Tuna Poké 

Poké, the Hawaiian-derived, sushi-style salad, is named after a Hawaiian word that refers to slicing something into pieces. Poké's been turning up all over town lately—in handsome dishes at places such as The Sycamore, a German Village high-achiever, but also in nachos at chain establishments such as Ram Restaurant and Brewery in the Short North. A couple of fast-casual eateries devoted to poké even opened recently: Pokébap in Dublin and Poké Bros. in the Polaris area. Yup, poké's trending now, but the longtime Hawaiian favorite is hardly new to Columbus—I first encountered it locally in M at Miranova about a decade ago. Addressing its sudden hotness, Mico Cordero of influential Hai Poké, the recurring pop-up and Columbus poké standard-bearer, says, “People are moving toward healthy meals like poké, which is also fast, fresh and delicious.” Because poké is often sold as a customizable bowl, the popularity of purchasing meals a la Chipotle plays a role, too. For instance, Hai Poké options include avocado, pickled cucumbers, sprouts, jalapeno, spicy mayo and seaweed added to marinated tuna, salmon or tofu. Any way you slice and garnish it, though, poké's currently having a delicious cultural moment. —G.A. Benton

Netflix and Chili Cheese Fries: Mobile and online delivery

Queue The West Wing marathon and activate that new doorbell with the camera in it. Winter is less dread-inducing thanks, in part, to the bevy of easy-to-order food delivery options that we've grown to rely on. No longer do we need to read a credit card over the phone or quickly decide what type of crust we want. These internet-based options that like to mesh words (hello, GrubHub, SkiptheDishes and OrderUp) help us avoid pesky phone calls, and while there are plenty of pizza offerings, the cuisines available go far and wide.Here are a few of our go-tos:

Amazon Restaurants

As of December, Amazon Prime members can enjoy free delivery (and a text when your order is arriving) from a variety of restaurants throughout the city.


With bright photos and a “most popular” option, this app has all the ease of its parent company, Uber. That is: one-touch ordering with a simple $4.99 booking fee and constant app updates as to where in the city your food is.


Stick with Postmates Plus, its preferred merchant program, and you'll find a fixed-cost $3.99 delivery (plus 9 percent service charge) for many of the same restaurants you'll find on the other services. Venture into atypical options (from Burger King to Pistacia Vera), though, and it's risky territory as delivery fees may fluctuate. Also: Non-members risk increased pricing during heavy order times.


Will beer runs one day go the way of phone booths? Yes, alcohol delivery has arrived in Columbus. Through its initial partnership with Arena Wine and Spirits, Drizly provides easy mobile app ordering for liquor, wine or beer—and even red Solo cups. —Jill Moorhead

Tired Trends

Calling your restaurant a gastropub: Just because your new concept plans to serve above-average bar food does not mean it's a gastropub. Stop it.

Chipotle-fication: It started with Mexican food at Chipotle and now we're seeing assembly lines for every cuisine imaginable: Italian, Indian, Korean, poké—you name it. Yes, it's fast, it's casual and it's a better (and sometimes healthier) alternative to fast food. Have we reached the tipping point?

The Moscow Mule: New twists on the classic ginger, lime and vodka cocktail—an apricot mule, a jalapeno mule—are everywhere these days. We have reached peak mule, so put those copper mugs away.

Designing loud restaurants: As local restaurants have embraced industrial chic—exposed beams, warehouse spaces and hard surfaces—one of the best parts of dining out has become endangered: quiet, intimate conversation over a delicious meal. Indeed, the decline of fine dining and the high cost of opening restaurants means we've also lost materials, like tablecloths and ceiling treatments, that absorb sound. Let's toast to better acoustics in 2017.

File under miscellaneous: Taco Tuesday, pork belly on everything, obscure menu descriptions —Erin Edwards