Perfect Pairings: J. Liu
If you can't find something to eat at J. Liu, you might just not be hungry. The menu merges American, Chinese and Italian dishes, so there's something tailored to just about anything you might be in the mood for.
The original J. Liu location in Dublin is more intimate than its big brother in Worthington. A front bar area running along Bridge Street is separated from the dining room by a fish tank, giving the space a modern and serene feeling.
While customers enjoy crab cakes, burgers and short ribs atop gnocchi, they really love the Asian fare: pad Thai, sesame chicken and Jason's Spicy Chicken.
That signature dish is lightly fried, cubed chicken and steamed rice in a pool of sticky sauce that starts sweet then packs a touch of fire. The spice makes it tougher to find an alcoholic partner to pair it with, but Dublin manager Nathan White has some suggestions.
Robin Davis is the Columbus Dispatch food editor. To subscribe to her weekly newsletter, visit dispatch.com/food
French Martini, $10
The sweetness of this classic drink-Grey Goose, Chambord, Grand Marnier and pineapple juice-provides a counterpoint to the fried chicken.
Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, $12/glass; $45/bottle
The buttery, toasty quality of this wine keeps the dish's spiciness in check.
Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, $6
It's an intensely hoppy brew balanced by maltiness, both of which help cut through the dish's fire.
50 W. Bridge St., Dublin
6880 N. High St., Worthington