When Food & Wine magazine put together a story entitled “32 Places To Go (And Eat) in 2019,” the Dayton-Springfield region didn’t quite make the cut. But two cities just a hop, skip and a jump from the Miami Valley on I-70 did.
Both Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis made the magazine’s list, in a subcategory of restaurant dining scenes that “we expect big things from.”
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“Surprising things, in unexpected places — that's the rule now. Here are three cities to have your eye on,” the magazine wrote in the story it published online last week, on Dec. 17.
Columbus — my wife’s hometown, and my two adult sons’ city of residence — is no longer the “cow town” that we derisively referred to when I was attending Ohio State University in the late 1970s (no “The” in the school’s name back then, by the way). It is now a millennial magnet of sorts, or, as one friend put it, “The new Chicago.”
Food & Wine picked up on that, saying Columbus “has a nearly Sun Belt-esque buoyancy about it these days.” As for its dining scene, the magazine gives a shout-out to Nepalese dumpling shop, Momo Ghar, and to Service Bar, the restaurant affiliated with Middle West Spirits, among others.
It has always amazed me how the state line seems to affect our travel, leisure and dining choices. Indy really isn’t that much farther for Dayton-area residents to travel than Columbus, and it’s much shorter than Cleveland or Toledo, but we often seem more attuned to other Ohio options rather than jumping on I-70 West and checking out what Indiana’s largest city has to offer.
The magazine says it stumbled upon Indy while compiling the best restaurant openings of 2018, which singled out Beholder, which the magazine said “is excellent, plain and simple.” While there, the magazine also found what it called “The Most Interesting Neighborhood in Indianapolis.”
There’s a thriving dining scene across southwest and west-central Ohio, of course, but if you have an itch for a short road trip, Food & Wine wants to help point you in the right direction.