We have to appologize in advance…UGH! no camera…but still had to share…
For a Valentine treat, we decided to go to Sage, 2653 N. High St, 614-267-7243. This small but wonderful culinary delight remains impressive. We had been worried, since owner/chef Bill Glover has now become Executive Chef for the new Hilton across from the Columbus Convention Center. Would Sage be able to maintain its creative menu with an emphasis on local foods, and unusual flavors? The short answer is YES!
First, if you go, reservations are a must. Otherwise, you may walk in and be surprised to be turned away, in spite of seeing ten empty tables. The fact is that the tables fill up rapidly by those who made reservations. Bar space is quite limited, so plan ahead!
The seasonal cocktail list is unique and fun. I tried a “Trade Winds” with Lemongrass OYO Honey Vanilla vodka, rhubarb soda and rhubarb bitters among the ingredients. Yum! I am still, however, pining for the chocolate jalapeño martini that I had once at Sage, and wish that were a staple on the specialty cocktail list! The list of wines available by the glass is, perhaps, somewhat limited. Not having selected an entrée, my companion did not try pairing anything for pre-dinner drinks, and could not get his exact preference by the glass. We also did not select any starters, although the choices were diverse and sounded wonderful. The soup of the day was a vegetarian carrot soup with ginger butter.
We each selected a salad: the Winter Salad had pickled figs and quinoa among the ingredients. I chose one I have had previously—the Frisee Salad, although I have also had the grilled Caesar and thought it was special, too. The Frisee features goat cheese, bacon and a poached egg. Michael Symon recently noted, on The Chew, how the addition of an egg to many unexpected meal selections—such as a hamburger—can add a wonderful richness and make a good dish GREAT! This is the case—an ordinary salad becomes extraordinary. Our server, who was terrific both with service and recommendations, said that a previous customer had told him that the Frisee was “life-changing”! Yes, possibly.
For entrees, we selected Ohio Chicken and Grilled Salmon. These labels alone don’t do justice to the total entrée. The chicken comes with fingerling potatoes and more, but the best part was flavor surprise of the green apple with truffle vinaigrette. The salmon was accompanied by caramelized brussel sprouts and crispy leaks, along with grit cakes. Both dinners were superb.
Finally, in looking over the dessert menu, we had chosen to share a peach cobbler. Our server had other favorites and explained why the cobbler might be disappointing to us, so we took his advice, selecting a Chocolate Ganache Torte with pistachio crumb crust and salty caramel. No disappointment there!
While Sage was, as usual, very crowded, we did not feel any pressure to hurry through our meal. Loved the food, loved the service, hated the winter weather, quite beyond Sage’s control. And by the way, I have NEVER seen children there!