Restaurant Review: Spagio

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

These days, a lonely sawbuck won't purchase much around suppertime at many of our city's finer-looking, top-tier, chef-driven restaurants. Oh, maybe a nice little appetizer, a couple of cups of potage, or, say, a single, professionally shaken fancy cocktail.

Or, if you know about the Sunday Night Special at Spagio (and you will in a minute), a complete and delicious chicken dinner.

While new restaurants and eating trends come and go, Spagio - which is 24 years strong - just keeps chugging along, absorbing the annual fashions with gusto and verve. It's a multi-windowed, white tableclothy complex (with a great wine shop and patio) right in the heart of Grandview. But inside, Spagio is the opposite of stuffy - instead it's refreshingly bright and bubbly, even colorful and whimsical.

It exudes that cheery mood on Sunday nights too, when it's frequently busy with families and couples successfully squeezing out just one more carefree and breezy evening before the looming workweek begins its relentless march.

As for the winning $10 chicken dinner, the star is a "Park Farms of Ohio all-natural" half chicken. The bounteous portion of bird (you will have leftovers) comes partially deboned for your dining delight and convenience, and has been treated to a pretty effective lemon and rosemary marinade.

The poultry arrives with its dark meat quarter stacked above the white meat parts, and with a crispy skin (you'll want to eat every bit of that) that gets slathered with a thick, dark and deep-tasting demi-like sauce.

If you think this flavoring agent conflicts with the lighter marinade, I'd suggest it just makes a fun melange of tastes and provides something more to soak up with the pureed potatoes the two tiers of chicken rest upon. As for those mashers, they're stiff, rich and creamy and have a pleasant hint of nutmeg to them too.

Also on the plate is a colorful medley of buttered, al dente-cooked vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, onions, haricots verts, broccoli and red peppers. Ten dollars is rarely better spent.


1295 Grandview Ave., Grandview