The chef and co-owner of ‘Plas Food and Drink sees the menu as a more elaborate puzzle – every piece has to fit.
Chef Jamie George, who owns the restaurant with Eric Bearfield and Jackie Williams, said the amount of painstaking work involved with each dish was well worth it.
“I could have done it 100 times,” said George, a local companion chef most recently with Z Cucina di Spirito. “We weren’t going to do it halfway.”
Plas, a riff on the French phrase setting up, or prepared food facility, opens at 4 p.m. Thursday at the table’s former location, 21 E. Fifth Ave., just east of North High Street.
George calls the food “modern rustic cuisine”.
For example, a relatively simple dish like linguini with clam sauce gets a super loaded reboot.
In the “ Plas ” version (pronounced plahs), the roasted clams are served with spicy “ nduja ” sausages from Calabria, sherry cream, chili anchovy breadcrumbs and roasted Cerignola olives mixed with bucatini homemade, thick spaghetti noodle with a hollow interior.
With COVID-19 restrictions seemingly easing day by day, it was the perfect time for George to open a restaurant.
âThe way we think about it, it’s not the worst time,â said George. âWe consider this to be the best time. People are ready to go out.
George makes pasta from scratch and smokes almost anything unrelated: sausage, duck pastrami, salt, mozzarella, vegan provolone – even water, which is frozen for specialty cocktails.
Naturally, he makes his own version of caprese salad with house aged mozzarella, San Marzano tomato confit, liquid basil (with a viscous and slow build) and sea salt.
While the food matches, the decor does the same: black shotgun cutlery (except for the steak knives), stoneware bowls, copper pillars, lamps that complement the warm earth tones in other parts. of the restaurant, paintings by local artist Dax Davis and fancy salt- and pepper containers on each table.
An open kitchen gives guests a view of the action.
âWe’re going to put a little show on,â George said.
The interior can accommodate 55 people, 45 others on the patio and 45 in the cellar for private receptions. There is even a small parking lot, which is rare in the Short North-Italian Village area.
The wine list features carefully selected, user-friendly styles that are less common in central Ohio, Bearfield said. There are 14 bottles under $ 34.
On the menu, entrees generally cost between $ 10 and $ 12 and entrees between $ 20 and $ 36.
Although the food may seem a bit difficult, the vibe is laid back and unpretentious, Williams said.
âWe want people to come and have fun for a reasonable price,â she said.
The kitchens are open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 614-725-5700.
Milano changes hands
Milan’s Italian restaurant changed hands a few months ago, but customers probably haven’t noticed much of a difference.
Chef Eric Sturman, formerly of Harvest Pizzeria, purchased the restaurant, 6916 E. Broad St., from husband and wife, Felix and Bianca Milano, and their son, Michael.
Sturman said he was down, keeping the staff and original recipes that kept the Reynoldsburg-area business thriving for more than 20 years.
âThings are going well right now,â Sturman said.
He said he had no immediate plans to add to the menu, but could do so in the future.
Mr. Hibachi expanding
Expansion plans are underway for Mr. Hibachi, which currently has two locations: 3889 Powell Road in Powell and 3761 Cleveland Ave. on the north side of Columbus.
Owner Paskalia Timbuleng said she is shooting for a mid-June opening for the location at 250 N. Third St. Downtown and an August opening for a fourth store at 3789 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport.
The concept of the restaurant, which only concerns transport and delivery, is modeled on the traditional Japanese restaurant hibachi.
âAll of our food is fresh, made to order, not a pre-cooked meal,â Timbuleng said.