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Restaurant Review: Soulshine Tavern & Kitchen provides tiny twists on familiar dishes

The interior of Soulshine Tavern Kitchen is predominantly gray. While not a particularly thrilling tint, the neutral tone can convey tranquility and stability — hardly bad qualities, especially when it comes to a restaurant.

Open since last summer in the New Albany space formerly claimed by Ella Bistro, Soulshine offers a casual atmosphere and well-prepared, familiar fare with a pinch of flair. Taste buds might be occasionally nudged by the tweaking of popular dishes, but the place seems designed not to ruffle many feathers. It mostly achieves this — until, sometimes, when the bill is delivered.

In addition to shades of gray, the eatery features numerous TVs, wood, a prominent bar area with small tables and non-ideal stools plus more-comfortable seats and tables in the dining room. During a less-enlightened culinary era — a couple of years ago — Soulshine’s setting and often-indulgent spins on crowd-pleasing cuisine might have provoked its owners to designate the place a “gastropub.” Those days are largely behind us, so “tavern kitchen” it is.

Nine beers are on tap; most are produced in local breweries. The highlighted craft cocktails ($8 to $12) are nearly all powered by Columbus-distilled OYO liquors.

True to form, Soulshine’s appetizers are popular snacks enhanced with a twist, so wings are pickle-brined ($12) and deviled eggs ($8) get candied bacon. A conceptually more entertaining entry on this list is the Reuben Scotch eggs ($8).

Flavored like the American deli sandwich but made like the famed British tavern treat, two commendably hard-cooked eggs (no gray yolk exteriors) are each wrapped in corned beef, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. The crunchy, golden-brown, grease-restrained spheres arrive atop beer-soaked warm kraut, are lashed with Russian dressing and, although not structurally sound, are fun to eat.

I could say something similar about the pretzel-crusted chicken sandwich ($14): The messy construction doesn’t hold together but tastes great. Crackly batter encases a thick slab of breast meat whose juiciness and tenderness suggest it’s been brined. Roasted tomato, melted smoked Gouda, chopped lettuce plus a heavy slathering of roasted-red-pepper aioli contribute depth, richness and a little sweetness.

Sandwiches are served with crisp fries dusted in flour spiked with spices. For another dollar, diners can substitute the creamy and garlicky macaroni and cheese fashioned with farfalle pasta or the huge and clearly scratch-made onion rings — mine were oily but good-tasting and featured far more onion than batter.

If “The Burger” ($15) seems a bit pricey, it comes with fries and stars cookout-worthy, grilled-and-seared locally sourced fresh beef purchased from The Butcher Grocer. Served on ciabatta bread, the smoky, juicy and delicious patty could stand on its own. Instead, it’s propped up with good accessories that, together, come off as rather heavy-handed: inspired bread-and-butter zucchini pickles, grilled red onions, oven-roasted tomatoes, melted white cheddar, “honey-cup dijonnaise” and lettuce.

Without question, the most impressive item I tried was also the most ambitious: walleye and sweet-corn risotto ($24). As pleasing on the eye as it is on the palate, the entree centers an almost-crisp, pan-fried, Lake Erie-caught fillet atop a comforting risotto studded with corn. The bright citrus-and-soy butter sauce forming a moat around the risotto provides a terrific foil for the creamy rice. Pickled cucumbers and carrots sprinkled with sesame seeds serve as a bridge between the dish’s Italian and Asian influences. The only problem: At this price point, I expect a piece of fish larger than a glorified garnish.

For a smooth and soothing finish to any meal here, I recommend slurping dessert by ordering the strawberry blonde cocktail ($10) last. Sipping the potent, sweet and creamy beverage made with OYO vanilla-bean vodka, New Albany-sourced Tessora limoncello and fresh fruit is like having your strawberry shortcake and drinking your martini, too.

 

gabenton.dispatch@gmail.com

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Restaurant review: Soulshine Tavern & Kitchen

Mostly scratch-cooked contemporary fare with a little flair is served in this pleasant, relatively new and casual establishment

The interior of Soulshine Tavern Kitchen is predominantly gray. While not a particularly thrilling tint, the neutral tone can convey tranquility and stability — hardly bad qualities, especially when it comes to a restaurant.

Open since last summer in the New Albany space formerly claimed by Ella Bistro, Soulshine offers a casual atmosphere and well-prepared, familiar fare with a pinch of flair. Taste buds might be occasionally nudged by the tweaking of popular dishes, but the place seems designed not to ruffle many feathers. It mostly achieves this — until, sometimes, when the bill is delivered.

In addition to shades of gray, the eatery features numerous TVs, wood, a prominent bar area with small tables and non-ideal stools, plus more-comfortable seats and tables in the dining room. During a less-enlightened culinary era — a couple years ago — Soulshine’s setting and often-indulgent spins on crowd-pleasing cuisine might’ve provoked its owners to designate the place a “gastropub.” Those days are largely behind us, so “tavern kitchen” it is.

Nine beers are on tap; most are produced in local breweries. The highlighted craft cocktails ($8 to $12) are nearly all powered by Columbus-distilled OYO liquors.

True to form, Soulshine’s appetizers are popular snacks enhanced with a twist, so wings are pickle-brined ($12) and deviled eggs ($8) get candied bacon. A conceptually more entertaining entry on this list is the Reuben Scotch Eggs ($8).

Flavored like the American deli sandwich but made like the famed British tavern treat, two commendably hard-cooked eggs (no gray on the yolks) are each wrapped in corned beef, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. The crunchy, golden-brown, grease-restrained spheres arrive atop beer-soaked warm kraut, are lashed with Russian dressing and, although not structurally sound, are fun to eat.

I could say something similar about the Pretzel Crusted Chicken Sandwich ($14): The messy construction doesn’t hold together, but tastes great. Crackly batter encases a thick slab of breast meat whose juiciness and tenderness suggest it’s been brined. Roasted tomato, melted smoked Gouda, chopped lettuce plus a heavy slathering of roasted-red-pepper aioli contribute depth, richness and a little sweetness.

Sandwiches are served with crisp fries dusted in flour spiked with spices. For another dollar, diners can substitute the creamy and garlicky mac-and-cheese fashioned with farfalle pasta or the huge and clearly scratch-made onion rings — mine were oily but good-tasting and featured far more onion than batter.

If “The Burger” ($15) seems a bit pricey, it comes with fries and stars cookout-worthy, grilled-and-seared locally sourced fresh beef purchased from the Butcher Grocer. Served on ciabatta bread, the smoky, juicy and delicious patty could stand on its own. Instead, it’s propped up with good accessories that, together, come off as rather heavy-handed: inspired bread-and-butter zucchini pickles, grilled red onions, oven-roasted tomatoes, melted white cheddar, “honey-cup dijonnaise” and lettuce.

Without question, the most impressive item I tried was also the most ambitious: Walleye Sweet Corn Risotto ($24). As pleasing on the eye as it is on the palate, the entree centers an almost-crisp, pan-fried, Lake Erie-caught fillet atop a comforting risotto studded with corn. The bright citrus-and-soy butter sauce forming a moat around the risotto provides a terrific foil for the creamy rice. Pickled cucumbers and carrots sprinkled with sesame seeds serve as a bridge between the dish’s Italian and Asian influences. The only problem: At this price point, I expect a piece of fish larger than a glorified garnish.

For a smooth and soothing finish to any meal here, I recommend slurping dessert by ordering the Strawberry Blonde cocktail ($10) last. Sipping the potent, sweet and creamy beverage made with OYO vanilla-bean vodka, New Albany-sourced Tessora limoncello and fresh fruit is like having your strawberry shortcake and drinking your martini, too.

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Check Out These 5 Home Goods Artisans at the 2018 American Craft Show

Every year since 1987, the American Craft Show has brought makers of fine crafted goods from around the country to St. Paul. Among this year’s group of more than 250 artists are some familiar names, including local ceramicists Liz Pechacek, Fringe Fettle Ceramics, Autumn Higgins, and Amanda Dobbratz. But this year, we’ve highlighted five of the top home goods makers at this year’s event that have flown under the radar.

Image courtesy Blanc Creatives

Blanc Creatives

A favorite of celeb chef Andrew Zimmern, Blanc Creatives crafts hand-forged, carbon-steel cookware out of its shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. The small artisanal group was founded by blacksmith and designer Corry Blanc, a native Georgian, who began blacksmithing full-time in 2007. The brand, which was recognized in Garden Gun magazine’s prestigious Made in the South awards, emphasizes long-lasting quality over quantity. Each pan, which takes six working hours to craft, comes with a lifetime and is said to get better with age. Since establishing his company in 2011, Blanc now leads a team of 11 blacksmiths, woodworkers, and designers, and has expanded the line to include kitchen accessories such as cutting boards, spatulas, cocktail muddlers, and bottle openers. blanccreatives.com

Image courtesy Baigelman Glass

Baigelman Glass

Baigelman Glass is a modern glass company that specializes in functional glassware, nesting bowls, vases, and art objects. Based in Chicago, the brand was founded by longtime glassmaker Aaron Baigelman in 2014 with his wife and fellow artist Heather when the couple was still dating. Featuring bright colors and clean lines, Baigelman’s glassware collections can be paired together in the same color or mixed and matched to create a unique glassware set, and its nesting bowls double as a functional, beautiful centerpiece. In addition to their functional glassware, the duo also exhibits their one-of-a-kind sculptural glass art pieces in galleries across the U.S. baigelmanglass.com

Image courtesy Eau Claire Woodworks

Eau Claire Woodworks

After a decade of working as a finish carpenter in the greater Milwaukee area, Tim Brudnicki shifted course to fine woodworking. Today, Brudnicki’s wood creations range from cabinets and tables of all shapes and sizes to wood sculptures, as well as built-in furniture and mantles. He crafts his creations from wood harvested from a tree nursery on his property in rural Eau Claire, which replenishes much of the wood he uses, as well as lumber obtained from local Amish sawyers. Brudnicki’s work is inspired by nature, including his many trips to the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota. Pieces from his River’s Edge collection combine the natural beauty of black walnut with pebbles from the shores of Lake Superior. Despite its heritage of craftsmanship, Eau Claire Woodworks has a minimalist look to it that would be right at home in the most modern of homes. eauclairewoodworks.com

Image courtesy Girardini Design

Girardini Design

Julie and Ken Girardini are the principal designers at their small studio in rural Maryland, specializing in creating unique metal objects for the home, including tables, mirrors, lighting, clocks, serveware, hooks, candle holders and vases. The self-taught artisans have been creating handmade metal home goods primarily out of cold-rolled steel—products made by rolling or pressing steel into finished goods at a low temperature—for nearly 30 years. As a finishing touch, they incorporate elements such as glass, brass, copper, paper, and wood to each piece. girardinidesign.com

Image of Kaihoi’s Sabbath Chair courtesy Kaihoi

Kaihoi

New this year at the American Craft Show is Minnesota woodworker Grant Kaihoi. After growing up on the Minnesota prairie, where he picked up the craft of woodworking, he left to study art and design with a concentration on wood at Northern Michigan University. When he returned to Minnesota, he founded his own woodworking studio, Kaihoi, to marry his love of craft with art. Based in St. Cloud, Kaihoi specializes in modern, live-edge, single-stab tables and furniture what he hopes will be among “the next generation of heirlooms.” One of his signature products is the Sabbath Chair, which is intended to compel the sitter to rest, retreat, and reflect, drawing them into solid contact with the earth. grantkaihoi.com

If You Go: 

American Craft Show Preview Party: Thursday from 6 p.m.-9 p.m.. Regular hours: Friday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. @ St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; tickets are $11 per day or $75 for preview party @ craftcouncil.org

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Silverspot Cinema hopes to give guests ‘reel’ experience

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Silverspot Cinema hopes to give guests ‘reel’ experience

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GOFARM Farmers’ Market

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What’s coming to Pinecrest in Orange Village: Store, restaurant …

ORANGE VILLAGE, Ohio– The developers of the mixed-use district Pinecrest in Orange Village released more information about the tenants and when they are slated to open.

The development, located at Interstate 271 and Harvard Road, combines retail, office space, apartments and a Marriott hotel. Construction started two years ago.

Next month, the first round stores and restaurants will open. There are plenty of familiar names on the list, including Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Shake Shack.

Opening May 2018

  • Apricot Lane – Branded fashion apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories and gifts in the latest styles and current trends.
  • City Works – Features craft beer, wine on tap, crafted cocktails, and contemporary American cuisine.
  • Club Pilates – Provides premium, Reformer-based group Pilates classes, true to the original Method. Class sessions available at a variety of levels and times.
  • Eye Candy Optical – Optical boutique featuring on-trend eyewear for men, women and teens.
  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – Refined atmosphere, top-notch service and upscale dining at a modest price.
  • First Watch – Specializes in award-winning, made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes.
  • Gracylane – Locally owned boutique featuring unique accessories, gifts and collectibles from beloved brands like Alex and Ani, PANDORA, Vera Bradley, Uno de 50, Brighton, Swarovski, Sid Dickens, Nora Fleming, S’well Bottles and much more.
  • Graeter’s Ice Cream – Features a variety of Handcrafted French Pot ice cream flavors. Graeter’s has a rich history of 145 years of business.
  • Laura of Pembroke – A diverse, family-owned apparel and home furnishings boutique with a strong European influence.
  • Pottery Barn – Expertly crafted collections offering a wide range of stylish indoor and outdoor furniture, accessories, décor and more, for every room of the home.
  • REI – From backpacking to cycling to staying in shape and more, outfit your outdoor activities with the latest gear, clothing, and footwear.
  • Scout and Molly’s Boutique – Carries a contemporary assortment of designer women’s attire and accessories.
  • Shake Shack – A modern day “roadside” burger stand serving up the most delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more.
  • Verizon Wireless – Discover the latest cell phones, smartphones, prepaid devices, tablets, cell phone plans and accessories.
  • Vineyard Vines – Preppy men’s and women’s clothing including designer sports shirts, polos and knits along with signature men’s silk ties and kids’ clothes.
  • Williams Sonoma – Your source for gourmet foods and professional-quality cookware – choose small kitchen appliances, cooking utensils and décor that match your cooking and entertaining style.
  • West Elm – Offers modern furniture and home décor featuring inspiring designs and colors.

Opening June 2018

  • 3 Palms Pizzeria – Authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzeria and Italian bakery.
  • Alliance Prime Associates, Continental Insurance Company and Tower 7 Partnership, LLC – finance and insurance.
  • Blackbird Fly – Contemporary women’s boutique offering an eclectic mix of modern and retro-inspired apparel, shoes and accessories, as well as gifts for men, women and children.
  • BIBIBOP Asian Grill – Korean-inspired fast-casual restaurant focused on promoting “Well B-Ing” and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Orangetheory Fitness – Scientifically designed workouts that include a unique combination of cardiovascular power and strength training to change your body at the cellular level, so you can live a longer, more vibrant life.
  • Restore Cold Pressed – Modern, organic juice bar featuring a variety of juices, smoothies and bites.
  • Sweetie’s Big Fun – whimsical toy/candy store concept created by the owners of b.a. Sweetie Candy Company and Big Fun.
  • Silverspot Cinema – Sophisticated cinema offering an enhanced, hassle-free entertainment experience in a boutique environment. In addition to traditional Hollywood fare, Silverspot offers independent films, award-winning foreign films and a cultural arts program featuring operas, ballets, live theatre, and concerts. In addition, Silverspot offers a full service food and beverage menu that can be ordered for delivery to your seat.
  • Vernacular – East Coast classic apparel, accessories and gifts with a West Coast vibe.
  • Zen Nail – Upscale nail salon.

Silverspot Cinema

Opening July 2018

  • Duck Donuts – Warm, delicious and made-to-order donuts, coffee, donuts sundaes and sandwiches, and donut catering packages.
  • J Bellezza Salon – A boutique and salon, will provide personal care services such as hair styling with a focus on all-natural products to promote a healthy and beautiful lifestyle.
  • Minc LLC – Nationally recognized leader in the specialized area of Internet defamation.
  • Pinstripes – Built from a passion to gather, to celebrate, and to experience sophisticated fun – enjoy the scratch kitchen, bowling, bocce and private event space.
  • TD Ameritrade – Combines innovative trading technology, easy-to-use and understand trading tools, investment services, investor education and outstanding client service to create a great financial services experience.

Opening August 2018

  • AC Hotels by Marriott – European inspired design hotel that’s redefining the hotel stay with its stylish and modern accommodations.
  • Pepper Pike Capital – real estate investment, development and management company.
  • Whole Foods – Full-service grocery store featuring the finest natural and organic foods available, sourced and maintained under the strictest quality standards in the industry and with an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Photo Gallery

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Opening fall 2018

  • Amin, Turocy Watson – focuses its legal practice on intellectual property law with an emphasis on patent law.
  • Citizen Yoga – Committed to connection, Citizen Yoga exists to build community inside and outside the studio walls. We empower the individual by teaching a safe, alignment-based yoga practice that students of all levels can maintain throughout their lifetime.
  • Homage – Turns back the clock with shout-outs to eclectic moments and personalities in sports, music, politics and popular culture. From Babe Ruth to Larry Bird, our clothing tells stories of triumph, individualism and hustle, preserving the old school and creating new legacies.
  • Next Door Eatery – Urban casual American eatery serving real food sourced from American farmers.
  • Red, the Steakhouse – Upscale dining with the finest quality steaks seafood available. Named one of the Top 10 steakhouses in the country.
  • Woodhouse Day Spa – A tranquil, transformational environment that’s both memorable and healthful. From beginning to end, a dedicated spa team ensures that every visit enhances the guest’s well-being

More stories on Pinecrest here

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