It's no secret Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, by and large, caters to omnivores. So when I read the veggie-minded menu for The Guild House-the company's latest concept, at the foot of the swanky Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph hotel in the Short North-I knew I had to make a visit.
You love it, or you don't; it's the broadest brush with which you can paint Cameron Mitchell Restaurants' ever-expanding empire. Most vegetarians I know fall into the latter camp. It's no secret CMR, by and large, caters to omnivores. So when I read the veggie-minded menu for The Guild House-the company's latest concept, at the foot of the swanky Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph hotel in the Short North-I knew I had to make a visit. (You should, too, but not without reservations. The dining room was slammed during my Sunday dinner visit.)
Start in the menu's "Market" section, where you won't find a single ounce of meat. Instead, root veggies and greens get top billing across five small plates. Take the simple but beautifully plated Carrot Salad ($7), in which thinly shaved orange, purple and yellow baby carrots are topped with brown-sugar-candied granola and a bright chickpea puree. Or the Brussels Sprouts ($8), gussied with cheddar, pecans, caramelized onions and a sweet mustard dressing. These plates are sized to share, so mix and match with your dining partners.
I've never cared much for lasagna-just saying the word makes me picture an accordion-like block of noodles laden with ricotta and red sauce-which is exactly why I ordered the Guild House's Vegetable Lasagna entree ($15). I wanted to see if executive chef John Paul Iacobucci and his team would surprise me-and they did. Thin house noodles, cooked to a light crisp, are layered with garlic, ricotta, mushrooms, artichokes, an asparagus-based pesto and a sprinkling of house potato chips for a little extra crunch. The variety of textures and earthy, savory flavors at play were a welcome change-up.
You'll find many more veggie-based dishes on the menu than I've mentioned here (folks at a nearby table were fawning over their simple salad with sherry-spiked creme fraiche), and our server said the restaurant also offers dairy-free selections for vegans.