Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Rishi

Candice: Sushi.
Paul: I take it you have a hankering for some raw fish.
Candice: Sushi.  Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar. I stopped by for dinner not too long ago. I thought we should try it for lunch.
Paul: You eat without me?!?
Candice: Just enough to survive until our next meal.  No need to fret.  I really like this place.
Paul: It does smell fresh, unlike other sushi places we've dined.
Candice: I love the decor.  Simple, elegant and easy on the eyes.

Indoor Decor
Paul: As appetizer, we order the Seven Seas Edamame.
Candice: I'll have the Lunch Sushi and the It's Going to be Amazing Ramen.
Paul: Lets hope it is aptly named. I'll have the Back in the Day Ramen.
Candice: There are goldfish on the shelf overlooking the sushi prepartion area.
Paul: That's torture for those fish!
Candice: Uncle Hamachi! No!
Paul: That's funny. Sick, but funny. We've been seated by the doors leading to the patio. The wait staff going in and out has gotten annoying.
Candice: You have a big spatial footprint what with the largeness of you, I can see how that could disturb  you.  Luckily our appetizers have arrived and might take your mind off the annoyance.

Paul: The Seven Seas Edamame is served with lime juice and two salts, one a traditional sea salt and the second a garlic and blood orange sea salt.
Candice: The edamame is fresh. I love the garlic and blood orange salt.
Paul: That's a wonderful combination of flavors. I don't believe we've been served edamame with anything but normal sea salt.
Candice: No. The presentation and flavor are fantastic.
Paul: Best soy beans ever?
Candice: In the running. Here's my sushi.
Paul: What did you get?

Candice: Tuna, octopus, white fish, shrimp, and yellow tail as well as tuna rolls.
Paul: It's pretty.
Candice: The tuna is as expected. Salmon is good, and the yellow tail is on par.
Paul: You don't sound excited.
Candice: It tastes suited for a midwestern palate. The sushi flavor seems... sanitized.
Paul: Too bad. Our ramen has arrived.

It's Going to Be Amazing Ramen
Candice: Mine is the It's Going to Be Amazing Ramen, and it's a seafood broth with noodles, scallops, shrimp, calamari, and fish cake, plus veggies including bean sprouts, kimchi, and scallions. I love that it's served with a wooden spoon.
Paul: Stylish.
Candice: Easier to slurp with, ho! The seafood is delicious, though I chose this particular ramen specifically because the menu did not have corn listed as an ingredient. Nothing against corn or corn in ramen, I just didn't want corn in MY ramen.  Despite this misstep, I am enjoying it as the scallops are especially good.
Paul: My Back in the Day Ramen seems to be a chicken broth with ramen noodles. In it is a chicken patty, hard-boiled egg, fish cake, bean sprouts, and... corn.

Back in the Day Ramen
Candice: Makes more sense for corn to be in yours than mine.  You know, because it's not mine.
Paul:  Right, no corn in Candice's ramen, ever.  Never ever.  My dish is piping hot, though and the chicken is fresh and tender. The flavor is unique, strongly tasting of cinnamon. It's overpowering, really.
Candice: Trying it...It seems like it's in the noodles.
Paul: Wow. It's strong. But the ramen is good. Or I'm so hungry, I'll eat it no matter what.
Candice: I say we get dessert.
Paul: You've talked me into it.
Candice: That was easier on the page than it was in the restaurant.
Paul: Candice convinces me after a long argument to get a slice of Spicy Chocolate Tort.
Candice: There we go - truth in reality! Oh My! Dude, they get their desserts from the Angry Baker. We HAVE to try it.

Spicy Chocolate Tort
Paul: It's beautiful, that's for sure.
Candice: And delicious.
Paul: This whipped cream is amazing, and the chocolate very rich.
Candice: Do you taste the spice?
Paul: Oh, yes, it builds slowly. That's a wonderful chocolate tort.
Candice: Yep. What do you think?
Paul: Wonderful edamame. Wonderful chocolate tort.
Candice: The sushi was pretty and well made, but not to my preferred taste.
Paul: The ramen was decent.
Candice: Agreed. Worth the wait? Worth coming back? Worth the price?
Paul: Yes to all three. We were served quickly. The price was decent. And there are things on the menu I'd like to try.
Candice: Agreed.  This place is great.  I hope it stays and continues to challenge Columbus palates.  I have high hopes that David Kim will push more envelopes.  I will be back.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

The Leptologists Eat at Oliver's

Candice: Where are we going again?
Paul: A place called Fin here on South High Street.
Candice: This looks like the same address as Chez du Bon.
Paul: We reviewed them back in April. And yes, it is the same place.
Candice: And it's closed.
Paul: What? How is that possible? We ate there in April.
Candice: We ate at Chez du Bon not Fin. And loved the Cassoulet.
Paul: Well, Chez du Bon didn't last long.
Candice: Longer than Fin, apparently. They've closed too.
Paul: A note on the door suggests sister restaurants Manifesto, De-Novo, or Oliver's.
Candice: We've eaten at the first two. I guess we could try out Oliver's.
Paul: It's back the way we came, in an alley off High Street. Found it.
Candice: It smells like horses in here.
Paul: More like a barn.
Candice: I don't want to know what the specials are.
Paul: Forget the specials. For our appetizer, we'll go with the Steak and Gorgonzola Flatbread.
Candice: I'll order the Ribeye. All this walking up and down High Street has made me hungry.
Paul: I'll get the Southern Fried Chicken.
Candice: The 80s songs playing remind me of my youth.
Paul: Whitesnake? You rolled around a lot on car hoods.
Candice: Nope, but I sure wanted to be Tawny Kitaen. What girl didn't? Ah, look - Here is our appetizer!

Steak and Gorgonzola Flatbread
Paul: There's a good contrast with the sweet onion and gorgonzola.
Candice: Hmmm. The steak is overcooked, a little chewy.
Paul: The flatbread is fresh and precisely cut.
Candice: It needs more parsley, but overall it's not too bad.
Paul: We finish the flatbread and await the food.
Candice: It's taking long enough.
Paul: Finally the entrees arrive.

Candice: This ribeye is bland.
Paul: That's horrible.
Candice: It is. It hasn't been aged or seasoned. It's tasteless.
Paul: How are the potatoes?
Candice: Better. They are a little cold, but mashed well and good.
Paul: My fried chicken tastes like fair food.

Southern Fried Chicken
Candice: Battered and deep-fried.
Paul: Exactly. The chicken itself is moist but tasteless.
Candice: I'm sensing a theme in the food here.
Paul: The Mac and Cheese at the bottom of the bowl is tasty and rich.
Candice: I think it's bland as well.
Paul: The spinach is fresh and full of iron. It feels like the leaves are sticking to my teeth.
Candice: It's comfort food: ample and bland.
Paul: David the general manager stops by and we explain the blandness.
Candice: He offers restitution in the form of corn pudding.

Corn Pudding
Paul: Wow. That's some tasty corn pudding.
Candice: It's lovely. It's the highlight of the meal and we didn't even order it.
Paul: Well, what do you think?
Candice: The staff treated us right, that's for sure. The food was a bit bland, but there was enough of it for four.
Paul: Yep. The flatbread was decent, the corn pudding awesome, and the entrees so-so.
Candice: Worth the price? Yes, with the amount served.
Paul: Worth the wait? The food was a long time coming, but ultimately yes.
Candice: Worth coming back? I think so. I like what the owner of these three restaurants is trying to do.
Paul: Let's hope the restaurant is still here the next time we want to stop in!

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Oliver’s Burgers Steaks & Bourbon on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Hudson 29

Paul: We're sitting in Hudson 20 in Upper Arlington, just west of campus.
Candice: Annnnd, it's a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.
Paul: Didn't we notice that at the end of our meal?
Candice: It's a blog, not a system log.
Paul: Okaaaay. What's up with you and Cameron Mitchell restaurants?
Candice: Nothing, really.  I was just surprised I didn't recognize it for one.  I love a couple of his restaurants:  Marcella's and The Pearl.  Others, however, have disappointed.
Paul: Likewise me and Molly Woo's, but that doesn't mean this one won't be good.
Candice: Noted. Let's order.

Paul: Joshua, our server, explains that the restaurant has no freezer. Everything is fresh. He suggests the Cheese Stuffed House Baked Butter Rolls.
Candice: Sounds good. We'll have those and the wine board.
Paul: I order the French Dip Sandwich.
Candice: And I the Scallops.
Paul: The restaurant smells brand new.
Candice: TVs above the bar show tennis, CNN, and the Food Network.
Paul: Now that's bold. Here are some cheese rolls!

Cheese Stuffed House Baked Butter Rolls
Candice: Desperate lame rhymes? Ignoring and taking a bite of this roll.  ....Mmmm.
Paul: My goodness, these are good. Rich, cheesy, and fresh.
Candice: Pretty yummy. They don't call them butter rolls for nothing.
Paul: Inside is a smooth cheese with a little bite.
Candice: And now the Wine Country Board.
Paul: Does it matter we aren't having wine nor are we in the country?
Candice: I won't tell if you don't.

Paul: On it, we have bleu cheese, brie, chutney, and Concorde grapes.
Candice: The meats include a Soppressata.
Paul: The brie is smooth, not too strong with a cleanliness at the end.
Candice: The chutney is sweet and spiced and the peppers within stand out.
Paul: I like the bright flavors here.
Candice: Ditto for me. The bleu cheese is earthy and the grapes refresh the mouth.
Paul: The Scallops arrive and look delicious.

Candice: They're topped with fresh salad, avocado, golden beets, and wonderful croutons.
Paul: My French Dip arrives and I sample it. It's a bit dry.
Candice: Good thing it comes au jus.
Paul: Gesundheit!
Candice: You're a jerk, Paul.  An unfunny jerk.
(inside joke)
Paul: But you're right. The sandwich is pretty good and the liquid adds more flavor. But there's a lot of food here.

French Dip
Candice: I agree. But...
Paul: What?
Candice: This scallop is so salty, it's inedible.
Paul: No! Let me try. You're right. They've left the ocean in the scallop.
Candice: Dude, Dead Sea...
I ask Joshua to the let the chef know, but keep the plate to finish my salad because - 'Waste not/Want not'.
Paul: Joshua kindly offers to get you another entree.
Candice: But lunch time is running out.
Paul: We gather the second half of my French Dip in a to-go bag and make to leave.

Candice: But not before Joshua informs us that it was the chef's first time with the scallops and he over-seasoned.
Paul: No shit. I mean, au jus.
Candice: One dumb joke at a time, mister.
At least we didn't get charged for it.
Paul: So I guess this doesn't change your opinion of Cameron Mitchell restaurants.
Candice: My opinion of some of his restaurants.  Geez, dude, I am not the mean food blogger.  I'm the discerning food blogger. And, the service was wonderful.
Paul: Disconcerting, you say? You're right, service was good and the appetizers were fantastic.
Candice: Let's go with discomfiting...
Your entree was decent, including the fries...
Paul: Yours - pitiful.
Candice: Thanks again for calling it out, man.  You're a pal.
I'm still going to rate it with checks all around because I do like so many things about this place - the service, the ambiance, the appetizers. Almost on the short list of CM restaurants I do like...not bad.
Paul: Worth the price?
Candice: They did make good on the bad scallops.
Paul: Worth the wait?
Candice: Good, fast service from Joshua.
Paul: And worth coming back?
Candice: Yes, ultimately, it is.
Paul: Agreed.  Let's bail before I make another lame joke.  There's only so many times I can see the whites of your eyeballs before I think of dead fish.
Candice:  Wha?  Really? <Why am I bothering to ask?>  Yes, lets.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Hudson 29 on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Stars Grill

Candice: Stars Grill is located next to the discount movie theater at the corner of Bethel and Sawmill.
Paul: That explains the name.
Candice: If they were next to the Petland...
Paul: ... they'd be called Hot Dogs?
Candice: Maybe. Seating is ample. There's room for 60-plus in the large room plus more with outside seating.
Paul: Which is in view of the movie theater entrance.
Candice: There's a small bar too.
Paul: The place smells of fried food.
Candice: It is a burger joint.
Paul: With some interesting specials and menu items.
Candice: Lets get the Poutine: Braised beef with gravy, onions, and cheese over french fries.
Paul: Wow! And the Lentil and Lamb Soup sounds good. It's a special.
Candice: I'll get the Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Paul: The place is known for its stuffed starburgers: burgers with the toppings inside the meat, not on top.
Candice: Stuffed burgers, huh? I'll have the Keyser Soze Burger, filled with sauerkraut and swiss cheese.
Paul: I'll order the Mac Attack, which is filled with...
Candice: ... Macaroni and cheese?
Paul: Correct.
Candice: The Poutine arrives.

Paul: This is an appetizer we've never had before.
Candice: It is good. The beef is moist, the ingredients fresh.
Paul: It tastes like State Fair food.
Candice: But it's healthier than chili fries, though it could use more cheese.
Paul: It's a tasty appetizer.
Candice: And here are the soups.

Lamb and Lentil Soup
Paul: Hmmm, umm... well. The lamb tastes too lamb-y.
Candice: That's not a word. Let me try. It tastes country Greek. It's got a musty, organic taste like the recipe is from someone's Gramma in Athens.
Paul: And the lentils are hard.
Candice: That's a shame. The Chicken Tortilla soup however is solid.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Paul: Not bad. Better than the Lamb and Lentil. I can't finish it.
Candice: The soup was timed well. Here come the burgers.
Paul: Yours is served on Texas Toast.
Candice: So?
Paul: The Keyser Soze Burger should probably be served on a Kaiser Bun.
Candice: Puns are your bread and butter, aren't they?

Kaiser Soze Burger
Paul: I wish you could make money with them, but there's no dough in it.
Candice: Stop.
Paul: But I'm on a roll!
Candice: Please.
Paul: It's the yeast I can do.
Candice: The Texas toast is actually more structurally sound than a bun would be. The meat is juicy. This is a really good burger. Yours?
Paul: Very good. It's like a cheeseburger inside a cheeseburger.
Candice: This concept of stuffed burger turned out better than I imagined.  I really enjoyed that.
Paul: My soup was off, but otherwise -- the Poutine, the burgers -- lunch was pretty good. I expected it to be gimmicky, not tasty.

Mac Attack Burger
Candice: The burgers were excellent.
Paul: The price was right. The wait was a little long, but you do have to cook the burgers long enough.
Candice: The wait wasn't too bad. Overall, worth the price, the wait, and coming back for more.
Paul: Agreed. Why are you snickering?
Candice: It wasn't crumby at all.
Paul: You had to get the last pun in, didn't you.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Stars Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Milestone 229

Candice: What a fabulous location.
Paul: Milestone 229 is located on the Scioto Mile, adjacent to Bicentennial Park.
Candice: With a great view of the fountains and downtown Columbus.
Paul: The architecture is unique, the restaurant semi circular and with glass walls in most directions.
Candice: I love the indoor decor. Love the curved bar. The view and decor are enjoyable. Lets see if the food matches it.
Paul: We agree to order the Crispy Pork Belly for the appetizer.
Candice: I'm going to try the Roasted Gerber Chicken Breast.
Paul: I attempt to order the Mahi, but I'm told it's not available. The Salmon however is. No thanks. I hastily make my second-choice, the Shrimp and Grits. That was disappointing. If you don't have a dish, don't put it on your menu.
Candice: Agreed. If availability is variable, make it a special.
Paul: Yeah. Look at these Pork Bellies!

Crispy Pork Bellies
Candice: This is a nice presentation.
Paul: Thick blocks of pork sit on yam puree next to coleslaw.
Candice: The slaw is very good. It has the right size of shreds and the perfect balance of acidity.
Paul: The yam puree is sweet and complements the tender pork. It tastes a bit like KFC.
Candice: That's a southern mama's authentic crispiness.
Paul: It's pretty darn good.
Candice: The sweetness of the puree and the tangy sour slaw cleanse the palate after the fatty crispiness of the pork belly. It's an explosion of flavor in a bite. The root beer reduction on the pork clarifies the yams. It ends with a clean finish. Well done, chef.

Grits and Shrimp
Paul: Another nice presentation, with the sausage and shrimp surrounding an island of grits.
Candice: The plates are too big for the entrees.
Paul: You can't tell from these up-close pictures. The grits have a nice contrast to the spicy sausage. I get a shrimp shell in my first bite alas. The sausage is only lukewarm, but the texture is good, and the heat lingers on the tongue.
Candice: Where's my fork? How am I supposed to eat my chicken without a fork?

Gerber Chicken Breast

Paul: Your entree does look wonderful: nice, contrasting colors.
Candice: The chicken appears dry. I can at least eat the mac and cheese and beans without a fork.
Paul: How are the side dishes?
Candice: This is excellent macaroni and cheese and the beans are fresh and crisp.
Paul: And here's your fork.

What the Fork?!?
Candice: I was right. The chicken is dry, especially around the edges. I can taste the organic-ness of the chicken, but it's not very good. There needs to be more gravy to make this palatable.
Paul: Too bad. What's our overall impression?
Candice: The appetizer was awesome and parts of the entrees were as well. I wish I had just ordered the mac and cheese. The chicken was dry and ulimately inedible.
Paul: Yes, the appetizer was the best part of the meal. My shrimp and grits were decent, but I wish they had had mahi like it says on the menu.
Candice: Worth the prices?
Paul: Yes. For your entree?
Candice: If it wasn't for the mac and cheese and green beans, I'd say no.
Paul: Worth the Wait?
Candice: Yes. We were seated at once.
Paul: I thought parking would be a problem, but there was ample street parking on the other side of Bicentennial Park.
Candice: And they do have valet parking.
Paul: Worth coming back?
Candice: Yes. Parts of the lunch were absolutely delicious.
Paul: And there are other things on the menu I'd like to try.
Candice: Yes, a mixed review, but nothing that says we wouldn't come back.
Paul: Just not tomorrow.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Milestone 229 on Urbanspoon