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Sometimes it is nice to go to a place where someone knows your name. As I walked into The Rossi bar + kitchen, an upscale casual restaurant located in the heart of the Short North, that was how I felt. Dining with me were my two uncles (long time residents of the Short North) who informed me that any time they decide to dine at The Rossi they are treated the same way: like family.

The Rossi is a casual, upscale bar and restaurant in the heart of the Short North in Columbus. The Rossi is locally owned and operated. The owners completely renovated a storefront on the corner of High St. and Price Ave. The decor of the dining area and bar is a charming merge of modern and traditional design. They have very modern furnishings, but make use of different textures to make you feel as if you were transported back in time to an early nightclub. The use of different stained woods, brown fabrics and textures makes the dining area very dark and somber, but not uninviting.

The menu is very extensive with many unique options. It has everything from Pork and Beans to a Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Caesar Salad. Many of the dishes have some form of pork; however, there are enough other options to satisfy everyone in your party.

We started our meal with an appetizer, the Grilled Lamb Lollipops with bacon jam and parsley puree. There were delectable and perfectly cooked. They melted in your mouth and were the perfect tenderness. The bacon jam sounds odd at first but the sweet and salty flavor compliments the smoothness and the lamb beautifully. Although the price of 12 dollars for only three lollipops is hard to take, they are well worth it.

Next we had the Market Salad, which is different depending on the week that you dine because it is made with fresh ingredients. This week’s was leafy lettuce, shaved walnuts, shredded goat cheese, sliced apples, and a delicious dressing that tasted as if the chef had combined all of the ingredients together perfectly and tossed it throughout the salad. The apples were crisp and juicy and the lettuce was fresh. The dressing mingled all the flavors together and gave it a tangy taste.

The market pasta was my dish of choice. It was Alfredo noodles in a Carolina gold sauce with seasoned pork and sautéed onions. Mixed in with the sauce was a variation of different spices that gave this pasta a lot of heat. I enjoyed this unique flavor and would’ve never thought to put all of those ingredients together. The sauce and spiced pork complimented each other nicely. This portion was just right; it didn’t leave you wanting, but didn’t satiate you either. The price, at 20 dollars, was reasonable with the amount of food that you got.

My uncle had the Grilled Ham and Gruyere Sandwich. It is a simple dish but with the twist of using Gruyere cheese, perfectly salted ham on thick sourdough bread, toasted to perfection, it was the most delicious thing on the table. The texture of the crunchy bread, the tender ham, and the gooey cheese went particular well together. It came with a generous helping of fries, which were fine but nothing special. The scrumptious dish was well worth the small price tag, at only 10 dollars.

My other uncle bought the Rib Chop. It came with a large side of blue cheese macaroni. It was topped with caramelized onions. The meat was very tender, but it lacked flavor except what leached over from the blue cheese sauce. The blue cheese was very overwhelming, but that may be because I am not personally a fan of it. The portion was huge, but if you skipped on the appetizer and salad it is the right size.

We were too full to have dessert but they have a great local selection. They had various flavors of Jeni’s Ice Cream, one that was made especially for The Rossi. Also, they had a brownie topped with Salty Caramel Jeni’s Ice Cream, or seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake.

The service was very prompt and the server knew my uncles and had waited on them before. She was very good about explaining what was in all of the dishes and very patient and kind. She was dressed in a flannel shirt that was a little inappropriate for the atmosphere of the Rossi.

  • The Rossi bar + kitchen
  • 895 N. High St, Short North Arts District, Columbus Ohio 43215; (614) 299-2810; www.rossibarandkitchen.com
  • ATMOSPHERE Casual, classic upscale dining and bar in the heart of the Short North.
  • SERVICE very friendly and helpful, acted like they like their job
  • SOUND LEVEL Reasonable for such a small space, lots of hard surfaces so sound carries.
  • RECOMMENDED Grilled Lamb Lollipops and Grilled Ham and Gruyere Sandwich
  • PRICES Appetizers, $5 to $14; main courses, $10 to $28.

Caitlin Hand is a psychology major at OSU from Columbus, Ohio. Her favorite way to spend time is to be with her amazing family and friends!