Restaurant Review: Ambrose & Eve
Preston’s Burgers, the original joint effort between Matt Heaggans and Catie Randazzo has been, by all accounts, an epic success. The creative duo set the bar high for expectations, when it comes to the debut of their first proper restaurant, Ambrose & Eve. Fortunately for all concerned, the restaurant largely delivers on those expectations.
Ambrose & Eve made its 2019 debut on South High Street, bringing together cozy-kitsch sensibilities with a serious culinary commitment. The restaurant also places a premium on the notion of inclusivity, with a motto that emphasizes that “everyone” is invited. It seems to live the motto, with approachable options that still manage to be interesting. There are no afterthoughts on the menu. It’s built so that every item exhibits a deliberate, thoughtful preparation.
So perhaps the Iceberg Wedge ($11) isn’t particularly new. But here, the kitchen expands on the theme just enough to make it feel fresh again. Sizable wedges of crisp, cool lettuce are teamed with creamy blue cheese and mega hunks of briny bacon. Then add to that classical foundation a soft boiled egg, sunflower seeds and bread crumbs. The new additions create heft and depth and qualify the dish as a full-on meal, and a bargain one at that.
Aligned with current trends, there’s a Brussels sprouts option too: Crispy Brussels ($9) gives them a nice treatment with an unlikely combination of garum, honey and a serious sprinkling of pecorino that brings extra brightness to every bite.
At the other end of the culinary spectrum from vegetables would be the Fried Bologna Sandwich ($13). It’s based on a mortadella, which provides all the traditional flavor of bologna, with bonus little fat chunks that are either appealing or intellectually horrifying, depending on how you feel about fat chunks. Flavor-wise, katsu sauce (classically, a mix of ketchup, Worcestershire and dijon) pairs better than anticipated. As such, it is an interpretation of the sandwich that will please both food adventurers, and those with a limited range.
Diners can continue independently, picking from small plates and singles. Or, there are options to whole-hog and jump into to some sharable options. Really, everything on the menu is sharable, but the meals are specifically designed for this approach. Sharing is not such a bad way to go with the Fried Chicken (for two, $33). There will be just enough juicy chicken, coated in hot, fresh, crackling sweaters. There will also be some distractingly nice sides. While the side options may rotate, there’s at least a good chance that macaroni and cheese and smashed potatoes will be involved. If that’s not the case, you will be sad to miss the opportunity to partake in the house macaroni and cheese. Plenty homespun, it also offers an appreciated depth of cheese flavor that often gets washed away in macaroni and cheese.
You can round things out with something from the drink menu which features a robust selection of wine, local beers, and cute cocktails such as Bartender’s Cola ($11), a heavy hitter made with Watershed gin, Fernet Branca, lime and Nocino, a walnut liquor somewhat reminiscent of cola.
You can find Ambrose & Eve at 716 S. High St. Posted hours include a daily brunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays.
For more information, visit ambroseandevecolumbus.com.