Table Talk: Mouton

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Yousef Riazi likes casual.

And his new boutique eatery Mouton, which will open later this month in the Short North, will reflect that informal vibe. "I'm a T-shirt, jeans and tennis-shoes kind of guy," he said.

The food and spirits also will take on a relaxed tone, albeit with a touch of sophistication.

Mouton will combine a restaurant, retail and bar in 922 square feet of space at 954 N. High St., the former Ohio Art League address.

The bill of fare will consist mostly of artisan cheeses, breads and cured meats, all of which will be available for carryout and combination platters for on-premises dining, he said. Now studying for his master of sommelier certification, Riazi said wine will be an obviously important part of Mouton, which loosely takes its name from the famous Chateaux Mouton Rothschild wine estate in Bordeaux.

Riazi said he will use the lack of space to his advantage. Because there isn't a lot of room for storage, stock will be rotated constantly. That includes the wine selection, which will change frequently, he said.

"I definitely don't want to become a museum of product," he said.

Hours have not been set, but Riazi plans to be open seven days a week for early morning through late evening hours. Cafe Brioso will provide espresso-based products for the breakfast crowd. Only milk from Ohio-based Snowville Creamery will be offered; no syrup, he said. He has a full liquor license and plans to create a list of fashionable cocktails.

"I will not have a soda gun," he promises.

A native of Akron, Riazi moved to Columbus about 10 years ago to become a wine salesman. He also has an extensive history in the local restaurant market, working for the Refectory, Rigsby's, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and Northstar Cafe.

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