For me, The Worthington Inn is one of those places I’ve walked by for years, always talking about how I need to eat there soon, etc. – but preconceived notions always kept me from stopping in – misconceptions that it was frou frou and fussy, or that everyone who eats there is all dressed up, or that service would be stuffy. Let me just say now for the record that I was completely wrong.
We decided to head there for lunch during Restaurant Week, where they were offering your choice of 2 lunch entrees for $20.09. 2 people eating for 20 bucks at the Worthington Inn? Yes, please!
We would have loved to sit on the patio, which faces High Street but seems a lot more remote. However, all of the tables were reserved. One of these days, we definitely will.
Instead, we ate on the porch, which was still quite nice – the day we went was absolutely beautiful weather, perfectly clear and in the 70’s with a nice breeze. The wide porch reminds me of the “lemonade porches” you see in the Deep South. Dare I say it was quite charming?
Bread service was a loaf of fresh baked bread with the unusual choice of an aioli instead of butter. Although it seemed a little strange at first, the combination was quite good.
Not as part of Restaurant Week, but a la carte, I ordered a cup of their Summer Corn Chowder ($4), a hearty cup of contrasting flavors and textures – the sweetness of local corn, the smoky flavor of the bacon, the potatoes that studded the soup, and the luxurious richness of the creamy broth, all finished off with a cheddar crisp that slowly melted back into the soup as I was eating it. Divine.
For his entree, Paul chose the Spaghetti Cassandra (normally $13), a substantial portion of al dente spaghetti tossed with large chunks of chicken, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, garlic, chili flake and olive oil. The flavor was quite subtle, maybe a touch TOO subtle. While filling, it didn’t really pack a punch.
My Petit Filet Worthington (normally $15), while small, was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The blue cheese and demi-glace made a good steak even better. The au gratin potatoes weren’t the best I’ve had, but they were well prepared, and were a nice accompaniment to the steak. The spinach? Sauteed to perfection. I don’t know why, but I just love the combination of spinach and steak.
Our service was great, and we had heard great things about the Brunch at the Worthington Inn (it’s supposedly the food service workers destination of choice for the best brunch in town), so our server advised us to make reservations if we wanted to go. We did that before we left, and got one of the two last reservations available. The Restaurant Week deal on the brunch was 2 Brunch Buffets + beverages for $30.09, which is a substantial discount from it’s normal price of $21.95 per person.
I was totally blown away by the brunch. Oh my goodness, the quality and quantity of food they offered was beyond compare – I haven’t seen anything quite like it in my time here in Columbus. To say we’ll return for brunch again is an understatement. Here are just a few of the highlights:
An omelette station that made omelettes to order. I had a fantastic vegetarian omelette with all manner of fresh veggies. Although there was a bit of a bottleneck at the station at times, I was eventually able to (on my second round) order an omelette and get it in a couple of minutes without much of a wait.
All different kinds of danish, which I didn’t try because my strategy at buffets is to not fill up on carbs, and to concentrate on getting a lot of protein in. They sure looked good, though.
Smoked salmon with all the fixings. I’m not usually a big fan of smoked salmon, but theirs was quite yummy.
Lots and lots of crispy bacon. This bacon piggy was in hog heaven!
A really delicious, moist, stuffed pork loin with a fantastic gravy. I know apple figured into it somewhere (either the stuffing or gravy), but it lent a sweetness that was just pure porky perfection.
Other items that you can see on my plate: a respectable eggs benedict, shrimp with cocktail sauce, an okay salad, an underwhelming and dry chicken marsala, equally underwhelming potatoes, and the best darn prime rib I’ve had in ages.
More about that prime rib. It was absolutely perfect. Everything about it. The perfect level of doneness, the nice crispy flavorful outer edges, the thickness of the cut, the wonderful creamy horseradish sauce and the jus it was served with. I went back for seconds, and got 2 pieces instead of one. Yes, I love prime rib that much. The only thing that would have made it better would have been some Yorkshire pudding on the side ::drool:: Also on the second round, I got made to order Belgian waffle topped with raspberry sauce and miniature semisweet chocolate chips, that aforementioned veggie omelette, loads of bacon, and some cheese. I quite literally cleaned my plate, and had I had room in my belly for more, would have gone back for thirds.
Paul showed a bit more restraint than I did, playing it safe with the eggs benedict, some salmon in a red pepper sauce, potatoes, that wonderful pork and some bacon.
I think you can tell from his second plate how much he loved the pork. And after trying a bit of my prime rib, he had to get some of his very own.
So many choices for dessert. Although only one thing really caught my eye on the way in.
We both had a piece of this neapolitan cheesecake. I’m not sure if it’s house made or not, but it was definitely good. Paul wants me to try to make my own version of this here at home.
Needless to say, we truly enjoyed both experiences at The Worthington Inn, and hope to return again soon. I’m glad our misconceptions of the place were proven wrong.
If you’d like to go: The Worthington Inn, 649 High St., Worthington, OH 614-885-2600