793 N. High St. Columbus OH (614) 298-1601
Meet me in the Short North. Sounds sort of catchy, doesn’t it? It has a hip, sophisticated ring to it. It’s not stuffy, like a downtown…hell, every city has one of those. It certainly doesn’t remind you of suburbia, either. No, the Short North has a style and flair all its own, thanks to the trendy coffee shops and the upscale bars that adorn its alleys. Well, now the Short North has added a restaurant that can stand up to the ever-increasing demand of the Columbus socialite. Rosendale’s hosts the type of upscale dining that will cement its name on every must-try list for anyone who is anyone.
While waiting for the rest of our party to arrive, we chatted with general manager Raymond Ramos, who happily guided us on a brief tour of this delightfully modern, month-old restaurant. The little things here matter, and it shows. We do this “dining out” thing quite regularly here at C, and it’s refreshing to find something unique and not overdone.
Rosendale’s boasts a two-story dining room, with two completely different vibes to set up your night. The upstairs, with a handful of tables over-looking the action below, is more intimate and perfect for a private party. Back on the main dining area, the floor-to-ceiling windows encompass every square foot, giving a great view of the market lights that illuminate High Street, as well as a solid look at the who’s who crowd gathering at the bar. To make it easier on you, if you have a party of 2-6, ask for table 61, or, as Sommelier Chris Dillman likes to call it, the Chef’s Table.
While enjoying a few cocktails at a very inviting and well-serviced bar, we took notice of the very impressive drink options. Fourteen single malt scotch selections graced one side of the menu, while an array of House Signature drinks peppered the other. Notables include the Sun-Kiss, consisting of Grey Goose Orange, sour, Cointreau and a juicy fresh-cut lime, or, as the ladies seem to like, the Raspberry Bellini, which was carefully crafted by fusing Champagne, raspberries and Chambord into a chocolate-rimmed martini glass. Guys, take note—we could not help but notice the effect this presentation seemed to have.
If everything we describe to you here in the next few moments doesn’t take your breath away, you don’t have a pulse. Executive Chef Richard Rosendale does not cook…he creates! Upon returning from his culinary studies in northern Italy, Germany and Switzerland, he became the youngest member of Culinary Team USA, and was one of only five chefs who represented the U.S. in the 2004 World Culinary Olympics, anchoring the team that finished number one out of 32 countries around the globe.
Rosendale’s Amuse Bouche was a collection of Peekytoe Crab Fritters, done in sesame oil with sidekicks of avocado marble and tomato water gelee. Dillman, the aforementioned Sommelier, formerly of The Refectory, paired this gift with a 2005 Robert Sinsky Pinot Blanc from Los Carneros, California. The two items meshed as well as the team who prepared it.
Since we were doing a tasting menu, their signature 6-onion soup was not on it, but the chef found it imperative that it find a way to make an appearance. Upon the soups arrival, a syringe full of brandy was placed tableside. When Dillman squeezed the brandy into the soup, angels sung, floodgates opened, and onions breathed. Wow! Talk about a new and exciting touch.
Personal service from the chef is always classy, and when Chef Rosendale brought out the chilled Foie Gras Terrine, you could see his years of experience right there on the plate. The Terrine didn’t arrive by itself, for it was pampered by a kumquat sorbet and vacuum poached apples, finished off with a spiced meringue. Not to be outdone, Dillman countered with his own surprise smash hit—the German 2004 Hexamer “Minus 7” Riesling. Again, a spectacular pairing, almost as if it was a tableside game of “whatever you can bring, I can bring better!”
The game was indeed on, and Chef knew he had to bring it. We believe the response was found in the next dish, a Scallop a la Plancha with a twice-cooked Pork Trotter. As the dill herb bubbles laughed with sure victory, the Sommelier fired back with his own secret weapon, the 2005 Elk Cove Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon. These dishes were incredible by themselves, but together with the wine, you could see the chemistry that Rosendale’s has the ability to offer: service and culinary magnificence on a nuclear level.
With the score a deadlock tie between Chef and Sommelier, things were getting interesting in the dining room, and the finale was right around the corner. It came in the form of an Espresso and Black Pepper Dusted Beef Sirloin with flavors of crispy potato, parsnips and licorice fusing your senses. The steak was perfectly seared, and the espresso/pepper combo was a statement all its own. As we enjoyed each bite, we noticed that the cutlery we were wielding weighed about a pound, giving each bite a well deserved, larger-than-life definition.
To respectfully pair any wine with this dish, you would have to have a list as global and extensive as Rosendale’s. You need choices. Sure they have the usual collection of favorites you can find around the nicer places in town, but we also found some delicious and affordable options all over the list that reached almost every continent. The delectable sirloin was about to claim absolute victory, when out of the woodwork came the 2001 Havens Bourriquot. A heavenly meritage from Napa Valley that featured sweet scents of tobacco and black fruits, culminating in a super ruby coloring and velvet finish. Gaining a 90 on the Parker Scale, it drank like the best Joseph Phelps Insignia we can ever recall.
As always, we have to pace ourselves to appreciate each and every course, especially dessert. Chocolate cake will never go out of style, and when it’s injected with hot chocolate magma and served with an exotic fruit ragout, it maintains its status as the best thing on the planet. Add a little coconut ice cream to the volcano of chocolate and you can now call it a masterpiece.
When you call Rosendale’s for your reservations, make sure you request the upscale, casual menu or the tasting menu, both of which are available at your discretion. We will never lead you astray in dining choices here at C Magazine because it’s our reputation at stake. It is with this tremendous amount of confidence that we can say to you, the reader, “Meet us in the Short North…at Rosendale’s.”