Brunch season: Sage
Atmosphere: Retro rock and contemporary local art fill Sage's tasteful, brick-wall-delineated space on brunchy Sundays. This is the meeting place for hipsters and fine food fans who know that Sage in "Lower Clintonville" is in league with even the top restaurants of the Short North.
Food: Expect homey favorites delivered with fancy flourishes and colorful presentations. So there's hash, but it's a chorizo, black bean and sweet potato hash - and it's spicy and terrific.
My current favorite here is the inspired Fried Eggs and Johnny Cakes. A bright tuft of pickled purple cabbage crowns a piquant, vinegary and powerful chorizo aioli, eggs, crisscrossed bacon strips and a couple of delightfully crisp, mildly sweet golden cornmeal pancakes.
Sweet stuff: Sage's dessert-y Creme Brulee French Toast is the clean-up hitter here - I recommend you order one for the table to share. You'll get crusty, eggy bread absorbing an avalanche of bright and concentrated sauteed fruits melding with warm maple syrup.
Don't miss: There's no Sunday liquor but plenty of good beer and winey cocktails - and a steal of a deal in the $15 carafe of Mimosas, which contains an entire bottle of bubbles. Talk about a relief pitcher.