No Columbus restaurant is more stunning than Refectory. Just walking into the place is enough to take your breath away-diners are whisked from the front door by an impeccably groomed host, through a hallway and into the majestic dining room, an unbeatable converted chapel with soaring ceilings, exposed hand-hewn wood beams and stained-glass windows.

No Columbus restaurant is more stunning than Refectory. Just walking into the place is enough to take your breath away—diners are whisked from the front door by an impeccably groomed host, through a hallway and into the majestic dining room, an unbeatable converted chapel with soaring ceilings, exposed hand-hewn wood beams and stained-glass windows.

Every plate served here has that same wow factor. Chef Richard Blondin’s classically prepared French dishes are given updates with modern ingredients (alpaca terrine and sashimi tuna aiguillette, cardamom-sauced filet mignon and tarragon-marinated bison loin), then painstakingly arranged and garnished on mismatched china.

After all, there’s a reason this Bethel Road treasure has been our city’s go-to dining destination for special occasions since the 1980s. (Indeed, the wait staff typically assumes I’m there celebrating a birthday or an anniversary.) Nobody does knock-your-socks-off fine dining like the Refectory.

Photos by Will Shilling