Bistro 310 in Columbus, Indiana has risen to stardom in Mr. ST’s eyes. Doug Roberts was so excited and as equally pleased with his third visit as his first visit, he wrote a review.
I frequently have to drive to Indianapolis after a day of doing business in Louisville, so I find myself halfway between the two cities on I-65 around dinner time. I pull out my trusty iPad and look at the OpenTable app to see what is around. Angela wrote a recent post on how to use Open Table and it’s benefits. I just happened to be coming up on Columbus, Indiana and there was only one restaurant listed there, Bistro 310.
As I drove into the small town, I was impressed by the beautiful, sophisticated design and architecture, rarely seen in a town of this size in the midwest. I was to learn later that this is largely due to Cummins Inc, who has their world headquarters here. The late J. Irwin Miller (formerly president and chairman of Cummins Engine Company) launched the Cummins Foundation, a charitable program that in 1957 made an offer to pay all the architects fees for new public buildings in Columbus. Therefore, this small Mid-western town has buildings designed by Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Kevin Roche, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, César Pelli, and others. The American Institute of Architects in 1991 declared Columbus America’s 6th most important city in terms of architecture.
On my first visit to Bistro 310 nearly a year ago, I was impressed with the food and the small but unique beer selection. I loved their little sidewalk dinning area, but the chairs were not very comfortable, the tables were wobbly, and there was construction going on across the street making it rather noisy. On this most recent visit, however, the construction was complete and the street and sidewalk were completely redone. As if to keep up with all the changes, the restaurant has new outdoor furniture making the sidewalk dinning area much more cute and comfortable. The inside decor is also very nice with tables in the bar with a great view of the street and a more formal dinning area in the back.
They have a good wine selection, most of which are available by the glass. I choose a glass of Graffigna Centenario Malbec, which I thoroughly enjoyed. They brought out some bread that was fresh, warm, crusty and delicious. I appreciated that they only brought 3 small pieces for me to enjoy, as I find great bread hard to resist, and I will often fill up on the bread and kill my appetite. This portion was perfect. The small dish of butter tasted very fresh, but other than a small taste, I didn’t use it as really good bread is great all by itself.
One notable appetizer I had on my first visit was the White Cheddar Chorizo Grits. I was disappointed they were not still on the menu, but I am told they will be back in the fall, and so will I. Their menu changes sometimes monthly and sometimes seasonally. I found this out from my very friendly and efficient server, Lavonne, who actually remembered me from my visit a year ago. That’s impressive.
On this visit I was wanting to eat light, so I skipped the appetizer and started with a Caesar Salad, which has to be one of the best I’ve ever had. The balance of ingredients and flavors were perfection.
All of the entrees sound very appetizing, including Crispy Salmon, Scallops, Churrasco Style Skirt Steak, New Zealand Lamb, Maple Leaf Farms Duck, and more. They also offer a great selection of side vegetables and you can order a plate of any 5 for a vegetarian and gluten free entree. This was very tempting, but I choose the Ahi with sesame seed crust, edamame, sushi rice, and ginger butter. It was very good, but I did find myself wishing for a spicier sauce. The addition of some horseradish or wasabi would have made the dish perfect in this writers humble opinion.
There was a very nice desert selection that I passed on, as I am trying to lose a few pounds, but I had the Flourless Chocolate Cake on my previous visit and it was excellent. It took every ounce of will power I had not to order it again.
Bottom line, if you are going to be traveling on I-65 between Louisville and Indianapolis, it is worth planning a stop in Columbus, Indiana to check out the “Top Ten Things To See In Columbus Before You Die.” Stay the night at The Hotel Indigo, a very cute boutique hotel that is reasonably priced and walking distance to Bistro 310 and all of downtown Columbus. And when you visit Bistro 310, ask for Lavonne and tell her Mr. Spinach Tiger (Doug Roberts) sent you.
Note from Spinach Tiger: So he thinks three pieces of bread is a light nosh before dinner. We girls would have already gained a pound and killed our appetite, not that that would stop us. I don’t get to Columbus, Indian, but if I did, I would be joining him at Bistro 310, because the food looks amazing, especially those Chorizo Grits.