One might say Comune is well-rooted in its culinary mission.

The latest restaurant to sprout in the shadow of Nationwide Children's Hospital just south of downtown Columbus is purely vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

Co-owner Brook Maikut said the best vegetarian dining does not leave customers saying, "I wish there was meat."

Comune, with its distinctive spelling, is at 677 Parsons Ave., joining a cluster of new food-and-beverage establishments south of East Livingston Avenue.

"I feel like there's a nice momentum in the community," co-owner Joe Galati said.

The responsibly sourced bill of fare is, at first blush, complex, chef-driven and globally influenced.

Ben Kanavel, formerly of the Worthington Inn and the defunct Salt & Pine, is executive chef at Comune, which replaces an adult bookstore.

On the menu, semolina pappardelle is tossed in a walnut-maitake Bolognese sauce, greens, butternut squash and smoked almonds.

Crispy fried rice contains kimchi, sesame and a soft-cooked egg on top.

The lunch menu offers a dan-dan noodle bowl with a miso-peanut sauce, vegetables tofu and a Chinese XO sauce.

A Mexican torta is layered with sweet potato, black beans, queso fresco, jalapeno and cilantro mayo on a baguette.

Desserts, such as the chocolate avocado cake, are homemade, too.

"We have aspirations to be one of the top restaurants in Columbus," Maikut said.

The interior has a minimal, Scandinavian influence with clean lines but is not too modern, with a cozy atmosphere.

The downstairs dining room seats 57; a dozen or so can be seated upstairs.

Ben Griest leads the beverage program at Comune, which includes housemade sodas, signature cocktails and low-intervention, or natural, wines.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays; Comune is closed Sundays.

For more information, call 614-947-1012.

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The meatloaf sandwich, the stuff of leftover legends, is the signature dish of Newfangled Kitchen, slated to open the first week of December in Bexley.

"I didn't want to do anything too crazy flavor-wise," said Eric Dennison, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Laura. "It's super tender; it's delicious and it's a firmer loaf so we can grill it and it will hold well."

Among the many variations is the Fang, set on egg-washed bread and garnished with a Mississippi white barbecue sauce.

In addition to meatloaf sandwiches, the menu will have soups, salads and deli-style fare, Dennison said.

Newfangled takes over the former C'est Si Bon Cafe spot at 2258 E. Main St.

The 20-seat restaurant gets its name from the creative use of modern kitchen equipment -- there is no hood system -- and its spin on classic fare, Dennison said.

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Central Ohio will welcome yet another layered-bowl restaurant in early 2019.

Terry and Cyndi Roberts are the local franchisees of Vitality Bowls, billed as a superfood cafe, at 1510 Stonecreek Drive in Pickerington.

Many of the predesigned bowls start with acai, an antioxidant-rich berry from the Amazon, topped with a variety of superfoods, including graviola, acerola, mangosteen, camu camu and spirulina.

Fresh juices, smoothies, soups, panini and salads also will be available. No ingredient fillers, such as ice, frozen yogurt, added sugar or artificial preservatives, are used in the dishes.

Prices will be in the $6 to $16 range, according to a spokeswoman for the company. The 1,680-square-foot restaurant will seat 44.

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Cameron Mitchell Restaurants is looking to add two fresh concepts in Columbus' Short North.

The locally based restaurant chain is working on DelMar at 705 N. High St. and Montauk at 711 N. High St., according to documents filed with Columbus.

A company spokeswoman confirmed it is working on the two restaurants, but she did not have details on them. DelMar and Montauk are working titles and could change, she said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary