Former Barcelona chef and his wife opened Natalie's, a new Downtown casual Korean spot

Mmm, take a look at this Mung Bean Cake topped with balsamic-marinated cod. I ordered these savory pancakes, a Korean specialty, for lunch at Natalie's, the new Fourth Street restaurant run by former Barcelona chef Paul Yow and his wife Hae Ran Yow. Paired with a cup of soup (a slightly spicy and velvety Butternut Squash and Leek Soup spiked with pepitas), it made for quite a tasty lunch. Oh, Natalie's... I just wish the rest of your concept was as well-executed as the food.

Natalie's has only been open a few weeks, so I'll happily give them some time to settle into the new digs. But in case you were wondering:

--This Natalie's is completely unrelated to the buzzy new Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza in Worthington. This one gets its name from the owners' daughter, Natalie.

--Don't expect Spanish tapas, Barcelona fans. The concept here is casual Korean fare, inspired by Hae Ran's upbringing in Seoul, South Korea.

--But don't expect bibimbap or banchan, either. Let's revise that to say the concept is Korean-American fusion, so while I'm looking forward to trying the Korean Bulgogi entree and Jap Chae noodles, there's also a "Korrito" (burrito stuffed with sesame beef) and sun-dried tomato linguini.

Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, that mung bean cake was outstanding, and I'm excited to see more chef-driven restaurants Downtown.

If you ever grabbed lunch at Serenity Cafe, the soup-and-sandwiches spot that long occupied this YWCA-adjacent restaurant space, you'll see the interior has not changed a bit.

Here's the rest of the menu:

STARTERS
Vegetarian Mung Bean Cake, $5 (with crispy pork, $6)
Fried Calamari with kimchee tartar sauce, $7
Green Pea Dip with crispy pita, $5

SOUPS & SALADS
Butternut Squash and Leek Soup, $4
Curried Lentil Soup, $4
Roasted Cod Caesar Salad with balsamic glazed Atlantic cod, romaine, parmesan, croutons and garlic lemon dressing, $8

NOODLES
Jap Chae: sweet potato noodles, onions, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, $7
Linguini: sundried tomato herb sauce, aged cheddar, $8

SANDWICHES
(served with a choice of slaw, potato wedges or veggie baked beans)
Korrito: burrito with sesame beef, black soybean hummus, barley rice, carrots, red onions, cilantro, romaine, candied jalapeno sauce, $7.50
Natalie's Late Night Snack: apple cider-roasted beef brisket, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, sundried tomato pesto, romaine, brioche bun, $8
Wet Beef Sandwich: braised beef chuck, spicy pickled veggie relish and provolone on a brioche bun, drenched in beef jus, $8
Chicken Croissant: roasted chicken breast, red onion, romaine, honey ginger sauce, $8

BIG PLATES
Korean Bulgogi: thin-sliced, marinated and grilled beef sirloin, carrots, onions, zucchini, barley rice, $11
Chopped Salad: herb-roasted chicken, ginger-cured bacon, romaine, spicy pickled veggies, blue cheese dressing, $9

Natalie's
79 S. Fourth St., Downtown
614-228-5199
nataliesdowntown.com