Birthday Dinners and Bellinis on the Best Patio in Town

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Recently Megan and I went to Lindey’s to celebrate her birthday. For those who do not know, Lindey’s has been in the same location since 1982 and serving outstanding American bistro fare for the last 35 years. Located in the heart of the German Village (169 E. Beck) Lindey’s is a neighborhood institution. Surrounded by century old houses, brick streets and eclectic businesses, Lindey’s is especially picturesque in the fall. Lindey’s is consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in Columbus, and if you have been there, it is no secret why.

Megan’s birthday fell on the Tuesday of Restaurant Week. I am not a fan of this event, but it does serve a purpose – to experience a new restaurant for the first time. However it is completely possible to have a bad experience as wait and bar staff are often overworked due to the volume of customers. I can speak from this experience as I have been an overworked, confused and sweaty server/bartender during Restaurant Week. If you are reading this and somehow I made you a drink or served you dinner during Restaurant Week, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for getting your order wrong. Both times.

Anyway, back to the birthday dinner. Lindey’s large concrete and brick patio has traditional house service. The patio has trees and umbrellas to provide ample shade and a simple, yet classy bar that seats around twenty. The patio is hip and fun while not being pretentious, making it possibly the best in town. Other patio contenders are Barcelona, Milestone 229, Harvest/Curio, and Pinnacle Golf Club/Cimi’s Bistro (don’t worry…you don’t have to be a golf dork to enjoy the patio).

The bar menu presents one of the best Happy Hours (M-F 4:30 to 6:30) in Central Ohio. Half off most drinks and half off the bar menu. Also, if you sit at the high top tables nearest the bar, you have access to the bar AND house menu. For all you single people, the bar/high tops at Lindey’s would be a great place for a low-key first date.

It was 90 degrees in the shade when we were seated. We ordered a round of Bellinis (half off at Happy Hour) to help cool off. If you don’t know what a Bellini is, don’t be ashamed, I didn’t either. A Bellini is : Peach Schnapps, Peach Puree, and Pinot Grigio topped with a dash of Cava. It was crisp, refreshing, and sweet, but not too sweet. Kind of like the person drinking it in the photo below:

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After cooling down and looking at our options, we decided to start with the Tartine:

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I never refuse a chance to have Tartine and I am glad we settled on this appetizer. In fact, as good as the rest of our dinner was, the Tartine may have been the star of the show. The house smoked salmon had the right amount of smoke and a great texture. The chopped egg, tomatoes, pickled red onions and avocado all blended together well, both in taste and color and the ‘Everything Spread’ was rich and creamy. Not too rich though – kind of like the guy who ate 75% of this appetizer on his wife’s birthday.

After finishing the Tartine, Megan and I took our time deciding which menu to choose from – House, Bar, or Restaurant Week and ordered another round of Bellinis. Our server was great and gave us space and time. The pitcher crew was also on point, and never let our waters get empty – quite the feat on a 90 degree day during Restaurant Week.

Megan chose the 3 course Restaurant Week option. Kale Salad, Filet, and Creme Brulee. For $35, I wasn’t going to complain and I knew it would be a great value. I decided on the Pork Chop from the dinner menu. What can I say? I am a traditionalist.

Megan’s first course was the Kale Salad. I believe it was lightly topped with Parmesan cheese and came with a Caesar-like dressing. I think that sounds right. If not, use your imagination – it’s a Kale Salad. I also forgot to take a photo of the salad. Life goes on.

Our main courses were much more memorable. Megan had a 6 oz. filet topped with Gorgonzola, served over buttermilk mashed potatoes with a side of green beans.

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The Gorgonzola was rich and melted to a perfect texture. The filet was a perfect medium rare (if you order your steak at a higher temperature than medium rare, please unsubscribe to this blog. You are a terrible person and I don’t need that kind of drama in my life). The green beans were expertly prepared and the potatoes were fluffy and buttery.

This is essentially the same meal that is on the dinner menu (green beans are subbed for asparagus). This regular entree is usually $38 and does not include a salad or dessert, so $35 is quite the bargain.

My Pork Chop came with buttery grits, greens and a big ass onion ring.

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The pork chop was tender and succulent and the corn grits tasted like a mashed corn on the cob. The greens were smoky with a hint of spice and the onion ring breading was not overpowering or flaky. This was a great entree and is consistently on Lindey’s menu regardless of season.

For dessert, we shared the Creme Brulee. This was this most underwhelming part of dinner – at least according to me – Megan was a big fan.  I thought the dessert was bland and could have used more flavor. However, at this point I was so impressed with the quality of dinner that I had unrealistic expectations for dessert. Plus, I may have had another Bellini.

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Lindey’s, on top of being a Columbus institution, also hosts large rooms for private events. In fact, Megan and I chose Lindey’s for our rehearsal dinner. The food, service, and environment were all stellar. Here is a great photo of Megan, at our rehearsal dinner, taken during my toast:

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What a babe. This is probably my favorite photo of her not wearing her wedding dress.

Here is another photo from the rehearsal evening. In case you can’t tell, the space for our dinner was above the patio. Everyone is happy but my smile makes it like I have hidden bombs all over Gotham and that I don’t think Batman will find them in time:

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Whether you are looking for a value filled, laid back happy hour on a great patio, a fancy romantic dinner, or to host a private event, you cannot go wrong with Lindey’s. They even have a great brunch.

Lindey’s is versatile and a pillar of the Columbus dining scene. Our city would not be the same without Lindey’s – cheers to another 35 years!

 

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