RH Rooftop Restaurant Serves Solid Fare in a Dazzling Setting
While expensive and perhaps not the most inventive, the décor and ambiance is spectacular, making it easy to see why diners are in love.
RH Rooftop Restaurant knows how to nail a first impression. The ascent to the third-floor dining room at the top of Easton’s 60,000-square-foot RH Columbus, The Gallery store (though “mansion” would be a more accurate descriptor) is an event in and of itself. A grand, split-stone staircase is illuminated by a dozen or so chandeliers that sparkle like oversized prisms. Stately gold-framed mirrors line the walls for an infinity effect almost reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles.
Turn the final corner on the stairs, and the mood shifts. It’s suddenly lighter and airier, almost as jarring as walking out of a matinee movie into a sunlit afternoon. With a glass roof and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, the perfectly symmetrical Easton restaurant is a magnet for natural light, even on a gray Ohio day.
It’s easy to see why diners are enchanted with this pricey restaurant. The vibe falls somewhere between Victorian conservatory and French garden—white marble tables, pillow-strewn banquettes, rows of faux hedges and canopies of artificial trees, ornate chandeliers casting soft light above almost every table. Nondescript, deep house beats mingle with the soothing trickle of water from three stone fountains. The place glows with romance in the evening and bustles with life for weekend brunch.
4120 Worth Ave., Easton
Hours: 10 a.m.–9 p.m. daily
Not to Miss: Any dish served with bread, including massive avocado toast, burrata with roasted peppers, and tender, thinly shaved rib-eye on garlic bread
Open since December 2019, the Columbus outpost is a carbon copy of about a dozen restaurants from West Palm Beach to New York City to Toronto—similar in setting, menu, and wine and beer lists. The menu was first developed by Chicago chef Brendan Sodikoff (of Au Cheval, known for its famous upscale burger). Sodikoff has long since cut ties with RH, but his influence has seemingly remained—to the benefit of diners. Because, while expensive and perhaps not the most inventive—a cross between steakhouse fare and wine bar bites—dishes are well-cooked and well-seasoned, and the service is attentive and friendly.
There are lots of cheese, prosciutto and smoked salmon platters to share ($24-$45), plus steak and seafood entrées with à la carte sides. But the general rule of thumb: If there is bread involved, order it. At brunch, a rustic sourdough is the foundation for a massive and delicious avocado toast sweetened with balsamic vinegar ($20). It’s also served beautifully charred alongside the silkiest egg scramble ($22) I’ve ever tasted. At dinner, the sourdough is the exact right pairing for the sweet and savory burrata ($25) with roasted peppers and balsamic vinegar.
While you could drop $64 on a nicely prepared 16-ounce rib-eye or $38 for a roasted half chicken—the between-bread entrées are a better bargain. Tender and cooked to a perfect medium rare, the shaved rib-eye sandwich ($30) comes on crispy garlic bread with gooey Emmentaler Swiss. Dip generously in the soulful au jus that comes alongside it. The lobster roll ($34), albeit small, is on point with a succulent brioche bun that’s crisp on the outside, custardy in the middle, and overflowing with buttery lobster that sings with a heavy hand of Old Bay. Pair either with a side of crispy fries ($10) or smoky heirloom broccolini ($13) that’s charred to perfection and seasoned with lemon zest, garlic confit and spicy pops of Calabrian chile.
Salads are anything but a throwaway here. They’re deftly layered with texture, flavor and spirited dressings. And the portions are large, making them easily the best deals on the menu. The gem lettuce ($18), lightly coated in a buttermilk herb dressing, is creamy and rich with chunks of avocado and feta hiding in the folds of the leafy greens. Days later I’m still thinking about the roasted grapes on the arugula salad ($18) and how perfectly they balanced the pepperiness of the greens, the earthiness of shaved fennel and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the sunny bite of citrus dressing.
There’s no liquor service at RH—only a tight list of beers and an expansive, if again pricey, offering of wines (there’s not a single glass under $15, and most are $18–$30). Once recovered from the sticker shock, order a glass of the crisp and raspberry-noted Pierre Sparr brut rosé ($16/glass). It’s great with the ambiance and any of the starters.
There’s a perfume-ad allure to RH Rooftop Restaurant. Opulent and sexy. It’s expensive to be sure, but I can’t say it’s overpriced. You’re paying for a certain level of cachet, and for the most part RH delivers on the promise. My advice: Come with friends, enjoy the atmosphere and be ready to split the food and the bill.
This story is from the May 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.