Thursday, August 13, 2015

Road Trip: Columbus, Ohio--Cap City, Vino Vino and Third and Hollywood

I guess we have been traveling a lot this summer—I have a lot of out of town posts lately (and more to write), but hey, Columbus is place that’s pretty close so it’s relevant right? We were visiting hubby’s family for a wedding and had a chance to eat at several places. 

The first place we had lunch was Cap City Diner. Actually, we have eaten there a fair amount of times.  It’s pretty solid, but I can’t say I have ever had anything that’s really blown me away here. Since the kids were with us, and they had soft pretzels as an appetizer, of course we ended up getting one of these. Honestly, it was one of the best things we had at this meal I think. I’m not sure what the new obsession with soft pretzels is lately on menus, but they’re everywhere. This one was well done—nice and soft and served with both grainy mustard and a nice beer cheese sauce. I do appreciate the move to beer cheese from nacho cheese.

Hubby and I shared a fried chicken dinner ($16). It was not like what I expected at all (the pic is of half the entrée). The chicken was boneless chicken breast, which is not my preference with fried chicken. Unless you’re really careful, it’s just too easy to dry it out. Also, it had some sort of honey sauce on the chicken, which took away the crunch and made the chicken sweet, which just isn’t my thing. The buttermilk mashed potatoes were pretty good, and the green beans weren’t bad, but nothing exciting—they had pecans and peppers cooked with them. My daughter’s Romano-crusted chicken was more interesting because although it was also a boneless chicken breast, the exterior coating had more flavor from the cheese in the crust and less sweetness. Hubby and I enjoyed the blue cheese salad ($7.49) we also shared though—the lettuce is topped with blue cheese, tomatoes, bacon, red onion and rye croutons and tossed with blue cheese dressing. Actually, my mother-in law had the black and blue salmon salad ($14.79) that was this same salad topped with a nicely cooked (not done to death) piece of blackened salmon. This would likely be what I would order in the future. Oh, they also served these cinnamon rolls as the bread on the table--it was an odd choice to have sweets before lunch but I saved mine for after and it was delicious.

We also had a quick light dinner after attending the wedding at Vino Vino, which is a wine bar associated with Figlio Pizza. Hubby and I shared the baby bibb salad ($8) which was a nice salad of very tender bibb lettuce that was topped with boiled egg, bacon and tomatoes—the whole thing was dressed with blue cheese vinaigrette. I liked that the egg was chopped so you could get a little bite of it with each bite of salad. It had a nice texture and a good dressing. We also shared the truffled mushroom pizza ($14), which was really, really good. I have had this pizza carry out before at my in-laws, but having it at the restaurant took it up another notch. The crust is light and crisp—but with an almost buttery flavor. There was Portobello mushrooms, prosciutto and gorgonzola on top—as well as some truffle oil I am guessing. They do a great job of just getting the right amount of each ingredient without overdoing it. The pizzas are not huge either, and splitting one and a salad was a perfect light meal. If I could get this exact pizza in Indy, I would—and frequently.

Finally, we also got to return to Third and Hollywood, which I have written about before. I have really liked it each time I have gone, and this time was no exception. As always, we had the cheddar biscuits ($8), which are these cheesy, buttery, herby biscuits that come out in a little iron skillet. Everyone likes them—I am probably better off not having easy access to them. We also got pimento cheese with chips, which was also very good. I particularly liked the very light and salty tortilla chips they served with the cheese—they were very thin and not crappy chips from a bag. My son loves this place for the grilled artichoke appetizer ($13) and they are very, very good. They are just lightly seasoned themselves, and then grilled, giving them a nice charred, smoky flavor. They serve it with an unusually chunky remoulade that isn’t particularly spicy, but still has a lot going on. Who does nice grilled artichokes in Indy these days?

Hubby and I split the grilled fish sandwich ($18), which we had had before—it’s a really nice, somewhat basic fish sandwich. The white fish is very tender though and seasoned well and then topped with lettuce, tomato and aioli.  The thin crisp fries they serve with the sandwiches are also delicious. My daughter had the tuna dish, which is almost like a fancy tuna Nicoise salad—seared pieces of tuna with a wonderfully dressed pile of green beans, fingerling tomatoes, tomatoes, a soft boiled egg, capers, avocado and a great caper Dijon dressing. Then they guild the lily a bit more and add a dollop of goat cheese. This is a fantastic dish, and one I have ordered before. It’s a nice tangy mix of veggies with a side of beautiful rare tuna.

All in all, it was a quick trip to Columbus, but fairly successful as far as the food goes. Figlios/Vino Vino and Third and Hollywood are regular haunts for us, and based on these meals, will continue to be.

Cap City Diner
1299 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43212

Vino Vino
1371 Grandview Avenue
Columbus, OH 

Third & Hollywood
1433 West Third Avenue
Grandview Heights, OH 43212


  1. Nice - I'm a big fan of the Columbus road trip and haven't tried any of these spots. We're due to return! I suppose I have developed a few favorites (brunch at The Pearl is killer, Harvest in Clintonville is awesome - especially the butterscotch budino )

    1. thanks for the tips! Let me know what you think if you try any of these!

  2. Re: grilled artichokes: I've ordered them at Ambrosia in B.R. a few times and have enjoyed them well enough. However, my family and I just returned from a trip to Miami, where we ate at a place called KeBo on Key Biscayne. It is a Spanish restaurant that serves mostly tapas, and we had astoundingly great fried artichokes. They were served with a salsa brava, and were truly outstanding. Definitiely worth seeking out if you are in the area.

    1. thanks! I love artichokes just about any which way. :)