Ten for $10 at the Refectory and a side of Moretti’s
Posted by cmh gourmand on July 19, 2009
Refectory Restaurant and Bistro
1092 Bethel Road
The Refectory has long been known as the go to fine dining destination in Columbus. The setting in an old church, the welled dressed and heeled servers and the French themed cuisine may give some people the perception of stuffiness or exclusivity. This is perception only. The Refectory is very accessible to people with deep pockets as well as those with frugal sensibilities. The restaurant goes to great lengths to create events that appeal to all tastes and budgets.
One Saturday per month, the restaurant hosts a 10 for $10 wine tasting. I have been trying to get to one of these for over a year. I finally made it to a special weekday tasting last Tuesday.
The concept is straight forward. Ten wines can be sampled for Ten dollars. When weather permits, the tastings are held outside. The Refectory has an award wining wine cellar and long relationships with many wine makers and distributors so there is no slacking in the selections.
I spoke with one of the servers as I paid for admission, he told me the previous Saturday tasting had over 80 people. The evening I attended seemed to have 35 to 40. There were also several baskets of exceptional breads to munch on between pours. I am a bread snob so being able to nibble away on a variety of superior slices between sips is worth at least a couple dollars to me…which makes 10 for 10 an even better deal.
For those that have never been the the Refectory, the 10 for $10 tasting is a no effort, low cost introduction to the restaurant and what it has to offer. Sign up at their web site to get e-mails on the tastings and other events.
Speaking of deals, last week was also restaurantweekcolumbus.com. Well, to clarify, this was a Restaurant Week sponsored by 614 Magazine (as well as others). There is also a Dine Originals Restaurant Week (which this year will be presented twice – you may have already missed one in March and the next is in September).
The purpose of a Restaurant Week is to promote local restaurants with special deals and prix fixe menus to encourage people to try places they have never sampled before. I opted to try a place that had fallen off my radar for two years.
Moretti’s of Arlington
2124 Tremont Ctr
There were three choices for the first and second courses. This is what I sampled with my dining assistant.
Eggplant Caponata with grilled toast paired with a Mediterranean Chopped Salad.
Fried Calamari with lemon herb aioli paired with a Caesar Salad
Chicken Francaise with asparagus, mushrooms and lemon cream
Veal Meatballs with spinach linguini in tomato sauce
Chocolate Dipped Cannoli
Everything sampled was incredibly good. I also had an opportunity to study the regular menu which listed menu items I had forgotten about. The pasta is homemade, the sauces are fresh and rich and I am now hooked in for a return visit. The price for the three course meal was $21. Prices for the other meals during restaurant week varied from $15 to $35.
At $10 plus $21, it was a value evening out. As I was seated at Moretti’s, I saw a large group of people come in that I had seen at the Refectory wine tasting ten minutes before, either I was being followed or other people were looking for a good deal as well.