from the Columbus Commons in the old Lazarus space on High Street, and was impressed with everything we tasted, from appetizer to dessert.
The great thing about the MoJoe menu is Fugitt uses high-quality ingredients but in accessible forms, like sandwiches. And that means the prices are more affordable than you'd expect for food this beautiful.
Just look at that spring roll appetizer plate up top. Those warm, crispy nuggets were filled with tangy goat cheese and really good sauteed spinach, then drizzled with a lemon-herb pesto. We devoured them, and seriously considered ordering seconds.
I ordered the Slow Braised Short Rib sandwich with a side of excellent sweet potato fries.
The sandwich was fantastic. Melted gruyere and sauteed onions and mushrooms kept the it from feeling too beefy, and an au jus made it nice and juicy.
Tried a bite of this gorgeous Summer Vegetable Tarte de Provence, too. Roasted tomatoes and squash were melded together with dollops of goat cheese and baked in flaky tart pastry. It was like a perfect marriage of lunch and dessert.
Speaking of dessert, Chef Fugitt made us these gorgeous Italian pastries, called Sfogliatelle. They're crisp and crunchy on the outside, and then filled with a light lemony custard inside. So very delicious.
Highlights from the rest of his menu:
SMALL BITES Beer Battered Chicken Tenders with housemade bbq and garlic aioli, $5 Traditional Handmade Gnocchi with local mushrooms and parmesan cream sauce, $7 Truffled Chips with blue cheese dipping sauce, $5 Warm Spinach and Goat Cheese Spring Rolls, $7 Brezel Pretzel Bites with sharp cheddar cheese sauce, $5
BETWEEN THE BREAD Slow Braised Short Rib Sandwich, $10: gruyere-swiss, sauteed onions and mushrooms on a hoagie roll, served with au jus Pork BBQ, $10: coffee-rubbed, slow braised pork BBQ on toasted bun Summer Vegetable Tarte de Provence, $9: Zucchini, squash and roasted tomatoes and onions topped with goat cheese and basil in a tart shell Salmon Melt, $10: cedar-smoked salmon with red cabbage slaw on toasted brioche Corned Beef Reuben, $12: house corned beef brisket with Thousand Island, slaw and gruyere on toasted rye Turkey and Bacon, $7 Stuffed Pepper, $9: roasted red peppers with mushrooms, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and quinoa Chicken Pesto, $9: roasted chicken breast with pesto cream, local lettuce, bacon and tomato Crispy CBC Beer-Battered Fish Sandwich, $10 MoJoe Burger, $12: locally raised, grass-fed beef burger with sharp cheddar and caramelized onions on toasted bun BLT, $7: bacon, roasted tomatoes and fresh spring mix on toasted Italian with basil mayo Grilled Cheese, $7: three Ohio cheeses, grilled Cuban, $12: roasted pork belly Cuban with house-pickled vegetables, Ohio gouda and Dijon mustard vinaigrette Hummus Wrap, $9: chickpea hummus with roasted mushrooms, peppers and onions, with cucumbers, tomatoes and spring mix wrapped in a tortilla shell Vegetable Pasta Bowl, $10: roasted vegetables, sauteed with angel hair pasta and marinara
FROM THE GARDEN House Salad, $8: coffee-roasted beets, local goat cheese, lemon vinaigrette Chopped Salad, $10: bacon, avocado, chopped egg, cucumber, roasted tomatoes, Dijon vinaigrette Classic Caesar, $8: Romaine hearts, Caesar dressing, brioche croutons Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna, $10: carrots, onions, radishes, ginger-pear vinaigrette Spinach Salad, $9: Sauteed chicken breast, red onions, goat cheese, strawberries, candied pecans, red wine vinaigrette Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad, $8
MoJoe Lounge 149 S. High St., Downtown cupojoe.com