10 Best Restaurants in Columbus 2012: Worthington Inn

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

If you’ve only brunched at Worthington Inn, you haven’t really experienced Worthington Inn. My own first foray into the grand old hotel was a brunch visit, and while I appreciated the inn’s well-worn, wallpapered charm, I was underwhelmed by the made-for-the-masses buffet setup. And so when I finally made it back for a proper dinner, I was thoroughly blown away.

See, brunch service here has been offered for ages, long predating current chef Thomas Smith, and it’s such an institution among well-heeled Columbus diners it really can’t be tinkered with.

But at dinner (and lunch and happy hour and late at night), chef Smith gets to play around to his heart’s content. And what he comes up with is beautifully plated, hearty American fare made with sustainable ingredients sourced from local farms.

Consider, for example, chicken from King’s Poultry Farm in Bradford, Ohio. Smith roasts it, carves it, and serves a gorgeous, gleaming, mustard-glazed half-chicken with a changing array of seasonal sides—recently, that’s been rich mashed potatoes and lemony asparagus spears.

He incorporates that same chicken in fabulous ravioli—smoked and pulled, it’s combined with fontina before being packaged inside handmade ravioli and served with roasted sweet corn, sun-dried tomatoes and red onion in a garlicky sauce.

Photos by Tessa Berg

Worthington Inn

649 High St. Worthington


Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday brunch