May is always, always one of my favorite months of the year – if not for the great weather (the cold snaps of early spring are behind us, and the weather is still cool enough to enjoy spending time outdoors), then definitely for the events for food lovers that are held this month. Today I’m going to talk about a couple of my favorites – the Taste of Dine Originals and the North Market Apron Gala.
Last May, I was definitely in a whole different place than I’m in this year – I started out the month with a slim to none prognosis of survival, with the best case scenario was that even if I managed to make it through my acute respiratory distress alive, I’d be tethered to a ventilator for my remaining time on earth, which would probably be no longer than a year because human lungs aren’t designed to handle that kind of stress before other organ systems start to fail one by one. When I woke up the second week of May, I was still a bit delusional about my condition – here I was unable to even sit up in bed without falling over, but still thought somehow that I’d be recovered enough in the next week or two to handle all of my usual May events. What the heck was I thinking? But miracles do happen, for sure, and I’m fortunate enough to not only be fully recovered, but to be able to attend both events that are near and dear to me for a multitude of reasons. And you can see why this year is extra special to me.
Tonight’s event, the Taste of Dine Originals, lets the 50 member restaurants of Dine Originals Columbus put their best food forward, offering delicious examples of what makes them restaurants that I’m happy to patronize. Each one is different, and the variety of restaurants that belong (all independents, natch) are a direct reflection of the awesome mix of people we have in our fine capital city. There are fine dining options to go along with the casual spots, ethnic or as American as apple pie, spots at all price points, spots that are open all day, spots that are only open for a few hours a night. In addition to trying dishes from some of my favorite local chefs, there are also other reasons to go – a new venue, local wines and microbrews, and new this year, Edible Columbus is hosting a Food & Artisan Fair at the event, which offers local farmers and artisan food producers to offer samples and information about their methods, farms and products.
According to the event planners, “Our signature annual event, Taste of Dine Originals, is one of Ohio’s best food and wine events, featuring tastings and samplings from 50 regional restaurants, 30 vineyards, 2 craft breweries, and a couple of micro distilleries. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or an intrigued beginner, chefs, brew masters, and winery representatives welcome you as they mix useful knowledge with tastings of signature dishes and interesting beverages. The silent auction features cooking lessons, private dinners, special events, works of art and rare bottles of wine. This year’s event will be held at Capital University’s Capital Center, at 2360 East Mound Street, Columbus, OH 43209. The event will be open from 6-9:30pm. Tickets are $100, proceeds from this event are shared by Dine Originals Columbus and The Buckeye Ranch, which offers mental health treatment and alcohol and drug services for children. Dine Originals Columbus celebrates, supports and promotes the culinary diversity that locally owned and operated member restaurants contribute to the identity and culture of our city. We are committed to strengthening the local economy and enriching our community through education and charitable partnerships. The Buckeye Ranch and Dine Originals both support this community and strive, each in their own manner, to make Central Ohio a better place for everyone.
Later this month is the other event that is one of my annual favorites, the North Market Apron Gala – we’ve personally been attending since 2006 (Paul attended last year, although I couldn’t make it). In many ways the event is the same from year to year, but with each passing year the landscape of the North Market has changed – it is a living, breathing entity unto itself which has its own ebbs and flows – as old favorites disappear, new favorites appear in their place. No matter what, each year is worth attending – not only does it help support a vibrant public market, but it’s also one of those events that you can’t go five feet without seeing someone you know. Catching up with everyone while noshing on delicious food? Count me in!
This year, the event is being held on Saturday, May 19th from 7-10pm. Tickets are $75 per person and are available online or through the North Market Business Office (2nd floor of the market at 59 Spruce St, Columbus). Call 614-463-9664 for more information.