For the tens of thousands of visitors descending on Columbus for Pride this month (or for any other purpose), welcome to Columbus! As The Taste Buds, you can consider us your cuisine connoisseurs of local eateries. We will never steer you wrong, nor will we ever steer you toward predictable, mundane chains. So while you’re in the Short North – whether for lunch, dinner, drinks, or any combination thereof – you’ve got to make your way to the corner of North High and Lincoln Streets to LEVEL Dining Lounge. For atmosphere, service, food or booze, you won’t be disappointed.
We routinely visit LEVEL for quiet date times, family dinners with the kids, larger group gatherings and special occasions. Even with larger groups they are flawless. We’re always impressed they can offer the variety of menu items that they do, create each one to order and present them all simultaneously at the right serving temperature.
For lighter fare, the California Cobb is filling and impeccably presented every time. Though the regular dressings are delicious, we suggest checking the seasonal menu. If there’s a salad there, they’ll serve your salad with that seasonal dressing, and it’s always something unique and tasty. Presently, the Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing offered on the seasonal Poached Pear Salad goes quite well with the Cobb.
In the mood for meat? No worries! LEVEL always satisfies. The Bourbon-Glaze Pork Ribeye, Flat-Iron Steak, Pork Cacciatore and Honey-Soy Salmon are not only favorites of ours, but give a good indication of the variety offered here. Side dishes range from rices to potatoes to pastas. None are mundane; each is prepared with a great deal of attention and is unique.
If you’re feeling like a splurge meal, the deep-fried Buffalo Style Ravioli is a can’t-miss combination of breaded, Florentine-style raviolis with a creamy buffalo sauce and (just to make it all feel healthy) some spinach cooked in. This is Taste Bud Mike’s go-to-favorite. Taste Bud Craig’s go-to-favorite is the Tofu Curry. It’s great with chicken, too, but the dish includes garbanzo beans, asparagus, red onions, and tomatoes in a curried coconut sauce served over basmati.
Lest we forget appetizers: Olive Tapenade and Tuna Tartare are our first choices. But when it comes to food, drink, service and atmosphere, you truly can’t go wrong at LEVEL Dining Lounge.
There’s not enough space to cover the selection. If in doubt, ask your server or bartender for their choices. Brent, Steven, Josh, Ken or any others are all well-trained, personable and are great at offering suggestions.