503 S Front St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Most of the eateries that populate Columbus’ brewery district tend to take advantage of its wonderful historic brick buildings and the refined tastes of nearby German Village. Just about all of these places are consequently wonderful low key establishments with a surprising variety of good food. Under-appreciated, I think, but some have gotten a little more local love. Rockmill Tavern is more popular because this bar brews its own beer, and it’s come where a few other kinds of places have disappeared. The food can’t be overlooked! For sure.
A true gastropub, this bar doesn’t stick to a specific genre but tends to drift around and play with a few different kinds of food. Some of my favorites:
- Tavern burger: The extra-thick burger is a hearty thick bite. Filled with bacon jam, pickled onion, extra sharp Tillamook cheddar and a smothering of dijonnaise, it’s small but mighty, and mighty filling.
- Burrata: This special cheese is served with chilled beluga lentils, spiced cauliflower, yolk with soy and honey and toasted sweet onion to lighten it a bit. Dip crostinis into the soft cheese and get the balance of crunchy and soft.
- Ravioli: This specialty dish has house-made pasta topped with a chopped ragu and a bit of olive oil to even it. The mixed sauce brings this refreshing thick and savory flavor.
- Mushroom toast: This tostada is served topped with a drizzled balsamic vinegar, salty cheese and a little green onion to accent. Wonderful amuse bouche to a great meal.
- Derby Day IPA: One of the seasonal IPA options, this one a steady hop but a comparatively light 4.2% ABV. I like it as a table beer.
The bar has that wonderful dark interior that evokes its name, and is set up amply for small groups to enjoy their company in relative intimacy despite the close quarters. Prices are a bit higher but the meticulousness of the food shows through in this case, and it’s worth the money to have a higher-level experience like this one.
Rockmill generates more buzz locally and for good reason. This place is awesome and worth a trip, not just for the locally circulated set of beers, but for the modern takes on pub food that inspire more good eating. The wide range of skill sets you’ll see come out of this kitchen is truly impressive, as is what they’ve pulled of in ambiance in a space others have neglected. Make Rockmill a stop if you want to be in the Brewery District for a drink or a good meal.
- The beers here are good but don’t forget the cocktail menu, either.
- On nice days that modest patio has plenty of space for good times.
- Also consider the seasonal menu worth a return visit if you think you’ve tried it all. Everything is excellent.