Restaurant Review: Geordie’s
Geordie’s fills a distinct void in the Columbus dining scene: we’ve got plenty of tacos, plenty of Italian, plenty of build-a-bowls…but we’re short on English restaurants. Of course, there are plenty of Irish (or rather, “Irish”) pubs that might feature related items on their menus. But Geordie’s is going for a particularly English angle, and English cuisine is what it delivers.
Plus, Geordie’s has street credibility to go with its English theme. A “Geordie” itself is an informal term used to identify a native of northeastern parts of England. That’s the region from which the chef, Glen Hall-Jones, hails. In addition to the street cred, the chef has some celebrity credibility, too. He’s a former member of the catering team that’s fed the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John. So eating at Geordie’s puts you just a couple degrees of separation from bona fide rockstars.
Having spilled all these words about Geordie’s Englishness, it only makes sense to start with a Scotch Egg ($7.45). That was neither irony, nor sarcasm – as it turns out, the internet confirms that Scotch Eggs are Yorkshire creations. They’re also a compulsory order at any and every opportunity. Geordie’s offers a traditional interpretation of the dish. Inside a crispy fried shell is a dense layer of seasoned sausage, inside that sausage is an egg. Actually, it’s not just an egg, it’s a miracle egg. It’s a miracle because somehow, in spite of being both boiled and then fried inside a sausage pod, its center is still dark gold, velvety-smooth, and perfectly soft.
And it’s served with a solid mustard sauce and greens, if you need a vegetable with that.
The entree section holds more promisingly English options. A case in point is the Bangers & Mash ($14.95). A half-pound of dense, lean sausage is coiled atop a pile of wholesome mashed potatoes and covered in a red-onion gravy that adds a likable dose of extra brine to the mix. With familiar flavors, it’s comforting, but far from boring.
There’s also a respectable rendition of Fish & Chips ($17.29). An order provides an astoundingly large slab of satin-fleshed cod, fully encased in a fried shell that’s just thick enough to crackle. The mammoth fish is served atop serviceable fries with tartar sauce and a fun little vat of peas on the side.
Continuing in an English bent, Yorkshire Pudding makes an appearance on the menu. It’s the foundation of the Geordie Bowl ($14.95). For the uninitiated, a Yorkshire pudding is not a pudding at all by Midwestern standards. It’s more like a popover pastry made with lots of eggs for an otherworldly tenderness. At Geordie’s, you can choose from a variety of filling options, including an unassuming chicken curry, definitely on the comforting side, with bits of chicken stewing in a mildly fragrant sauce.
Though the Yorkshire Pudding was good, its wasn’t the best pudding on the menu. No, that honor goes to the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($5.45). Artfully served as a deconstructed trio of cake, ice cream and sauce, it lets you portion things out table side. While some sort of balance is probably possible, it’s deeply satisfying to heap all the parts together and just enjoy the mess. The dessert flies on the wings of the buttery-sweet toffee sauce which soaks the cake and infuses every bite with luxuriousness.
Geordie’s hosts a bar scene too, complete with the quintessential British cocktail, Pimm’s Cup.
Geordie’s is open Tuesday – Friday from 5 – 11 p.m., Saturday for brunch from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and dinner, 5 – 11 p.m. and Sunday for brunch from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 1586 S. High St.
For more information, visit geordiesrestaurant.com.