We don’t do fancy meals all that often, so anticipation rises high when we do indulge. Four years ago in 2015, we found ourselves in Delaware, Ohio at Veritas, a place which had been earning “Best Of” kudos throughout the region. We found out the recognition was well earned, and their tasting menu and cocktails provided us with easily one of our top three dining experiences ever.
Flash forward to the future: owner Josh Dalton has jumped at the opportunity to move his restaurant to the proverbial heart of it all, relocating to the historic Citizens Building in Downtown Columbus. Not only that, they have emphasized the tasting menu even more, both with their current seasonal tapas selections as well as their Chef’s Table, which leaves it up to the chef and his kitchen staff to wow you with their creativity.
The latter option sounded like the perfect way to dive into Veritas the second time around for another special meal.
|Our Chef\’s Table Tasting Menu meal at Veritas started appropriately
enough with a nicely dry glass of bubbly (Ms. Bollinger would approve)
In some ways, a singleton experience like this provides a unique challenge. Our first ever Tasting Menu experience at Veritas was spelled out, whereas the dishes here would be a complete surprise, based on the whims and skills of the head chef and what ingredients were in house (typically, Veritas strives for what’s in season.)
Also, we would almost certainly never experience the same combination of dishes again, no matter how many times we might partake in this experience in the future. But in the end, the same standard more or less applies – would the dishes we received during this dinner go above and beyond?
For this meal, the highlight proved to be the three courses before the dessert dishes. The Deep-Fried Celery Root Croquette topped with Frisée and Smoked Trout Roe proved literally eye-popping for me, an intense burst of textures and salty and sour and bitter with every bite I would have never expected from the ingredients presented.
With the next plate, we both laughingly argued which side was more divine – the Striped Sea Bass with a Beurre Blanc or the wonderfully textured Hen of the Woods mushrooms whose taste and texture was enhanced, not overpowered, with soy sauce.
By a sliver, our favorite dish of this night arrived next: Buttery Prime Strip marinated with a chimichurri sauce provided a punchy one-two combo with the simple sounding but multi-textured Potatoes with Harissa, edible flowers and other culinary accouterments.
For the most part the dishes which led into this stellar threesome proved noteworthy as well, from a heavenly Sourdough Rye Bread (perhaps the best we’ve had in recent memory) with butter, and a plate of Beets and Apples coated with a tangy goat cheese (only the Hawaiian blue prawns, served with masa cakes and avocado purée, seemed to not quite reach the heights of what came before and after.)
Similarly, the closing desserts, Blueberries many ways with Greek yogurt ice cream (cool and clean, a perfect palate cleanser) and the coup de grace one-spoonful chocolate bite with liquid interior infused with fresh mint, proved a great way to close out the night.
|While a wine pairings are available with the Chef’s Table
menu, cocktails were a must for us during our meal
Service was perfect, with dirty dishes cleaned out and replaced efficiently, and courses brought out in a timely but never rushed manner. While a wine pairing is also available for this menu for an extra charge, we wanted to delve into Veritas’s cocktails again, and were pleased to indulge in creations like the Mr. Sulu (a variation of sorts on the classic Aviation) and the Ransom Crusta (an enchanting blend of gin, curaçao, cognac, citrus and bee pollen) did not disappoint.
After our meal, our sommelier directed upstairs to the Citizens Trust portion of the Veritas operation. Home of a former downtown bank (you can even peer into the one of the old bank vaults.) The space is truly swank and spectacular, a gorgeous venue to grab a cocktail or two.
For us, Veritas proved again why it earns the accolades it does, and their Chef’s Table is worthy of your consideration if you’re looking for a truly special meal in the area. We look forward to an exploration of their seasonal tapas menus and some delicious cocktails on future visits.