Brunch season: Dragonfly

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Atmosphere: The words "vegan restaurant" can strike fear into the thumping hearts and awaiting palates of prospective fine diners. Dragonfly proves that needn't be the case.

With its Asian influences, Mediterranean sensibility and modern arty aesthetic, this place makes the words "healthy haute cuisine" into a non-oxymoronic reality.

Inside, Dragonfly is pale green, breezy, serene and minimalist-leaning. Outside, a few simple tables allow that vibe to seep into the fresh air and semi-busy sidewalk of King Avenue.

Food: The Saturday brunch here is a triple play. First base is good coffee or a selection from a highly impressive team of excellent teas (like a mild, loose-leaf white peony).

Second plate is a buffet where a pretty array of dips (like a rich black-bean hummus), soups (like a woodsy and herby wild mushroom), plus enticingly vibrant salads and great freshly house-baked breads await.

Third base is your order from about a half-dozen entrees which might include a risotto with pristine, seasonal veggies or tempura-ish shemeji mushrooms convincingly done in the style of fried calamari.

Sweet stuff: One of the entrees I recently loved here was a stack of some of the best pancakes I've had lately in Columbus. They were thick and crisp - yet giving - and adorned with chips of deep and rich dark Belgian chocolate plus warm maple syrup.

Don't miss: A smart selection of wines and beers are served here as well as a list of inventive cocktails made with ingredients like herby infusions and freshly pressed local apple juice.