Restaurant: Cap City Fine Diner and Bar, Columbus, Ohio
Twas two days after my friend Jenn’s birthday and I was visiting her. That was not planned. Okay…maybe it was. I mean…birthdays are so much fun and I wanted to go visit Jenn anyway. The need to get away from life where I am currently living was a necessity more than anything. And good friends always offer the best times when you need your spirits lifted and your soul cleansed.
After a morning of delicious gluten-free crepes and an afternoon spent out shopping at the used book stores, a treat at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and a stop at the natural food store that literally BROKE my budget (OMG…gluten-free things that I had not even known existed!), Cathy and I were going to take Jenn out to dinner to celebrate her birthday. I let her know ahead of time and she, even though she didn’t have to, chose a place that features a gluten-free menu.
The place…Cap City Fine Diner and Bar.
And at 5 p.m., we rolled up, parked, and made our way into the restaurant.
First of all, the place was nothing like I expected. Located on the end of a strip mall, the outside is very unassuming…save for the 50’s style door you walk through to enter the diner. We were greeted by the hostess after a moment and requested a gluten-free menu for me. We were shown to a table and settled in when our waitress, Candie, came over to get our drink orders. Despite the day of celebration, we all just stuck to water. She went over some specials, and the vegetable soup did spark my interest. So, after she went to fetch our waters and returned, I asked if it was gluten-free. She said she thought it was, but she would go double-check. When she returned, she regretfully informed me that it was not gluten-free. I had to options in mind for dinner. They had gluten-free fries offered and that was really tempting. If I did that, I’d be getting a salad. And it was pointed out by Jenn and Cathy that I could get a salad anywhere. True…but I can’t get fries everywhere. That being said, I made up my mind.
Cathy and Jenn ordered what they normally order when we go out to a restaurant that has this on the menu – Fish and Chips ($15.99). As for me, I went with the Gluten-Free Seasonal Vegetable Plate ($14.99). Candie asked if I wanted some gluten-free dinner rolls. I was taken aback. I wasn’t expecting that. I eagerly nodded my head and gave her a “Oh…yes please!” Happiness.
Orders were in, and we fell into conversation about future plans, things happening around us, the waiter with the really awesome mustache, ate dinner rolls (mine gluten-free…theirs regular)…that sort of thing. The dinner rolls, for the record, were warm, flaky, and delicious! I kept myself to just one. And then…our actual food arrived.
My veggie plate looked amazing. I mean…I read the description, but this was beyond what I expected. This plate was stunning. The colors were vibrant. The presentation was inviting. I was beyond impressed and totally ready to dive in and try it out. But, I composed myself enough to take a picture. Then let my roomie photograph her fish and chips for her own blog (which maybe one day she’ll actually put up on the interwebs). And then she promptly stole some of my rice…because she said she really wanted to try it. LOL! I also let her steal a tortilla chip and some of the hummus.
Oh…I’m getting ahead of myself here. I haven’t yet described the actual food on the dish yet. The menu described the Gluten-Free Seasonal Vegetable Plate as being composed of very wild rice, sliced almonds, goat cheese, roasted red pepper hummus, warm roasted vegetables and cured olives. I asked for my plate to not include the olives because I disdain olives so much. I don’t even want to have to pick around them. The plate came with corn tortilla chips on the side. The rice had the slivered almonds, corn and craisins in it, really amping up the volume as well as the presentation. The roasted vegetables were a mix of asparagus, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, portobello mushrooms and garlic. It was topped off by a very liberal sprinkling of goat cheese. It looked fantastic.
And it was. Just popping with flavor. The corn tortilla chips were my least favorite part, actually and ended up being left on the side of the plate. The vegetables were roasted to perfection, however. Packed with flavor and cooked just enough to get them to that brilliant bright hue that catches the eye and really whets the appetite. I was SO ready for bite after bite. I ended up using dabs of hummus on my vegetables. The roasted red pepper hummus was good, but I found it to be very oily and a bit bland. I felt like it needed a little more seasoning or spice to it. Believe it or not, though, my absolute favorite part of this entire dish…was the very wild rice. I loved the play on flavors and textures with the perfectly cooked rice, the crunch of the slivered almonds, the sweetness from the corn and the craisins. It was absolute perfection. Everything meshed and mingled well on the plate and I was quite content with eating it.
If I had one complaint it was that the entire plate was swimming in oil. While I love olive oil as much as the next person, I think there is a thing as way too much. And this definitely got to that point. But, the flavors were great and I devoured everything but the chips. Delicious!
Would I dine here again? I’d be willing to give it a try. I might do the salad and french fries next time though. Cathy said she’d be willing to try a burger the next time as her fish was good…and fell solidly in the middle of everywhere she ate up until now. Not a bad showing…but it didn’t wow her enough to try it again. But…each of us are willing to give it another try with other food options.
So, a good showing by Cap City Diner. We had a great time there. And we did enjoy the food. It was a great night out with good friends and that was fantastic in and of itself. Good food and good times. Just what I needed.