Sage American Bistro has been around for four years now, serving the Old North Columbus neighborhood with fantastic dinners and brunches. Following Chef Bill Glover’s departure from daily duties at Sage to head to the new Gallerie Bar & Bistro at the Downtown Hilton Hotel, I wondered if the restaurant was still staying up to par.
Sage is a small, narrow restaurant that might resemble an art gallery if the tables were removed. The open space design can get a little noisy when crowded, but in a jovial neighborly kind of way. I stopped by several weekends ago for brunch on a busy Sunday morning to give Sage another spin.
First up, the new Steak Omelet ($14) recently replaced the Crab Omelet on the brunch menu, so I had to give it a try. This three egg omelet is wrapped around beef tenderloin tips, tomatoes, shallots and blue cheese and served with a side of arugula. The high-quality beef is tender and juicy, the tomatoes are caramelized nicely, and the peppery arugula balances the plate with a necessary lighter component. This dish is a nice take on a traditional steak-n-eggs breakfast without being overly refined.
The Chorizo, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash ($11) is a long-running brunch favorite. This scrambled platter includes slices of chorizo sausage, black beans, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions and topped with two eggs. The eggs are poached, and my plate included one that was a bit runny and the other cooked through. The sweet potatoes are tender and veggies are sautéed and buttery, making a great combination of flavors with every bite. The whole dish is seasoned a little heavily with cilantro and salt, and the side of spicy green salsa gives the meal a nice south-of-the-border flavor profile.
Sage’s Creme Brulee French Toast ($10) is another dish that has been around at Sage for a long time, and for a very good reason. These slices of thick Texas toast are dipped into a creme brulee mixture before cooking, topped with fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries and blueberries) and drenched in a berry maple syrup. The brulee flavor works well on the toast, as it gets lightly caramelized during cooking, giving some parts of the toast a crispier sugary coating. The sauce is heavily applied, but works well as a french toast topping.
Based just on my one quick visit, I would say that Sage is still a top notch destination for Sunday brunch, and the crowd of customers waiting for tables reinforces that notion. Every dish I tasted was top notch, though service seemed a little overwhelmed by the crowd and often moved at a leisurely pace. So order yourself a mimosa, relax, and be prepared for some food worthy of a little bit of a wait.
Sage American Bistro is located at 2653 North High Street. They’re open for brunch only on Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Sage is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. More information can be found online at www.sageamericanbistro.com.
Photos by Jennifer René of Jennifer René Photography.