Written by: Steve Stover
Date: May 6, 2013

Seared Ahi Tuna, Pickled Seaweed and Red Cabbage Slaw, Wasabi Aioli, Garnished with Fried Wonton Strips!

Bodega’s Seared Ahi Tuna, Pickled Seaweed and Red Cabbage Slaw, Wasabi Aioli, Garnished with Fried Wonton Strips!

Small plates are back in the news, with Crave Magazine’s Spring issue cover story and Jon Christensen’s glowing review of Manifesto in the Columbus Dispatch last month.

The Spanish call them tapas, the Greeks mezze. the Italians cicchetti, and the Chinese have their dim sum. But whatever you call them, small plates are among the hottest items on the Columbus food menu.

Why? Celebrity chef Michael Mina of San Francisco suggests one reason. “The first three to five bites are when people are most interested,” Mina said.

Some people enjoy small plates because they can try more dishes and have more choices. Others like the fact that they can eat just what they like and just as much as they want. Still others like to break away from the salad-entrée-dessert routine.

All of these reasons simply mean more and more people are ordering an array of appetizers instead. Could it be a consumer backlash to the huge portions chefs like small plates because they can experiment with intense flavors in small doses.

Small plates are not new to Columbus. Barcelona, in German Village, was among the first, especially since the city of Barcelona is among the most famous cities in the world for tapas. Rigsby’s Kitchen has offered its cicchetti menu for years, at the bar or your table, and recently unveiled a new small plates menu with a $1 grilled cheese on Monday.

Some of the new and notable small plates offerings:

  • Veritas, in Delaware (Columbus Monthly “best new restaurant of the year”)
  • Manifesto, on Capitol Square
  • Luce, in Powell
  • Barrel 44, in the Short North and Bexley
  • Bodega, in the Short North
  • G Michael’s bar (happy hour)

Also, many wine bars offer spall plates to enjoy with wine flights.

Remember: small plates are everywhere and take many forms, be sure to ask about the appetizer menu as well as the bar menu at local restaurants.


  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.