In a partnership based on friendship and a mutual desire to feed hungry patrons, John Dornback of Basi Italia in Victorian Village is lending his services to Quinn Fallon, owner of Little Rock Bar in Italian Village.

Dornback is using the small kitchen at Little Rock, 944 N.4th St., to create "super simple," quality tavern food on weekends.

They are calling it "Beggars Banquet," after the title of a Rolling Stones album, and the tentative dining hours are 8 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

"It's stuff we're going to be making. We're not going to be opening a can," said Dornback, the chef and owner of Basi Italia, 811 Highland St.

The rotating bill of fare will include such items as burgers, stews, homemade pierogi and grilled pretzels with cheese sauce.

Items are priced $6 to $10.

The association between Fallon and Dornback was formed quietly a month ago with Little Rock's Sunday spaghetti dinner: pasta with three meatballs, homemade sauce, garlic bread and salad for $12. That meal will remain, starting at 5 p.m. Sundays.

Dornback said kitchen hours could be added on other days, but nothing is definite.

"We're still at the beginning," he said.

Dornback said the partnership provides the opportunity to maintain some of his employees, who will be working at Little Rock when they normally would be laid off during the winter months.

Fallon said he had trouble finding the right outfit to run the kitchen. He invited in a couple temporary concepts and has used food-truck workers, but nothing really clicked.

The alliance with Dornback seemed like a good fit, he said.

"We're having fun with it," Fallon said.

For more information, call 614-824-5602.


Noodles & Co. locations in central Ohio will have a modified look, updated menu and new name.

The Colorado-based chain now is Noodles World Kitchen, but its menu remains based on global pasta dishes.

Bolder paintwork, murals and the redesigned menu will show up in all 10 local, company-owned stores.

Central Ohio is the third market to undergo the "refresh" and it will be used as a test of the changes before the company rolls them out across the country, company spokesman Jonathan Tress said.

New mac 'n' cheese dishes include Buffalo chicken, barbecue pork and a version with truffles.


Columbus has another pot on the burner. Kai's Crab Boil is expected to open early next year in the Olentangy Plaza on Bethel Road, making it the second recently opened New Orleans-style seafood boil restaurant in Columbus. (Boiling Seafood Crawfish opened in March at 1446 Bethel Road.)

Kai's is owned by Kai Sheng. The 80-seat restaurant will be at 839 Bethel Road near Micro Center.

Sheng said his restaurant will be all about seafood, sausage, potatoes and corn tossed in proprietary seasonings and served in a bag. Heat can range from mild to spicy.

"Everything we've got we make ourselves," Sheng said.

Customers will receive bibs and plastic gloves and will be expected to eat with their hands.

"It's messy, but it's a great place to get together," Sheng said.

Seafood options will include crab, clams, mussels, shrimp and crawfish, all available at market prices.

Sheng is planning a pop-up event in early December at 1400 Food Lab, formerly the Commissary, 1400 Dublin Road in Columbus.


Biscuit & Branch now is Branch, a change that reflects a desire by management to be known as more than a brunch place.

Part of a small local chain owned by Tony Selimi (Westies Gastropub, Berliner Pub), Biscuit & Branch opened in January at 685 N. High St. in the Short North in Columbus.

Assistant general manager Nathan Ploesser said the breakfast-all-day theme gave customers the wrong impression about the menu, which also was geared toward dinner.

The restaurant closed for a few days recently while a new menu was assembled by new executive chef Philip Shyatt, most recently of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Among the new dishes: she-crab soup, smoked-and-seared wagyu hanger steak, duck Provencale and shrimp and grits. Homemade biscuits remain on the menu.

Changes include a newly installed raw bar, serving such items as scallop crudo, octopus ceviche, oysters, middleneck clams, shrimp and tuna poke.