Haveli Bistro has planted its flag at a high-profile location that has seen turnover in recent years.
The Indian restaurant takes over a two-story structure at 185 N. High St. in downtown Columbus. It was a Wendy's long ago, followed by Barrio Tapas Lounge and, most recently, Madrid Restaurant.
The bistro, which is at the southwest corner of High and Spring streets, has been recast by owners Rahul Pinnamaneni and Hari Parupalli in sleek and modern tones: granite tables and tufted leather seating, sparkling accents, a contemporary bar and lounge, chic lighting fixtures and hand-painted murals.
The lengthy menu has a multitude of familiar Indian dishes and a few house specialties, such as the Drums of Heaven -- deep-fried chicken legs tossed in South Indian and Szechuan spices -- and the signature selection, biryani served with boneless chicken.
It also features several styles of dosa, a type of Indian crepe, from the masala dosa stuffed with curry potato to a version with Nutella, and an array of Indochinese dishes, such as Szechuan noodles.
"Going to a Chinese restaurant is a different flavor than what you get at an Indian restaurant," Pinnamaneni said.
As at most Indian restaurants, the menu contains an abundance of vegetarian options, such as dal makhani -- black lentils simmered in a tomato-butter sauce.
Parupalli and Pinnamaneni also have revived a kitschy favorite: deep-fried ice cream, with a firm, battered shell.
Most dinner entrees are $12 to $17; the few exceptions include marinated lamb chops ($18.95).
Pinnamaneni said the fare has both North and South Indian roots and is cooked by chefs representing each region.
The 5,000-square-foot storefront features a lunch buffet ($12.95) weekdays on the second floor.
Haveli Bistro also has a full liquor license and offers many signature cocktails, including the garam masala mule and Bollywood bourbon smash.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 614-867-5008.
Save the date: Pork-a-Palooza, an inaugural celebration of everything pig, will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, 236 Pennsylvania Ave.
Sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council, the event will showcase vendors from across the state. They will serve bacon, barbecue, sausages and other items, plus beer.
Live music, family-friendly activities and an educational component in which patrons can ask farm representatives how pigs are raised, will be part of the attractions.
Admission is $10; children 12 or younger will be admitted free.
For more information, visit pork-a-palooza.com.
Huong Vietnamese Restaurant reopened May 2 after owner Huong Pham returned after knee surgery.
The restaurant, 1270 Morse Road in northeast Columbus, had been closed since Dec. 26.
The modest eatery is known for its pho soups, crepes, vermicelli salads and banh hoi, a Vietnamese style of finger food.