Sometimes we ask food to do more than just fill us up until the next meal. Sometimes we need it to warm our souls, lift our spirits, make our hearts feel whole again. That's what we mean when we say comfort food. And no, any old cheesy fried thing isn't going to cut it.

Sometimes we ask food to do more than just fill us up until the next meal. Sometimes we need it to warm our souls, lift our spirits, make our hearts feel whole again. That's what we mean when we say comfort food. And no, any old cheesy fried thing isn't going to cut it. Comfort food has to have heart. And in Columbus, nobody does comfort food better than chef Kevin Caskey at Skillet.

And so on a recent afternoon when I needed my food to do just that, I headed straight to Skillet. And it did not disappoint. There's always going to be mac & cheese on the menu, fancied up with various vegetables and meats. On that particular day, I ordered the Mac & Duck ($13). It was spiral-shaped cavatappi noodles in a creamy cheese sauce made with Laurel Valley havarti and ricotta, made even more delicious with a roasted squash bechamel made from local Hubbard squashes. On top of all that was a mound of pulled duck leg confit and then a lightly dressed arugula salad. Immediately after digging in, I felt happier and more at ease. By the time I left the restaurant, I could hardly remember why I was so upset before.

As much as I loved my mac-n-cheese, I was still jealous of this burger, which I considered but didn't order. Look at that gorgeous egg! Luckily, I got to try a bite. Here's the kind of crazy menu description:

Bluescreek Farm Lamb Chorizo Burger, $12: Housemade chorizo from all-natural Ohio group raised tether-free lamb. Served on a brioche roll with grainy aioli, Laurel Valley Jersey Drover, and a sunny King's Farm egg.

A longtime favorite comfort-food-day option is Skillet's Grilled Cheese on Brioche ($10). The fillings change occasionally (that day's sandwich has Laurel Valley Country Jack with roasted Fuji apple-onion compote), but it always comes with a little salad and a cup of soup. I did not snag a bite of this amazing-sounding soup (black bean and beer soup made with sheep's-milk cheese!), but it certainly sounded and looked fantastic.

Skillet

410 E. Whittier St., German Village

614-443-2266

skilletruf.com