2016 Best Restaurants: #9 Gallerie Bar & Bistro

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Rare Tuna

Seared tuna appears frequently on menus, but at Gallerie this common dish morphs into something whimsical, colorful and wildly interesting with a bright orange fennel kimchi puree, teeny pickled beech mushrooms and pearls of soy that pop like fish roe. Here, proteins are sourced from Ohio farms like RL Valley Ranch in Athens, a strawberry-rhubarb float triggers nostalgia for grandma's pie, and executive chef Bill Glover reprises some of his greatest hits from Clintonville's bygone Sage American Bistro (hello, Fish Ribs). This is far beyond average hotel fare.

We give credit to the Hilton Columbus Downtown management for letting Glover be Glover, giving him remarkable freedom to source local ingredients, ?to innovate and to bring on talent like chef de cuisine Josh Kayser, with whom Glover has worked on and off for 16 years. With 32 chefs to manage (including banquet service) and three meals to prepare every day of the year, their partnership is key.

A dinner at Gallerie should almost always start with drinks in the lounge overlooking High Street. Watershed and OYO spirits are highlighted, including several in-house, barrel-aged cocktails like a bold Nocino Sazerac.

Once seated in the restaurant, diners look up into a soaring atrium above. The space can feel a bit exposed, but wonderful artwork, white leather banquettes and gray tones add a sense of elegance and privacy. Service is attentive and, most importantly, has improved. Locals aren't packing Gallerie yet. Maybe the parking is off-putting, so here's a tip: Valet is complimentary when you visit Gallerie. And you should.

Gallerie Bar & Bistro

401 N. High St., Short North, 614-484-5287

Memorable Dishes: Rare Tuna, Chocolate with Smoked Anglaise