Growing up in LA and living in San Francisco and New York City, I’ve been to some great restaurants but I can’t recall any that equalled the fun mixed with fantastic and incredibly reasonably-priced food we had the other night at the new restaurant in town that everyone is talking about, Kitchen Social in the Polaris part of Columbus. I realized this from the start when we had to wait for our table about half an hour and decided to wait at the bar. (You can make a reservation but we were walk ins).
The bartender immediately engaged us by recommended some of their unusual mixed concoctions. The Social Cocktails and Infusions list is one of the more interesting and creative cocktail list I’ve encountered. My stepson Drew ordered one of their most popular drinks, the Social Sunrise, made from pineapple-infused Deep Eddy Vodka, peach liquer, lime and Jack Rudy Bourbon cherry juice. My wife Stephanie ordered an excellent Maniscalco Pinot Grigio from Veneto, Italy and my stepdaughter Kelly a Whiskey Bramble made from Highbanks Whiskey War with vanilla blackberry, orange liquer and fresh lemon juice. Being the great drink experimenter I am, I ordered a Stella beer.
When we sat down at our table out on the patio, the waitress was another bright spot. She knew everything on the menu and recommended certain plates based on what we told her. A few people stopped by the table and chatted. I later found out that one was one of the co-owners of the restaurant. The food was superb. We began with the Cheddar + Scallion Biscuits the restaurant’s signature biscuits with honey butter for only $6. This is worth a trip to the restaurant by itself. My main entree was the Blackened Shrimp Capellini with San Marzano tomatoes and creole butter, tomato cream and scallions. At $14 it was one of the best deals in recent memory. My stepson Drew had the Szechuan Noodles featuring Udon noodles, Fresno chiles, Asian vegetables, mushrooms, grilled chicken and spicy Szechuan sauce. Also at just $14, it was another huge hit.For desert, we ordered the Brown Butter Cake with creme anglasise, mascarpone cream and seasonal berries. I didn’t think the biscuits could be topped but I think this desert at least equalled the biscuits.
I left the restaurant feeling I had been at something different than just a restaurant. A true social restaurant one might say with the ambience of those assemblies in a host’s kitchen. All the staff seemed genuinely happy to be there and well-versed in the menus and that important idea that they were really part of the overall performers at the restaurant, really “cast” members in tonight’s incredible performance.
I can’t wait to go back and be a little more experimental with cocktails, something outside my comfort zone of a Stella beer. Perhaps try a Social Sunrise. But no experimenting with something else as a starter other than the Cheddar + Scallion Biscuits to start with and the Brown Butter Cake to end with.
8954 Lyra Dr, Columbus, OH 43240