Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sage American Bistro (Columbus, OH)

My first experience at Sage American Bistro left much to be desired. Then again, it was when the bistro first opened its doors, so it needed to work out the kinks. Moreover, I was in for a Sunday brunch at the time, which I later learned pales in comparison with the dinner menu. As a side note, the Creme Brulee French Toast is not to be missed while brunching here.

However, having stopped back in for a girls' night out during Restaurant Week, I felt that SAB displayed its utmost potential as being one of the best restaurants to hit the Columbus dining scene. It truly seemed as though SAB had ironed out the shortcomings in the last few months, and if the bistro keeps this up, I may have to start coming back more often.

For appetizers, I opted for the more creative and meticulously presented Crispy Pork Belly With Creamed Corn and Jalapeno Ketchup (although after seeing the Seared Tuna BLT, I had to admit that it was just as impressive in delivery.) To say that the jalapeno ketchup added a subtle undertone would be an understatement, as the spicy sauce empowered the starter. Seeing how my tastebuds have a preference for all things spicy, this was a superb beginning for the rest of the evening. The pile of succulent and juicy corn also paired nicely with the overall crispiness of the pork belly.

For my main, I unhesitatingly ordered the first thing that jumped from the menu: Seared Day Boat Scallops, Polenta Fries, Braised Baby Bok Choy, Lemon Beurre Blanc, and Blackberry Ketchup. Again, SAB continues to impress with its blending of sauces. The dish boasted a winning interplay of savory and sweet, with the baby bok choy being the middle ground between the two. The scallops retained their maximum flavors while maintaining their natural juiciness. My dining companions opted for the Grilled Bistro Steak With Roasted Redskins, Wilted Spinach, Natural Jus, and Chimichuri as well as the Pretzel Crusted Salmon, Whole Grain Mustard Beurre Blanc, Roasted Redskins, and Green Beans. Praises were sung in regards to the deliciousness of their own respective dishes all throughout dinner.

Lastly, and decidedly with uninspiring choices, the desserts -- which contrasted heavily with the innovative appetizer and entree options. Aside from the chocolate cake, the other two desserts listed were boring. Johnson's vanilla ice cream in lieu of Jeni's is a no-go in my book. At first glance, the banana-coconut creme brulee sounded enticing, but remembering that we had walked past a few sad-looking creme brulee in the dessert fridge on our way in, none of my dining companions went with this option. Rich, creamy, and decadent, the chocolate cake clearly outshone the ubiquitous vanilla ice cream.

Our server, while seemingly detached at times, made sure all our needs were met. The leisurely pace of dinner allowed us to savor every bite and then sit and digest that particular course before moving on to the next, and despite the place being packed by 7pm, we never once felt as though we were rushed. Simple but modern, SAB occupies the space formerly known to many Columbus folks as Turkish Cuisine. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making reservations as this place fills up fast making parking spots more difficult to find -- especially when taking into consideration the Hounddog's enthusiasts rolling in during the later hours.

Till next time, Sage. Till next time.

Rating: *****

Sage American Bistro
2653 North High St
Columbus OH 43202
(614) 267-7243

Sage on Urbanspoon

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