De-Novo, the new Downtown restaurant from the owners of Vonn Jazz Lounge (and with the chef from the recently closed Short Story Brasserie in Granville), opened today for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

De-Novo, the new Downtown restaurant from the owners of Vonn Jazz Lounge (and with the chef from the recently closed Short Story Brasserie in Granville), opened today for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's the latest in a string of restaurant openings in the Downtown district, and the first in this particular block--a long neglected stretch of High Street between Town and Rich streets. I'm pretty stoked about the resurging Downtown dining scene and I'm anxious to see how an upscale bistro like De-Novo will be received.

The De-Novo space is simply gorgeous--narrow but with super-high ceilings, exposed brick and a curved bar. Elaborate chandeliers and giant hanging branches make up the elegant if slightly overstated decor. I checked it out for lunch today but am looking forward to returning for dinner and trying out some of the mouthwatering entree choices.

I tried the Banh Mi ($8), an interesting twist on the classic Vietnamese sandwich made with lamb belly, chicken pate spread, cilantro, marinated carrot and cucumber, jalapeno and sriracha aioli on a French baguette. The lamb was definitely very flavorful, and as a lamb fan I loved it.

The Banh Mi, like all sandwiches, cames with some great truffle fries. The menu promises triple-smoked ketchup, but my plate didn't have it and I didn't miss it. Here's a look at the rest of the lunch/dinner menu:

SANDWICHES

Grilled Chicken Club with Applewood bacon, boursin cheese and chipotle aioli, $7

Kobe Chorizo Burger on pretzel bun with Carr Valley Menage cheese, $11

Cuban Pulled Pork with roasted red pepper-cumin aioli, $9

Crispy Salmon Flatbread with smoked salmon, crunchy capers and creme fraiche, $10

Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta, $7

Sauteed Shrimp with cheddar cheese polenta and smoked egg, $8

CHILLED SMALL PLATES

Spicy Ahi Tuna Cups, $8

Butter Bibb (toasted hazelnuts, manchego, fine herb vinaigrette), $8

Baby Arugula (chevre, crispy brioche, roasted red pepper vinaigrette), $8

Chop Novo (cucumber, feta, roasted tomatoes & red peppers, kalamata olives, phyllo threads, lemon-shallot vinaigrette), $8

Lobster White Prawn Martini with creamy horseradish cognac sauce, $12

HOT SMALL PLATES

Kobe Beef Sliders with smoked gouda, caramelized shallots, chipotle aioli, $12

De-Novo Seasonal Foie Gras, $14

Crab Cakes with saffron whole grain mustard aioli, $10

Five Spice Shrimp Tempura with warm orzo salad, sweet thai chili drizzle, $9

Braised Boneless Short Ribs with sweet potato gnocchi, $9

ENTREES

(Bistro-size portions available for many)

Sea Scallops with lemon buerre blanc, salmon roe and lobster mashed potatoes, $27

Sea Bass with saffron vanilla butter sauce and parsnip puree, $25

Filet Mignon with porcini and boursin risotto, $30

Double Bone Pork Chop with salty caramel apple bread pudding, $27

Roasted Duck Breast with truffle parmesan rosti, $27

Lobster Truffle Mac N Cheese, $23

Lamb Belly with papardelle pasta, sherry dijon cream, asparagus and poached egg, $19

Chicken Carbonara with peas, applewood smoked bacon and linguine, $19

Butternut Squash Ravioli with gorgonzola and candied walnuts, $17

North Market Pasta with tomato ragu and vegetables, $14

De-Novo

201 S. High St., Downtown

614-222-8830

denovobistro.com