I Like Alana’s A Lot
Posted by cmh gourmand on February 19, 2007
Alana’s (Food and Wine)
2333 North High Street
614 294 6783
When the local media list the best restaurants in Columbus we always see Handke’s, The Refectory, M and the most recent flavor of the week. A name often falling off the radar is a restaurant that has equal pedigree – Alana’s. Since opening in 1999 it has built a great reputation with local gourmets, gourmands, gastronauts, foodies, and others that have a passion for food.
Alana Shock seems to be an artist at heart and this is reflected in the creativity of the cuisine and in the décor of her restaurant. While her background does include art – it also includes experience as a chef for Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans.
Alana’s is housed in an old house just north of the University District. The outdoor patio is busy in the summertime although the view of COTA buses passing by may be less than ideal. The inside is brightly colored and features art from local artists on display for sale. A small, comfortable wine bar is located in the back. The servers are professionals who care about the food and the service they provide. The atmosphere is informal but you can expect the extras you would find in a fine dining establishment. Diners can usually expect to see Alana popping out of the kitchen to check on guests and she will sometimes offer a small taste of what she is working on.
I wish I could list some suggested dishes however the menu changes constantly since the focus is on fresh seasonal ingredients that are locally obtained when possible. These are the things you can expect everytime: a choice of exceptional soups; new and innovative cocktails; an impressive wine list; an array of tempting selections on the cheese plate (from Curds and Whey) and several entrees that will make it hard to choose just one. Desserts are always exceptional and when paired with ice cream – expect it from Jeni’s. There are always plenty of vegetarian and vegan offerings as well as mouth watering meats for carnivores.
For the sake of example here are a couple selections from a recent menu:
Roasted Ruby Beets and Watercress with a Baklava of Feta, Pistachios and Cashew Drizzled with Fig Balsamic
Duck Breast with Kabocha Pumpkin Polenta, Collard Greens and a Bing Cherry Demi Glase
For fun and education – Alana’s offers Degustation Dining . Before you freak out – this is just a fancy term for a sampling menu. Typically, this is presented as several small presentations of favorite dishes paired with specific wines. If this sounds interesting call ahead and see what Alana has in mind.
Alana’s is not cheap, two people can expect to pay about $80 to $100 or more if you pick an expensive wine but it is worth it.