The executive chef and co-owner of The Sycamore will strike out on his own after taking over the lease at the revered Alana's Food & Wine.
After 18 years in business, chef Alana Shock will soon retire the name Alana’s Food & Wine and hand over the keys to the restaurant at 2333 N. High St. Taking over the Campus-area restaurant space are Bradley Balch, executive chef and co-owner of The Sycamore in German Village, and Michael Kulikowski, former general manager at Tucci’s (where Balch was once chef). The sale of the restaurant’s assets and liquor license is imminent as Shock and the new owners work with the building’s landlord to finalize transfer of the lease.
Balch told Columbus Monthly that he and Kulikowski plan to open Trillium Kitchen & Patio in June after eight to 10 weeks of renovations.
Balch notified his staff this past weekend that he is leaving his position as The Sycamore’s executive chef, but he will maintain an ownership stake in the restaurant along with business partner Chris Crader. He’s leaving day-to-day operation of the restaurant in the hands of his current sous chef Mitch Kondas, who will be elevated to the executive chef role. Kondas has been with The Sycamore, named one of Columbus Monthly’s 10 Best Restaurants in 2016, since it opened in the fall of 2013.
“He’s a young gun like I used to be,” Balch says, adding that he’s excited about the chance to create new opportunities for young chefs. His last day as executive chef at The Sycamore is this Saturday.
Trillium, which is named after the state wildflower of Ohio, will be open for dinner service Tuesday through Saturday. Balch plans to add lunch service at a later date. He says he’s planning a diverse menu of about 21 dishes that changes often, focuses on quality ingredients and draws inspiration from global cuisines. Balch, who made ahi tuna one of his calling cards at The Sycamore, will continue to highlight the fish and other seafood dishes. Alana’s focus on wine—which has always been a strength thanks to Shock’s husband Kevin Bertschi—will continue in the new eatery, as Kulikowski asserts his substantial knowledge from Tucci’s.
One big change: Balch is getting an upgrade from The Sycamore’s tiny kitchen. “It’ll be huge,” he says. “I won’t know what to do with all that space.”