10 Best Restaurants of 2019: #8 Gallerie Bar & Bistro

G.A. Benton
A steak dish featuring RL Valley Ranch beef

The best reason to dine in a hotel restaurant is too often convenience. But unlike eateries that travelers just settle for in between visiting more desirable places, Gallerie Bar & Bistro, in the tony Hilton Columbus Downtown, is a destination unto itself. Its sprawling, distinctive space incorporates towering, glass-enclosed chambers whose subtle tones are brightened by natural light plus colorful fabrics and decorations. Gallerie’s primary draw—dynamic, farm-to-table cooking—includes showstopping desserts.

On Sourcing

Executive chef Bill Glover surprises guests with local bounty in Hilton digs.

In 2013, Gallerie executive chef Bill Glover shuttered 5-year-old Sage American Bistro—his stylish and celebrated, local-focused Old North eatery—to concentrate on his duties at then-new Gallerie. But Glover has never forgotten his noncorporate roots, which are deeply planted in the Ohio soil for which he is a vocal, high-profile champion.

Locally grown products are often more expensive than their counterparts, and farm-to-table dining is hardly the expected norm in a hotel. Why focus on local ingredients at Gallerie?

Glover: Local sourcing has been a huge part of every kitchen I’ve been associated with for decades. Ohio has incredible soil and incredible, passionate farmers, so more often than not, when something is available locally, it’s the best version of what you’re looking for. I also believe that supporting area farmers and their families is part of being a professional cook. So I’d be sourcing locally no matter where I worked. That said, I’ve been amazed by the support we’ve been given by Hilton to do something beyond a normal hotel restaurant.

What challenges does local sourcing present in a hotel setting?

Glover: The challenges are often just in the heads of kitchen decision-makers. Our approach is to come up with creative ways to get locally available products featured on the menu.

What are some customer favorites featuring Ohio ingredients?

Glover: All of our RL Valley Ranch beef dishes are hits—such as our steaks and our Ohio Burger—because Rob’s [farmer Rob Phillips] beef is amazing. Another favorite has been the pork belly with creamed corn and jalapeño ketchup from our opening menus and Sage days. And any version of our stuffed Amish chicken—which features a signature technique we developed and have been doing since I opened Sage—is always well received.

Read about our other Best Restaurants of 2019:

1. Veritas

2. Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

3. Watershed Kitchen & Bar

4. Service Bar

5. G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar

6. Comune

7. Refectory Restaurant & Wine Shop

9. The Guild House

10. Ambrose and Eve 

401 N. High St., Short North


Gallerie Bar & Bistro