Wine bars, once the rage in central Ohio, seem to have been overshadowed by the tsunami of microbreweries, taprooms and taverns that specialize in craft beers.
But there remains no shortage of wine aficionados, who have a new venue for their passion.
Tastings -- A Wine Experience has opened in the Short North at 958 N. High St., offering a fresh take on vino. Four Enomatic wine dispensers, which require prepaid cards, offer patrons 72 choices in 2-, 4- and 6-ounce portions straight from the bottle.
The stations are pumped with food-grade nitrogen -- colorless, odorless and flavorless -- allowing the bottles to stay open for up to 20 days without losing their verve, assistant general manager Danielle Clark said.
And they're not just grocery-store selections, Clark said.
"These are sourced specifically for pairing with our food and introducing to the public," she said.
Tastings -- A Wine Experience replaced Camelot Cellars at the North High Street site. The original Tastings store was founded in 2009 in Indianapolis.
A major remodeling has created a comfortable, contemporary environment, with lots of natural light, exposed brick, a custom-built bar, modern furniture and splashy, wine-oriented artwork. A wine cellar -- set at 53 degrees -- will feature more than 200 labels when it is fully stocked.
Customers who buy a bottle of wine won't be assessed a corkage fee, Clark said.
Servers, called "wine guides," are well-versed on the offerings, she said.
Tastings also serves signature cocktails and craft beer, available on tap and by the can and bottle.
It is a full-service establishment, complete with a light menu of cheeses, charcuterie, dips, small plates and flatbreads. The menu tops out at $19 for the filet mignon rosemary skewers.
"We think the wine should be showcased, not overpowered by the food -- a perfect complement to each other," Clark said.
Brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Among the selections are Belgian waffles, huevos rancheros and biscuits with sausage gravy. Prices are between $9 and $13.
Hours are 3 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays and closed Mondays. For more information, call 614-867-5525.
Woody's Wing House owners hope to woo the sports-viewing public with a largely made-from-scratch menu, abundance of high-definition TVs and a state-of-the-art beer system.
The independent restaurant, set to open in early fall, will replace Champps Kitchen + Bar at 161 E. Campus View Blvd.
The 8,100-square-foot space will have seating for 270 and a drive-thru bay where patrons can pick up food and beverage orders, said Philip Jones, operator of Woody's.
The restaurant is owned by Jason Liu, founder of the two local J. Liu Restaurant & Bar locations, and Scott Walker of Olympus Homes.
Jones said the menu would include traditional and boneless wings and 15 custom-made sauces. Also to be offered are salads, wraps, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, subs, fresh-baked cookies and homemade funnel cakes, he said.
A digital beer display will have information about all 32 brews on tap, including how much is left in each keg, Jones said.
Woody's interior also will feature 75 65-inch HD TVs and smaller sets in the restrooms, he said.
"Hopefully, this is No. 1 of many," Jones said of Woody's. "This is not a chain. This is from the ground up."
A new Lewis Center restaurant offers interesting choices among the largely Chinese menu.
Silk Road Asian Cuisine, a new restaurant at 6441 Pullman Drive, offers more than a few Japanese and Thai options, including bento lunches, udon noodle soups, crispy Thai red snapper and red curry with a choice of vegetables, chicken or shrimp.
Most prices are between $10 and $14.
Silk Road is in a shopping center just north of Lewis Center Road.