The Keep in Columbus, Ohio

A modern French brasserie and bar, The Keep in downtown Columbus, Ohio, is not what you would expect to find in the heart of the Midwest, but a welcome addition to the culinary scene.  Located in the historic LeVeque Tower and next door to the Palace Theater, it is the perfect location for a pre-theater dinner or post-show craft cocktail and dessert.

Executive Chef Jonathan Olson pays homage to classic dishes with a contemporary spin. “Along with our approachable versions of French favorites are French-fusion dishes that feature clean and bright flavors inspired by other cultures,” Olson explains.

Location:  50 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio.

Menu: The 108-seat brasserie offers fresh and current French fare. Locally sourced Ohio beef prepared with a French twist is a highlight. Fresh, seasonal produce includes the butternut squash bisque, fresh pesto, and local apples and pears in the salads and desserts.

The Plat Principaux side of the menu offers premium options for a formal dinner. The Hors D’Oeuvres, Small Plates and Soup & Salad offerings work for the everyday diner, business traveler, or someone looking for a food pairing with one of the custom craft cocktails.

A nice variety of options for vegetarians, seafood lovers, and carnivores.  Locally sourced Ohio beef is used in the beef offerings, blending local fare with international flavors. Pleasant surprises, like fresh seasonal fruit in the traditional crème Brulee, add a special touch to the meal.

Not local, but an impressive welcome to Ohio is the Raw Bar. The Tower, which includes a dozen oysters, one pound of Creole shrimp, chilled lobster ceviche and smoked whitefish roulette is a great way to celebrate with a larger party. The Tower can be downsized to the Petite Tower, or individual portions of the oysters, shrimp, lobster ceviche and smoked whitefish can be ordered.

Thoughts: The Francophile who just can’t get to Paris right now will love having this modern French option in the heart of the Midwest.

Fourteen bar seats around the open kitchen allow guests to view food preparation.  An 8-seat community table is great for individual travelers wanting company.  Plenty of booths and tables provide a more intimate dining environment. The restaurant is best set up for parties of 2-4.

The menu is not extensive but changes regularly.  The limited options on the menu are most likely the key to offering fresh ingredients and fast service.  Each return visit means new offerings.  

Price Range:  Hors D’Oeuvres ($7-$18), Soup & Salads ($6-$12), Small Plates ($9-$12) Plats Principaux ($15-$36) The Raw Bar Seafood Tower ($100).

Author Bio:  Victoria Hart loves to share her travel tips, bargains, strategies, and stories, inspiring others to create their own adventures. As a member of the International Travel Writer’s and Photographer’s Alliance, she writes for a variety of travel websites. When Victoria unpacks her suitcase, she calls Powell, Ohio home.  She holds a B.S. in Communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Follow her on Facebook at Victoria Hart Travels and Writes, on Twitter @vhartthewriter, and on Instagram at vickysheridanhart.

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