247 King Ave.
Columbus, OH 43201
In a century-old building right where some of Columbus’ most prominent neighborhoods meet, Alqueria is a farm-to-table concept that capitalizes on interest in fresh and locally-sourced food and caters to the young and socially conscious customers hailing from downtown, the Short North, the Ohio State University district and Grandview Heights. This restaurant, opened this year, celebrates all things Ohio, and its strong agrarian economy and many great foodstuffs that hail from here. The result is a complex array of flavors and a wonderful result.
Many photos on this one courtesy the incomparable Miyuki.
Complex flavors come on every dish on the menu. Some of the things I liked:
- Brussels Sprouts: These are topped with a bit of smoky blue cheese, apricot gastrique, corn nuts and Marcona almonds. It doesn’t need too much cheese but the smoke is a nice addition.
- Farm House Burger: A masterpiece of a big tall burger, this one topped with pimento cheese, bacon, horseradish pickles and some red onion. Juicy, sweet and a little salty, perfect medium rare. This one is one of the most satisfying burgers in the Short North.
- Charred Octopus: One of the early dishes that was served in a bed of peppers, potatoes and sofrito verde seasoning that allowed the delicate octopus to speak for itself.
- Short rib: One of the first available items, this wonderful enormous rib on the bone had a sweet glaze and was served on a nice bed of brussels sprouts. Juicy, sweet and simple.
- The Old Pal: A take on an old fashioned, this one features Old Forrester with plum, lillet blanc and a burnt orange rhind. Comfortably cozy.
- Smoking Silo: Another great smoky flavor on this one, built with mezcal, sherry, watershed nocino. There’s a hint of sweetness, but not in a bitter way.
The bar has a very comfortable feel, which has been retained even in its past lives. The exposed brick and oblong shape of the bar room, the wide open old storefront, this one has a feel that kind of reminds you of an old farmhouse. It’s a perfect kind of mood for this bar, kind of intimate and which draws you close to your company.
I like the food here and the feel, whether it’s happy hour in which you have a few great drinks and some small plates, or you have a longer dinner experience, this restaurant doesn’t necessarily scream “romantic” by default, but there’s nonetheless something that is going to draw you into its pleasant feel. This is an experience worth having.
- Consider the drinks a must for a first experience; the cocktails have a lot of variety and are very comfortable to sip.
- Plenty of parking off King, though you’ll have to pay for it. The sooner you show up the better.
- Go for the burger if you like a big meal.