Best Special-Occasion Restaurant: Brio Tuscan Grille

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
1500 Polaris Pkwy., Polaris, 614-410-0310; 3993 Easton Station, Columbus, 614-416-4745;

They're fancy but not so fancy that you have to worry about satisfying a dress code and then watching everyone destroy their Sunday finest with tomato sauce. Both of these Italian-cuisine restaurants have an atmosphere that invites a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pass-the-bruschetta buzz of family-friendly informality.

The kids' menu is quite varied with build-your-own-pizza possibilities, and what kid wouldn't love asking for an "insalata bambino?" We've always seen lots of families at Brio (including ones with really little bambini), so maybe this could prove to be your family's special-occasion restaurant, too. Their Saturday and Sunday brunches are also pretty special.

Runners-up: Columbus Fish Market, Marcella's Ristorante