12 W Bridge St.
Dublin, OH 43017
Historic downtown Dublin retains this wonderful small-town feel but in practice it’s hiding some of the best upscale restaurants in the city, too. Mezzo blends some of that old-fashioned good Italian food with a more modern feel, all while built into a stout little two-story main street building. It’s one of few places that has a second-floor kitchen in town and a great selection of pastas and wine. There’s been a huge influx of dining competition in Columbus these days, but this one holds up well by itself.
The menu here is classic Italian, meaning quite a few comfortable pasta dishes. Some good food to try:
- Bruschetta & Burrata: Marinated Pomodoro tomatoes, a soft burrata cheese, balsamic reduction and plenty of fresh basil and garlic top this toasted favorite.
- Lasagna: This one has always been beauty in simplicity – sheets of pasta sandwiched with bechamel, fresh herbal marinara and a bit of Italian sausage. Simplicity in a dish.
- Shrimp Risotto: This risotto is spiced heavily with saffron and features a surprising topping, fried leeks, which gives the rice itself a crunch. Grilled and marinated shrimp, arugula, fennel and lemon provide a dance of lighter flavors on the tongue.
- Blackberry Rosemary Old Fashioned: Mentioning this one because it’s so popular. Jim Beam Double Oak Bourbon, blackberry puree, orange, and a dash of bitter. It adds a fruity element to the drink while still letting the bourbon sing, and without overwhelming it with the sweet counter-note. Served on the rocks to calm a bit.
As Italian restaurants go, modernization has been so much the key to keep places relevant and popular – this one has one of few two-story patios in town and still keeps that kind of peaceful feel despite the ever-busier corridors of Dublin thanks in part to the exploding development along the other side of the river.
The staff remains ever-focused on the details, making things come fast and ensuring people are comfortable. Then of course there’s the feel – compact and lowlit, but still versatile. Good for a date or a time with friends. Mezzo faces a tough market for good Italian food at a time when the city around it is changing and quickly. Still, the quality and consistency that makes a place that much more popular, is all there.
- The cocktails here shouldn’t be forgotten, even though the wine list – which is also pretty quality – is also robust. I should note the people here are especially adept at choosing good wines to match a meal.
- Good seafood options, but the pasta is my favorite here.
- Parking is best in the lot or garage behind the restaurant. Reservations recommended.