Toast Bar

Toast Bar
1028 Ridge Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 928-9035
http://dan-the-baker.com/

Is there anything better in life than breads and spreads? Dan the Baker doesn’t think so, and I’m inclined to agree. Tucked onto a side street near Grandview that you probably never knew existed, Toast Bar is a mecca of carb-loaded deliciousness. I almost hesitate to write about this place, because I love that it’s such a hidden gem. You may have caught Dan’s creations previously at Weiland’s, Hills Market, or the Worthington and Clintonville Farmers Markets; however, trying the mix-and-match toasts is something you need to head to the shop to experience. The seating area is teeny, so many patrons seem to grab their goods and go, but I managed to snag a stool at the window.

The signature item at Toast Bar is naturally the toast flight. From the ever-changing menu, you select three breads and three toppings to slather and smear on, to make your own custom board. Dan’s crew is churning out all varieties of bread imaginable for you choose from: garlic asiago, country sour, sesame, olive polenta, sun flax, and sprouted grain, to name a few. Spreads are often made in-house or sourced locally, and include house-made butter, lemon curd, strawberry jam, or maple almond butter. You can’t go wrong with any combination, I promise.

The highlight is the toast bar portion of the bakery, but don’t miss out on the pastries either. The “cruffins” are a croissant dough sprinkled with granulated sugar, rolled in a muffin shape, and stuffed with fillings like raspberry cheesecake or peaches and cream. Toast Bar serves up cookies, matcha or regular croissants, and of course, loaves of bread for sale as well. I scarfed down a tasty egg danish (buttery dough enveloping local bacon, pepper marmalade, and an egg) during my last visit too. The coffee menu is a little pricey, but I have to say, I really enjoyed my iced latte sweetened with maple syrup, and the Ohio honey vanilla latte caught my eye for next time.

Culinary Clue: Toast Bar just announced that they are expanding their hours to 8am-2pm Wednesday-Sunday. There will also be additional lunch options in the form of salads and sammies, so I can’t wait to return to try these offerings!

Have you been to Toast Bar? Send me a message on Instagram and tell me your favorite bread and spread pairing!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Cocktails at The Candle Lab

Cocktails at the Candle Lab

Earlier this month, the Columbus Food Bloggers group and I had a girl’s night out at The Candle Lab! There’s definitely a culinary connection here, even if this is a candle shop. See some shots from the event below and learn more about this fun way to spend an evening.

First, if you haven’t been to The Candle Lab before, you begin by smelling the 120 different scents available for mixing to create your own custom candle. There are plenty of food scents to sniff like bacon, spiced rum, whipped cream, grapefruit, strawberry jam, and lemongrass, but also unusual ones like hops, leather, sea kelp, and morning dew. On a clipboard, you select 15 or so that you love; I struggled with this they all smelled so delicious. You also choose your candle’s vessel from all kinds of glass jars in varying colors and sizes.

Then, after narrowing down your list of favorites to three final varieties (the helpful staff can help you decide which ones pair best), you mix the scent oils in your chosen ratio in a shot jigger. Lastly, stir the oils into the melted wax, and wait for the candle to harden. During this process, imbibe in a cocktail made from Watershed Spirits or a glass of wine!

For my candle, I settled on old books, bourbon, and campfire as my selected scents; it smells warm and cozy like an old library. It’s so me! You can also decorate a label with the chosen name for your custom candle.

While you’re waiting on your candle to set, head to a local restaurant to dine. It takes about an hour, so the timing is perfect. Our group went to the Grandview Cafe, to enjoy their excellent mac ‘n’ cheese and the white BBQ wings. Check out my neighborhood guide for other eating inspiration too. Swing back in before the shop closes to pick up your candle, beautifully wrapped for transportation home, and enjoy burning your signature smell.

Have you had a sippers and scents event at The Candle Lab yet? Let me know your ideal candle scent trio below!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Disclosure: Our group received a free cocktail and candle, with no obligation but to give honest feedback about our experience.

Watershed Kitchen & Bar

Watershed Kitchen & Bar

Watershed Kitchen & Bar
1145 Chesapeake Ave, Columbus, OH 43221
(614) 357-1936
http://watersheddistillery.com/kitchen—bar.html

I was ecstatic to hear that Ohio changed its laws in 2016, allowing distilleries to open restaurants and make cocktails on-site at their production facilities. With some wonderful local spirit-makers calling Columbus home, the race was on to for distillers to open attached eateries. Last week, Grandview-area Watershed Distillery achieved that goal. Since I already loved their bourbon, nocino, and visiting their tasting room with Columbus Brew Adventures, when Watershed’s Kitchen & Bar opened last week I was itching to check it out.

Whiskey Lullaby | Watershed Kitchen & Bar

First recommendation: get reservations. We strolled in right when the space opened at 4, to learn all reservations were booked already. We happily ate at the bar, but it’s clear that the buzz around Watershed’s restaurant is huge. The space itself is well-appointed and simple. A glass wall connecting the dining room to the distillery allows you to peer at the gleaming tanks while you nosh, a fun touch, and the plenthora of candles and dim lighting makes this an intimate date night locale.

The cocktail menu is printed in a playful booklet with photos of each drink and trivia tidbits, which lets you see what your drink will look like before you select a choice. No more asking your seat neighbor, “what are you drinking?” For a winter warmer, the Bon Apple Tea (Watershed vodka, apple, lemon, dry curacao, honey, ancho chai spice, winter potpourri) is poured into a floral mug. Harken back to your childhood with the Nostalgia & Moxie: bourbon, ovaltine, cream, chocolate bitters, and more, all topped with torched marshmallows. Fans of libations on the rocks will adore the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, an effective blend of bourbon, luxardo, angostura & peychaud’s bitters, and of course, absinthe. There wasn’t a disappointing drink on the menu, from my perspective. Local draft beers are also on tap, as are a generous selection of wines.

Lions Tail | Watershed Kitchen & Bar

The food offerings are a mix of comfort dishes and eclectic bites. Options include buttermilk fried chicken accompanied by whipped pig butter, house hot sauce, and pickles, or we loved the fried Brussels sprouts, crispy brown and swimming in a peppery-sweet sauce with mint and citrus. The main selections are twists on classics as well, such as the Watershed Burger, a beautifully messy concoction of bourbon-glazed onions, tomato jam, and Brie. Dip the fries on the side in the addictive aioli. It seems like every restaurant has short ribs on the menu lately, but the dish stands out here with punchy pickled cabbage, cauliflower, and miso polenta. My pick for the next visit? The Duck Confit, plated with celery root, potato gnocchi, walnuts, and prune demi-glace.

FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS | Watershed Kitchen + Bar

Culinary Clue: Don’t forget to catch a distillery tour or pick up some merchandise in the gift shop. Their pre-mixed Old-Fashioned blend is great for lazy people (me) when you want a fabulous cocktail with minimal effort. The other bottled spirits like the bourbon-barrel gin and nocino are also available for sampling and bottle sales!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Watershed Distillery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato