An evening at Black Creek Bistro's bar

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

I've eaten dinner and lunch in Black Creek's dining room, but last night I opted to eat at the bar instead. Highly recommended for a laid-back evening of drinking and snacking.

My friend Megan and I ordered several appetizers and a dessert to share. We especially liked the Fried Brie ($9), pictured above, a hunk of breaded, melty brie topped with a berry jam and served with toast.

The Duck Crostada ($8) is the kind of upscale but accessible dish Black Creek does best. It's sort of like elevated nachos--a toasted tortilla topped with hand-pulled, slow-braised duck, poblano salsa, avocados, pickled red onions and white beans. Spicy and delicious.

What's an all-appetizer dinner without fries? The Bistro Fries with a Duo of Sauces ($6) were just as fancy schmancy as they sound. Crispy shoestring fries served with a spicy ketchup and a white truffle aioli for dipping. (We had to order a second round of fries to use up all of that great aioli.)

To drink, I tried the 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon just for the novelty factor. It's a super-light wheat beer with a slight fruity finish--perfect for a hot day, even if it wasn't as full-bodied a beer as I usually prefer. Pretty can, though, eh?

Sticking with wheat beers, we also sampled Rogue's seasonal brew, the Somer Orange Honey Ale. This is my kind of summer beer, an unfiltered ale with citrus flavors and a hint of coriander.

And the real reason we came: dessert! You can read more about this stunner in our August issue. For now, I'll just give you the name (The Ultimate Caramel Apple Napoleon) and assure you that it's quite amazing.