Pork Cheeks And Salmon For Dinner, Hamburger For Laughs, or, What I Ate Up: Sage and Comedy

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Simply called "Grilled Salmon" on the menu, it's basically a bouillabaisse and was fresh-tasting and delicious (with a red pepper rouille--riffing on the roasted red peppers in the soup base--spread on grilled bread, itself riffing on the salmon's cross-hatched, high-heat treatment)

Braised Pork Cheeks--they looked like beef but tasted like upscale carnitas; came with the best unfried tater tots you never had plus a lovely, super-smooth puree of truffled cauliflower and a sweet oniony sorta chutney...a real knockout dish

Sage America Bistro, one of my neighborhood faves, cooked up this wonderful food. Plus the place was hopping on a crappy Tuesday (bonus: little chat with Matthew Barbee of Rockmill Brewery, who seemed to be happily whooping it up)

After dinner drinks at "Bar Benton"-- I brought these nice priced (both under $30) hooches, currently unavailable in Columbus (though I hear the rye is on its way soon), back from Louisville

Then it was off to Outland for the mad, "anti-comic" stylings of the drastically UN-PC Neil Hamburger. This guy, whose meta-act skewers the stand-up form, is seriously over the top. He screeches, he snorts, he shoots out cruel (but asking-for-it, and often hilarious) arrows at high-profile celebrities. Plus he peppers his onslaught with giggle-eliciting nonsequiters. For example, after a joke that didn't quite fly, he yelled "Come on, I have cancer!"

Sage, locally rare booze and Hamburger: that's what I call a great rainy and chilly Tuesday night out in Columbus!