2016 Best Restaurants: #2 The Guild House

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Strawberry Trifle Dessert

In our view, this is the best of Cameron Mitchell's restaurants. The Guild House thrives thanks in part to a menu that is chef-driven rather than corporately dictated for the masses; rather than a recipes-first approach, the season and, to some extent, the local market dictates what's on your plate. With local partners like Swainway Urban Farm, Honeyrun Farm, Dan the Baker and Blue Jacket Dairy, chef John Paul Iacobucci and his team produce fresh, strongly flavored food and often hit home runs, or at least get on base, with everything they do.

Some menu items change seasonally, but we hope you get a chance to sample the wonderfully balanced tomato salad with watermelon and feta, the tender ricotta gnocchi with fava beans or the braised pork cheek in tangy tomato gravy. We also like the fact that the restaurant pays tribute to local spirits, adding a collaborative Watershed Guild Series Gin to the mix last year. Three cheers for the Sparkling cocktail-pear shrub, egg white, Chinese bitters, lemon, gin and sparkling wine.

Lunches here are as spot-on as dinners, and many of the dinner preparations (like that excellent gnocchi) are available. Because it is connected to The Joseph hotel, The Guild House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. It's awfully hard to keep quality high under such conditions, but chef Iacobucci and his team manage quite well. Take, for instance, one of the best menus we've seen in town for kids and a separate gluten-free list for all three meals. The service here is solid (no surprise for a Mitchell outpost), and the sophisticated setting is both urban and urbane-this place could be in any big city. We're happy it's in ours.

The Guild House

624 N. High St., Short North, 614-280-9780

Memorable Dishes: ?Ricotta Gnocchi,Rib-Eye with Sherry Jus and Duck Pate