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Restaurant Review: Westies Gastropub

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Westies Gastropub
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Westies Gastropub has set up camp in a big, really big, beautiful spot at 940 S. Front Street. It made its grand debut a few weeks ago.

For all its bigness, the parking lot is teeny, so it’s easiest for drivers to to scope out a nice little spot for a vehicle on the street (or use a valet).

Once inside the establishment, a warm welcome awaits, and there’s even a little glimpse of the kitchen action through shiny windows. Based on the entryway view, the kitchen is expansive too: the restaurant has indoor dining, an outdoor-friendly multipurpose space, and a giant kitchen between the two.

RIght now, Westies is about three parts slickster and two parts diner. The slick parts: the restaurant’s gorgeous design with earth tones and turquoise; the term “gastropub”, and items on the menu such as the charcuterie plate. The diner parts: the servers are really nice and personable, and items on the menu such as fish & chips.

This is all to say, if you define gastropub as “something that will serve goat cheese truffles that have been formed in the intestinal track of a Bolivian mongoose”, this is probably not your gastropub.

But if you’re interested in some good food and a laid-back atmosphere, Westies can get the job done.

The Westies Wings ($9) are solid, and they come with the requisite celery and ranch dressing. The nice, meaty knobs of chicken leave no complaints.

The Westies Wedge ($8), meanwhile, is downright entertaining. Most wedge salads are just a fancified wedge of iceberg lettuce. This concoction surrounds the wedge with a chopped salad, so it’s way less work to eat than the typical version. In that chopped mixture is a old-fashioned combination of bacon, quartered eggs, tomatoes, a little red onion and bleu cheese all covered in a light vinaigrette. It all makes big salad: big enough to be a meal.

The House Made Chili ($6) might be the favorite item tried. Nary a single bean was found in the bowl. It offers a savory meaty mixture in a tomato base with just a little peppery heat at the end. This is all to say, the house chili is perfect.

For serious eating, the menu also has sandwiches, entrees and pizzas. The sandwich selection includes a couple of burger options as well as a sandwich built around a portabello mushroom. The draw of the day’s special was irresistible: Grilled Salmon ($12) on grilled brioche. Whatever the kitchen does with all of its hugeness, it does salmon right: delicate, with caramelized, crunchy edges, and filled with flavor.

While in the fish department, the aforementioned Fish & Chips ($14) are pub-level achievers. The batter crackles, and inside is snuggled flaky sections of cod.

The Spinach & Artichoke Pizza ($11) sort of represents the whole Westies slickster/diner mix in one simple pizza. The menu tells you exactly what it is: pizza crust topped with spinach-and-artichoke dip, a few pieces of brussels sprouts and pine nuts. The dip might be a classic, but it’s a novel idea to use it to top pizza, and it certainly works: that dip works with just about anything.

Westies opens every day at 11am. Mondays through Thursdays, it closes at 11pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open until midnight, and on Sundays, it closes at 9pm.

For more information, visit www.westiesgastropub.com.

Photos courtesy of AddVision.

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13 Responses to Restaurant Review: Westies Gastropub

  1. paul.szuter
    paul.szuter February 12, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am

    Wow, this looks pretty amazing! I can’t wait to try it out. The food looks delicious and the decor of the place seems pretty inviting and unique. One thing I can’t look past, however, is the walls lined with TVs! What a turn-off. If I wanted to watch TV, I’d do it in my own apartment. Nothing worse than going to a restaurant and having everyone glued to the TV instead of enjoying the company of the people they came with as well as really delving into the food that people put a lot of effort in to prepare. We need more restaurants sans TVs in Columbus!

    Anyway, I will definitely be in to try it out, that food has my mouth watering! Haha

  2. Lauren Wilson
    Lauren Wilson February 12, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am

    I really like this place. The food I had there was great. I hope they continue to do well.

    re: TVs on the wall… I have to say that they were all on the last time I was in there, but none of them had sound on. And the music playing in the restaurant was great. There was enough hubub in the place that I didn’t really notice anyone being sucked into staring at the TVs much at all. YMMV.

    Also…bourbon bloody marys. So there’s that.

  3. paul.szuter
    paul.szuter February 12, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am

    Yeah, I just looked at the menu and it looks great, and the prices are very reasonable! Maybe I’ll be able to look past the TVs, haha. I guess I can’t knock it ’til I try it. ;)

  4. vestanpance
    vestanpance February 12, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am

    pub = tvs

    not fine dinning.

    can’t wait to check it it.

  5. paul.szuter
    paul.szuter February 12, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm

    But 19? …Really? 19 TVs?

  6. j mcclane
    j mcclane February 12, 2014 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm

    I went once, and was very happy. Nachos were great, pizza above average, beer selection above average, ambiance excellent. Pretty great setting to watch sports (at least in the back dining area where I was).

  7. meltsintowonder
    meltsintowonder February 13, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am

    I really enjoy reading the reviews because they give a good synopsis of the food and environment but I notice the drinks are often left out (other than the picture of the cocktail). I’d be interested in this place if I knew it had an interesting beer offering since they call themselves a gastropub.

  8. duncanfj
    duncanfj February 13, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am

    The beer list was pretty good. I think there were 10-12 taps, nothing I was amazed by, but that is getting harder to do in Columbus anymore. I think I had a Headwaters PA and a 2X Stout while I was there.Had a good selection of bottles and cans as well. I can’t really think of a better selection in that area, except for World of Beers or maybe Explorer’s Club. Have head to try the new place on Greenlawn.

  9. meltsintowonder
    meltsintowonder February 13, 2014 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm

    Thank you. I’ll have to check it out.

    I feel like beer offerings are only getting better around town as more beers are available and palates are changing and wanting more interesting styles. It depends on how you look at it. A) Are these beers I’ve seen around or B) are these beers good? The more beers, the merrier, eh?

    But that’s one knock on many restaurant reviews for me is the lack or little attention to drink offerings. Most people drink and it can often be the bigger part of the bill. You kind of know what you’re going to pay for a certain type of dish, but some places will vary on their drink offerings, both quality of selection and what they’ll charge.

  10. melikecheese
    melikecheese February 13, 2014 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm

    Been here a few times, its a nice place, some good food. There are so many TVs its kind of distracting. We sat at a booth in the corner that had its own private TV, too bad none of us watched sports and we couldn’t change the channel.

    They did a great job inside, it looks fantastic. Great big lights in the main dining room. The back end feels very chill and casual and it was a great spot to take a group one night after our event.

  11. amazinga37 February 17, 2014 7:21 am at 7:21 am

    Stopped in yesterday afternoon. Fantastic space! Very high end finishes but not in a way that makes you feel like jeans and a t-shirt are inadequate. It’s a very welcoming environment.
    Sat at the bar and the bartender was attentive and friendly. They had a large beer selection, drafts and bottles, and a good wine list. Lots of great food items on the menu, sadly I went with the pear and sweet potato pizza and it should have been called ginger pizza because holy ginger! But it was still okay.
    What I’m most excited about it the outdoor area and the back area of Westies. That is going to be fantastic this spring/summer! Can’t wait! Another great patio space Columbus!
    I think this is a great addition to the area and I love all the activity that is happening down there now. I wish them much success!

  12. AllanSommer March 6, 2014 9:57 am at 9:57 am

    If you want a real treat order chili chees fries. They are not technically on the menu. I odered a cup of chili and told the server that I wanted it with my meal so I could make some chili cheese fries. She spoke with the chef and they made a super awesome bowl of them. The chef has been wanting to add them to the menu, and according to our server several people have asked for them recently. The chili by itself is great, as are the fries. Combine them and add some cheese…magical.

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