Our parties have the best food

Columbus Monthly is throwing a party this month. You should join us. It's going to be a blast.

Last year, for the first time, we decided to do more than write about the best new restaurants in town. We pulled them all together and let you sample them. The event was such a good time and so well-received by both you, our readers, and the chefs and restaurants themselves that it took us all of about five seconds to make it an annual event.

So we're doing it again, on Wednesday, March 14, at Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, and we can't wait. There's so much to like about this event. First and foremost, there's the food. Eleven of the restaurants in our Best New Restaurants feature from the February issue are excited to be part of the event.

Those include fantastic new restaurants from the city's two top craft distilleries, Service Bar from Middle West Spirits and Watershed Kitchen & Bar. Both venues hit home runs in venturing into the dining arena, attracting two of the most inventive and respected chefs in the area to chart their courses—Avishar Barua at Service Bar and Jack Moore at Watershed Kitchen & Bar.

Other Best New Restaurants participating are Kuya Ian's Bistro, serving authentic Filipino fare; Cosecha Cocina's contemporary take on Mexican from Chris Crader's popular Grow Restaurants brand; The Keep Liquor Bar, the new Downtown favorite tucked inside the iconic LeVeque Tower; Bradley Balch's risk-taking Trillium Kitchen & Patio, which transformed the former site of critics' favorite Alana's Food & Wine; the chic pan-Asian Tiger + Lily, which upped the ante on the growing Gay Street scene; New Albany's Soulshine Tavern & Kitchen that's as laid-back and comforting as the Allman Brothers tune for which it's named; German Village's South Village Grille, which had the gumption to replace the legendary Easy Street Café; the Clintonville breakfast/lunch spot that created a new word—Blunch—and a new midday vibe; and Smoked on High Barbeque Co. After all, what's a great party without great barbecue?

And then there's the location—The Joseph. Not only are we eating the best food in the city, but we're doing it inside one of the most gorgeous spaces—Ron Pizzuti's art gallery disguised as a boutique hotel in the heart of Columbus' most vibrant neighborhood, the Short North.

But what I really like about this event is that the walls come down. How often do you get to walk into a beautiful room where you're encouraged to mill about at your leisure, sampling some of the most creative, most delicious signature dishes from 11 of the most exciting restaurants Columbus has to offer, while meeting the chefs who are driving the local dining scene? The walls come down for us, too. We get to escape the office for an evening and actually enjoy the food and beverages with you. That's cool for us. And judging by the response last year, that's what the chefs enjoy, too. The food is the attraction, but the guest list is the show.

If you don't already have your tickets to Columbus Monthly's Best New Restaurants event, visit ColumbusMonthly.com/BNR and order a few. As a bonus, with every purchase, you get a free year's subscription to the magazine to enjoy for yourself or give as gifts. After all, the more the merrier.

See you at The Joseph.