Smith tapped to lead new Downtown eatery Salt & Pine

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

When chef Andrew Smith told us this week that he'd left The Rossi, he promised he wasn't going far. Today, Smith confirmed he'll be the executive chef of Downtown's Salt & Pine-the latest restaurant concept from Harvest Pizzeria owner Chris Crader.

"I think he's very, very talented and ready to make a name for himself beyond what he was able to do at The Rossi," says Crader, adding it's Smith's work ethic and ideals that made him an attractive hire. "One thing we've struck to at Harvest is a commitment to finding the best ingredients we can. At the core of Andrew's principles, that was an immediate match."

Crader announced plans for the 130-seat, 7,000-square-foot restaurant in the 250 High building Downtown last fall. He gave little away then-noting that the restaurant would be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offer a coffee bar, full liquor license and chef's counter, and feature a seasonal, chef-driven menu. Still not ready to divulge many more details, Crader says none of these plans have changed.

"We want to do something that isn't being done in the city, and really push the envelope, creatively speaking, with our menu," Crader says.

Smith echoes the sentiment. "Dinner will be a little more innovative and a little more creative," he says, adding he anticipates a tight menu that changes frequently and uses produce at its peak. "It will be food that is new to Columbus. You can find plenty of restaurants with sustainable qualities, but the ingredients and our approach to them hopefully will be new and exciting for people."

Also on the Salt & Pine management team: general manager Corey Schlosser (current manager at Harvest German Village); breakfast and lunch chef Jeff Bereznay (currently sous chef at Harvest Bar + Kitchen in Clintonville); and pastry chef Diana Wang, who will craft breakfast pastries and bread for the restaurant.

Salt & Pine is slated to open this fall.