Something old, something new, some hooch swallowed, Vonn Jazz & Blues

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

(The title for this entry is inspired by the spate of marriages I heard about occurring yesterday in hopes that a quirky numerical alignment--10/10/10--might somehow point to a pattern of wedded bliss--uh, good luck on that!)

For something old, it's hard to beat a smooth sip of 12-year-old scotch from a 90-year-old restaurant operation like Wing's of Bexley, which I wrote about for the current Alive cover story.

In said piece, I had a lot of fun learning about the in-and-outs of longstanding local food institutions. One of these places was the Ringside Tavern, a century-old dark vintage woody, boxing-themed joint (with museum-like original appointments!) I could imagine Steve Buscemi (in the highly entertaining "Boardwalk Empire") waltzing in to collect a buy-off check in a "discreet" envelope.

For something new, Louie's Grill II in the rejuvenated Kingsdale Shopping Center makes fantastic Cuban/Mexican-ish/diner food like this fabulous Ropa Vieja (means old clothes, which I suppose its strands of beef stew resemble). Read about it in my This Week review.

The Top Steakhouse is one of my favorite places to hang out with a great cocktail, like this Manhattan made with Sazerac Rye (my palate prefers dry and spicy Manhattans--a good way to achieve that is with a nice rye and a well-seasoned bartender).

Vonn Jazz & Blues combines an old-fashioned taste for classic American music with a creative and seasonally oriented new chef who spent time at Alana's, G. Michael's, and The Burgundy Room. Plus the place is beyond wild looking, its only real down sides being drink prices (high) and music-club-style food service (on the slow side).

Read my full review in Alive