1400 Grandview Ave.
Columbus, OH 43212
Focused in Columbus but with a market that now expands beyond Central Ohio, Matt the Miller’s Tavern hopes to match two often very different goals: to build a family-friendly restaurant where people can gather like a sports bar, but to do so with a focus on higher-caliber food like what you tend to find at a gastropub. Pulling off that balance is harder than one would think, many have tried and failed. But what we have in this chain is one top in quality, where the food is very deliberate, and the atmosphere fantastic.
A fantastic array of things can be enjoyed on the menu. Some of the things I’ve tried:
- Matt’s Burger: A messy, juicy, beautifully fall-apart in your-mouth burger topped with onion straws, lettuce, tomato, and Marie Rose sauce. (That’s a British condiment of tomato ketchup, cayenne pepper and Tabasco or Worcestershire and lemon juice that brings out the best in all of them.)
- Matt’s Salad: Greens, cheddar, spiced walnuts and dried apricots. To top this salad is a sweet and bitter maple mustard vinaigrette. A lot of flavors from a lot of different places in the spectrum, but actually they come together nicely, the sweet apricot and dressing meet nicely, while the walnuts and mustard come together a bit too on the savory end.
- Pretzels: A favorite dish here. Crunchy — which makes me think they may be fried — and served with a garlic sauce and a tangy mustard sauce, both great choices.
- Shrimp & Grits: Buttery grits with giant prawns accentuated with a sauce packed with cajun spices. While it’s not very spicy, those spices leave a lasting, satisfying impact on the palette.
- Crab Rangoon Flatbread: So this is an interesting combo. It’s a typical flatbread, but topped with crab meat crab meat, a ricotta-based cream, sweet chili sauce and some wonton strips. The tomato sauce is a bit muted, which is what makes it work.
The bar remains kind of a comfortable corner pub in a lot of respects, most of the time low-lit with heavy wood to evoke something of a British pub. But at the same time, it’s decorated with a modern feel and some of the suburban locations have an expansive bar and a decidedly friendlier feel to them. Price points are a bit higher than your average pub but this one has a deliberately upper-scale feel to it.
A smart concept, where everything is deliberately thought out and the result is fantastic.
- There are some bars where you can go in for a drink and just grab food if you feel like it. This isn’t one of them. The food here is too good to pass up.
- There’s a significant craft beer menu here with regional verities on draft. A lot of brews hard to spot elsewhere are here.
- The burger is my favorite thing. But all of the menu is smartly constructed.