I wrote earlier this summer about Darista Cafe, the healthy/delicious lunch vendor who sets up on the veranda at The Hills Market each Friday. Well, now the Hills has recruited another fantastic pop-up, Little Eatery, to set up during lunchtime on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The concepts are similar, with both pop-ups focusing on locally sourced ingredients and bright flavors. Little Eatery is another winner.
Chef Cara Mangini was trained in New York City and comes to Columbus from Napa Valley, California, where she worked at a farm-to-table restaurant and winery. Her specialty is vegetables (indeed, one of her former gigs was vegetable butcher for Mario Batali), and her salads are pretty spectacular. In fact, I'd already eaten lunch when I stopped in to Hills for a quick errand, and was so tantalized by her creations I went ahead and ordered a salad and biscuit. My raw zucchini salad topped with shaved parmesan and toasted almonds, all drizzled in lemony olive oil, was light and refreshing and delicous -- it reminded me of my favorite Basi appetizer, the Zucchini Pronto.
And the biscuit, a buttermilk-cheddar biscuit served with a little cup of thoroughly addictive honey butter, was a perfectly indulgent treat. One comes with each order.
Check out Mangini's blog, littleeater.com, for a sampling of the stuff she's making at Little Eatery. The menu changes constantly, but here's what Mangini was offering the day I stopped by:
Two scoops $7, three scoops $10. Each served with housemade buttermilk cheddar biscuit and honey butter.
Jorgensen Farms Organic Heirloom Tomato Panzanella, with cucumber, basil, parsley and toasted Italian bread
Corn and Black Bean Succotash with Poblano and Sweet Peppers, with red onion, garlic, cayenne, cilantro and champagne vinaigrette
Local Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Corn and Mixed Quinoa Salad, with Mackenzie Creamery chevre and basil vinaigrette
Raw Zucchini Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Toasted Almonds, with basil, mint, parsley, lemon and olive oil
Sweet and Spicy Peanut Slaw with Pickled Onions and Jalapenos, with cabbage, carrot, cucumber, green onion, basil, cilantro and mint
SIGNATURE GREEN SALADS
Served with housemade buttermilk cheddar biscuit and honey butter.
Ohio Peaches, Avocado and Fresh Corn off the Cob with Red Leaf Lettuce, and toasted walnuts, Lake Erie Creamery feta and citrus vinaigrette, $10
Harvest Salad with Chickpeas and Parmesan, with arugula, cucumber, tomato, and sherry vinaigrette, $8
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays at Hills Market
7860 Olentangy River Rd., Worthington