Columbus Monthly’s 10 Best Restaurants | Editor’s Picks: Five Spots for a Special Night Out

Impressing a date? Celebrating that the kids are with their grandparents? Here are five picks for a memorable dinner.

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Torta di Carote e Arance: carrot and orange cake, orange zest, candied almonds and pecans, cream cheese frosting, brown sugar glaze at Pelino's Pasta

Columbus Monthly’s 2022 “10 Best Restaurants” package also spotlights our “Hot 40”: a selection of 40 other eateries that contribute substantially to Central Ohio’s food and drink scene. This installment features locations to Treat Yourself.

Grab a hard-to-get reservation at Pelino’s Pasta for a unique spin on Italian food: a three- or four-course meal showcasing house-made, regional pastas. Owners Christina and Vinny Pelino serve as gracious hosts who are happy to share insight into featured wines, pastas and desserts. The menu changes monthly. Order: any pasta with guanciale, Christina’s desserts

The newness of Cameron Mitchell’s Guild House has worn off some, but the bar and rustic chic dining room remain among the most inviting spaces in the Short North. Brunch and lunch are thankfully back after a pandemic pause. Order: the seasonal cocktail for two, sea bass with lobster broth

Timeless Akai Hana has been serving up some of the best sushi and service in Columbus for more than 35 years. Nonsushi options include suki yaki, bento boxes, ramen bowls, katsu don and more. Order: the Party Boat with a variety of rolls, nigiri and sashimi

Cameron Mitchell’s gastropub The Pearl (with locations in the Short North and Dublin) remains a favorite where seafood and tavern fare collide. Here, fresh oysters and lobster tails are bedfellows with deep-fried PB&J bites, deviled eggs and juicy burgers. Somehow it works. Order: $3 oysters during happy hour, house-made pie

For something intimately lit, Third & Hollywood is the way to go. While it shares the same DNA as sibling Northstar Café (some dishes are served at both), the Grandview restaurant offers full service and a consistent polish—plus a fireplace. The addictive skillet biscuits are complimentary during happy hour. Order: grilled artichokes, Niman Ranch filet

This story is from the “10 Best Restaurants” package in the November 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly. The print version of this story included Aangan India Bistro, which has since closed.