Table Talk

Bowling-alley eatery has upscale dishes to spare

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Those expecting a bag of potato chips and a side of Aqua Net haven't been to the Point at Star Lanes Polaris.

The full-service restaurant in central Ohio's latest bowling alley goes the extra step with its menu, executive chef Jeff Heisler said.

"It's not the frozen pizzas and plastic nachos," Heisler said. "That's not what we do here."

Shaved-beef sandwiches use certified Angus prime rib, which is sliced to order and served on a house-made kimmelweck bun. They're served with a side of freshly grated horseradish and homemade jus that is made from pan drippings and not beef base. (Same deal with the chicken stock, which is made from scratch.)

The club sandwich has house-roasted turkey breast, layered with the traditional ingredients, plus an over-easy egg and avocado sliced to order.

Cooking the short ribs is a three-day process, Heisler said. They're first marinated a full day, then cooked for five hours the following day and shredded on the third day. The meat is used in a variety of applications, from the quesadillas served with a spicy chile de arbol salsa and a drizzle of chipotle aioli. Short ribs also top the signature Brutus burger, which gets a layer of white Vermont cheddar and caramelized onions.

All burgers are handed-patted and, with the exception of the Brutus, served on toasted brioche.

"I was born and raised an Iowa farm boy," said Heisler, who's from Cedar Rapids. "I'm a carnivore by nature, so a big burger is a beautiful thing."

Most items are in the $9 to $12 range. Some of the daily dinner entrees are more expensive.

Not everything's upscale: There also are pizzas, wings, salads and a few desserts, including the crispy bread-pudding bites, which are dusted with cinnamon and sugar and served with creme anglaise.

The 175-seat Point -- which features signature cocktails, a dozen beers on tap and a full wine list -- is part of the 34,000-square-foot Star Lanes Polaris, which opened two weeks ago at 8655 Lyra Drive. More than a bowling alley, it also features an arcade and billiards.

Food service is available lunch through dinner hours daily.

"What we want people to understand is we are a full-service restaurant. You don't have to wear a bowling shirt or shoes to get served," he said, adding the menu is available to anyone anywhere in the facility.

The menu was developed chiefly by Bill Starbuck, corporate chef of the L.A.-based company. Heisler, who graduated from the New England Culinary Institute, said he also contributed ideas.

"There was a lot of work that went into this menu, which was devised to be appealing to the people of Columbus," Heisler said.

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Alegria's Seafood & Mexican Grill is slated to open in early May in Dublin.

The restaurant is taking over the storefront at 6549 Perimeter Loop Drive. It will seat 90.

It is owned by Juan Ramirez and local veteran restaurateur Martin Garcia of Casa Patron in the Tuttle Crossing area.

As its name suggests, the focus will be on seafood prepared in a variety of ways, including the shrimp and octopus cocktail, crab legs Nayarit style, oysters on the half shell and salmon al justo. Steaks and other meat dishes will round out the menu.

 

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