I started with a Ohio Apple Pie cocktail with some Brothers Drake mead because I just recently tasted all their fall releases. The Rossi is one of the swanky places that carries this fine stuff. Nicolene, the creative barkeep at Rossi, pairs Brothers Drake Apple Pie mead with another local libation, OYO vodka, and finishes it off with a garnish of cinnamon and sugar. Really nice pairing.
Maia had the Fletcher and Bligh with Ten Cane rum, key lime juice, some maraschino liqueur. The beautifully presented martini glass is kissed with vanilla bean sugar and looks like a frosted winter present, albeit one of delicious alcohol.
Being from Texas, I can’t pass up an opportunity to try an enchilada in any form, and the Rossi’s Short Rib Enchilada was amazing. I mean come on! Short ribs! In an enchilada! I must eat this. I did. Also know this about Maia: she has really lovely manners. Persephone, being presented with a plate of enchiladas begins by greedily rolling up her sleeves and grabbing a napkin. Maia, on the other hand, very politely cuts one in half (????) to put on her plate. Come on hon, dig in. The tortillas were filled only with pulled short ribs with the perfect ratio of meat to fat (critical), then rolled and topped with melted cheese, black beans salsa and a cool avocado creme fraiche. They were good.
Next was a beet salad (I love beets, I can’t wait to share a really good recipe I have with you). Pretty arugula, red and golden beets, candied walnut and a great dressing made for a fresh interlude between heavier courses. What heavier courses you ask?
Yeah, I did it. I ordered the Rossi’s very famous burger after ordering a short ribs first course. So. what.
And all the things people say about this burger are true. It’s fantastic. Juicy, meaty, perfectly cooked. Standard toppings, yes, but all lovely and fresh, onions with a nice kick, a tasty housemade mayo. The crispy fries are perfect dipped in that mayo, too. It’s kind of how it’s done.
Maia ordered the standard Rossi pizza (fresh mozzarella, Italian plum tomato sauce and basil) and added Italian sausage and sautéed spinach. I told you the girl could order.
Over the course of the meal I also tried the Aurora Manhattan that was recently deemed among the city’s best by an esteemed group of tasters. And it is indeed a real classic. Strong, balanced, and with a housemade maraschino cherry. What more could I ask, truly?
Columbus has a tremendous food culture. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Places like The Rossi are part of what makes it great.