You caught our Columbus Tastemakers feature on Bodega's new chef Marcus Meacham, right? Well, go read it and then make plans to go try some of his inventive dishes. The Short North bar gets super packed by happy hour and remains so well into the evening, but I find Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons are the perfect times to go in and feast.
The small plates section of the revamped menu has been particularly fun to check out. One of my favorite dishes is the rich and flavorful Shrimp 'n' Grits ($7). It's buttery cheddar grits topped with several big pieces of shrimp, crumbled bacon, crispy shallots and roma tomatoes.
Tacos! These are light and fruity fish tacos ($9) topped with spice-rubbed grilled tilapia, jicama slaw and an orange-cilantro sauce. They're double-wrapped in warm corn tortillas, and they're an awesome summer snack.
I also really dig these Samosas ($6). The Bodega menu has always had slight Indian leanings reflecting co-owner Sangeeta Lakhani's heritage, and these are my favorite of those dishes. Three deep-fried empanadas are stuffed with a spicy peas-and-potatoes puree and served with a great spicy-sweet date chutney and a super spicy cilantro chutney for dipping. Oh, and be sure to have a beer handy while eating.
1044 N. High St., Short North