Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dine Originals Week AND a Jeopardy Clue Who knows? You might need both!

February 29, 2012 – 1:44 pm Posted by Katharine Moore

Filed under: Features

While few of us would advance on Jeopardy if the answer was “Portmanteaux,” and the question Alex was looking for was “A word created by combing other words,” I bet many of us share “brunch” as the most frequently used portmanteaux in our vocabulary.

The combination of breakfast and lunch is obvious enough, and although we didn’t smash it together to be “bunchtail” …there usually is a cocktail of some sort involved!

On Sunday, March 4, Dine Originals Columbus is kicking off Dine Originals Week with two special brunches, and nothing would please us more than to have you on hand.

Barcelona Restaurant and Bar, located in the heart of historic German Village, is offering a buffet with items smoked salmon pintxo and veggie paella, a complimentary glass of cava or mimosa, and a jazz band to ease you out of the weekend. They are contributing a portion of the proceeds to the Livingston United Methodist Church Food Pantry, with the amazing spirit of generosity that defines the Barcelona brand.

Mozart’s Bakery & Piano Café, a signature destination in Clintonville, is serving what only Mozart’s kitchen could produce, with piano music and a mimosa to boot. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center
Food Pantry. As Bill Owens, the Executive Director, said when he heard of the pledge, “Wow! Once again Anand and Doris Saha come through for their neighbrohood!”

Brunch is from 11:30 – 3:30 on Sunday March 4. Tickets may be purchased online at

And just in case you are preparing for a pub quiz: other portmanteaux we all recognize? Brangelina and snark!

Join us for brunch and/or delve into the amazing array of menus that have been created for Dine Originals Week. Our invitation is to come “Taste New Flavors; Meet New Characters. We promise both.

Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails

February 21, 2012 – 4:27 pm Posted by Katharine Moore

Filed under: Features

When Alice Wing was ready to sell her Columbus institution “The Vine” on Gay Street, it was important to her to hand it off to another woman, so she placed a call to Liz Lessner. Sure enough, Liz was interested in the space, and with partner Chuck Hootman and brother Tim Lessner she purchased the business in May 2007.

The Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails served as an early champion of the revitalization of Gay Street. Tim Lessner explains that they loved being in on the beginning of that effort and hope to be what the Short North Tavern is to the Short North neighborhood…an early investor in the community, providing a destination for the Urban Pioneers who blazed the trail, and those who have followed.

The concept of a classic whiskey bar was developed with help from the Ohio Historical Society and executed with DianaLessner’s interior design (yep…their mom!) and a menu featuring Ohio comfort food. The Tip Top is the “tipsy downtown watering hole” the partners dreamed up with a reputation for being casual and welcoming, never fussy or pretentious.

The Pot Roast Sandwich, with Sweet Potato Fries and Spicy Mayo is the number one seller, but that’s not to say its ever reasonable to have a group for dinner without someone ordering (and sharing) the Mac and Cheese! The bar offers an inventory of whiskies like you read about, but is also known for its broad selection of microbrews. With 22 taps, there is always something new and something seasonal to tempt patrons away from their usuals.

Tim Lessner is the Managing Partner of the Tip Top, and also serves as the President of the Board of Trustees of Dine Originals Columbus. He believes independent restaurants are the face and personality of any city, and is proud of what the Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails adds to Columbus. Not only have they been successful with their retro concept and Gay Street revitalization, but they have distinguished themselves as forward thinkers with green efforts that are industry achievements other food and beverage operations strive for. Utilizing the resources of Eartha Limited they combine alternative waste control and energy reduction methods with eco-friendly carry out containers. Just recycling beer bottles takes a very mindful approach to standard operating procedures.

With this commitment to sustainability, fostering a vibrant downtown, and serving Columbus-centric food and beverages, The Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails helps shape the character of Columbus and strengthens the very backbone of Dine Originals Columbus.
To learn more about Eartha Limited visit

Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails
73 East Gay Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Open 11am until 2am everyday.

Valentine’s Day Menu at Babushka’s Kitchen

February 7, 2012 – 5:16 pm Posted by nate

Filed under: Babushka's Kitchen, Events, Restaurants

Join Babushka’s Kitchen for dinner on February 10th – 14th for a special Valentine’s Day Menu. Note – Babushka’s is CLOSED MONDAYS

Dinner for two $25.00


Cheese plate featuring Kashkaval cheese and homemade crackers

Main Course

(choose two)

Sirloin Steak with Mashed Potatoes

and Green Beans

Potato Flake Chicken with Mixed Vegetables and Cabbage and Noodles

Crepes topped with Savory Sauce served with Mixed Vegetables and Apple Sauce


Assorted Dessert Plate

For Reservations call (614)447-9120

Regular menu also available

Spinelli’s Deli

February 7, 2012 – 4:24 pm Posted by Katharine Moore

Filed under: Features, Restaurants, Spinelli’s Deli

There is a Moonstruck romanticism about Joe Spinelli’s story, with the Italian ritual of celebrating life around a table running through it. Joe’s Grandpa Gattozzi was a restauranteur, with a business on the ground floor of an East Cleveland apartment building.  Joe was bussing tables by age eleven, and taking in the comforts and joys of being part of a restaurant community. He remembers that there was always a customer or two joining the family for holiday meals at home, as his Grandpa knew who had nowhere to go.  Observing his Grandpa pulling up chairs and perching on bar stools to enjoy the camaraderie of customers shaped Joe’s sense of hospitality and seeded his ambition to someday have his own restaurant.

A four year stint in the trenches at McDonalds as a teenager equipped him with operations expertise, and confirmation that he enjoyed working with the public.  Afraid he might be passing up opportunities that a broader experience might provide, Joe did graduate from Capital University with a degree in social work, and was active in the early years of AIDS awareness and education. One of his job titles was “Condom Guy” but that’s a story for another blog!

Having forged a friendship with Bill Ward, an accomplished fellow with 20 years of successful banking experience andleadership/management roles, Joe saw that together they had a terrific skill set and a like-mindedness that would serve them as business partners.  The two attended the International Franchise Expo and bought into a bagel chain, opening a store in Victorian Village and Reynoldsburg.  The Reynoldsburg location never caught on and didn’t last long, but the Victorian Village location attracted the community. What became a rub was the desire to respond to customer requests and tastes,  and the box that being in a franchise placed them in.  The Bagel chain didn’t offer salads and wouldn’t tolerate any variance from the menu.  The partners took a year to develop plans for opening under their own banner, soliciting customer input, exploring the marketplace, and even organizing a naming contest for the new venture.

In 2000 the bagel sign came down, and Spinelli’s Deli was opened for business, with a complimenting catering effort launched at the same time.  The diversity of the customer base is huge…from the senior citizens living at the retirement complex next door, to the free spirits who have claimed Victorian Village as their neighborhood, but the loyalty is across the board. The offer of affordably priced fresh food, combined with the true blue spirit of generosity, community activism, and service have created an authentic community hub that is an embodiment of all of the aspirations of Dine Originals.

Joe’s keen attention to food and menu trends, developments in the fast casual market and restaurant design, paired with Bill’s expertise in finance, management, and personnel have kept the Spinelli’s operation fresh all these years.

There are the best selling classics: the Jalapeño Joe sandwich, homemade soups, fresh baked cookies every day, but there is always something new to try when the mood strikes. The catering business may well be a bridge from Joe’s work in social services to the hospitality industry.  Spinelli’s team views the  service as an opportunity to solve problems.  You have a last minute group coming in for a lunch presentation?  They will work it into the day’s deliveries.  Having a party at a tough location?  The food cart can pull up, dispense anything from tacos to sliders, and be gone in no time. They serve sandwiches with solutions on the side!

Stop in; you will feel the spirit of Grandpa Gatttozzi and be a bit richer for it.
Spinelli’s Deli
Short North _ Delicatessen
Thurber Village Center, Columbus, OH 43215 »

Monday – Friday 6am – 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 7am – 9pm

**Photos by Melissa Roberts

Mozart’s Birthday celebration 2012 with honored guest Mayor Michael Coleman

February 6, 2012 – 4:22 pm Posted by nate

Filed under: Mozart's Bakery and Piano Cafe, Restaurants

Over 2300 guests were treated to Live Music, pastries and canapés. Chief Guest Mayor Coleman cut the piano shaped cake with “Little Mozart”

What They’re saying: “You Can’t Beat Babushka’s”

February 6, 2012 – 4:19 pm Posted by nate

Filed under: Babushka's Kitchen, Restaurants

Read what 614, Magazine recently had to say about Babushka’s Kitchen. Here are just some of the highlights. To read the complete article, click here.

“If chowing down on out-of-this-world homemade pierogis, cabbage rolls and smoked Kielbasa, to name just a few menu items, is an education in Polish delicacies, one might consider a trip to Babushka’s as qualification for the dean’s list.

From humble beginnings as a pierogi-only eatery after Bennett’s in-laws both found themselves out of work, the business shuffled between several different locations before settling in a tiny nook within a strip mall in Northfield, Ohio. Initially conceived as a bakery, Bennett’s mother-in-law added a few tables and chairs to the space and opened up the menu. Soon, business was booming. Another location was built in Independence, Ohio, and the North High Street location in Clintonville opened for business with Bennett at the helm a year ago this month.”

Alana’s Hands On Cooking Class

February 3, 2012 – 10:55 am Posted by nate

Filed under: Events

Tuesday, May 15th. Contact Alana’s for more details.

Alana’s Cooking Class at the North Market

February 3, 2012 – 10:54 am Posted by nate

Filed under: Events

Alana’s cooking class Tuesday, April 10th at the North Market. Contact the restaurant for more details.

Alana’s President’s Day Features

February 3, 2012 – 10:52 am Posted by nate

Filed under: Events

Wednesday, February 15 – Saturday, February 18
Alana’s will be celebrating recipes from the first ladies’ cookbook

Alana’s Favorites Wine Dinner

February 3, 2012 – 10:51 am Posted by nate

Filed under: Events

alana’s favorites wine dinner
wednesday, february 29
$65 including tax and gratuity