Table Talk: TownHall restaurant in Short North provides healthful-dining forum
TownHall hits every checklist for the diner who has adopted – or at least hopes to – any number of popular diet trends.
The new Shorth North restaurant, the vision of restaurateur Bobby George, is all about healthful food, in some ways grandiose and other ways subtle.
“Health is our thing,” general manager Adam Heath said. “We opened this place to bring health to the masses.”
TownHall, which has a flagship location that opened eight years ago in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, opened Jan. 26 at the ground level of the Moxy Columbus Short North, a hotel at 808 N. High St. in Columbus. The restaurant's address is 792 N. High St.
Scratch-cooked meals use 100% non-GMO and antibiotic-free ingredients that mostly are organic. All seafood is wild-caught, chicken is pasture-raised and beef is grass-fed.
Anyone with gluten and dairy sensitivities, or who is hoping to cut down on carbs, may special order, Heath said.
Vegans and vegetarians also have a seat at the table.
“We do a lot of familiar food with our healthy twist to it,” he said.
For example, TownHall's sweet-potato skins, filled with pork and mostly vegetables, are flash-fried in avocado oil.
One of the things for which TownHall is known is bone-broth bowls, which feature a build-your-own component. The stocks either are chicken or beef, with a choice of several additions, such as chicken, pork belly, noodles, mushrooms and garlic.
Naturally, with all the New Age boasting about healthy food and clean ingredients, one might query about the flavor of the dishes.
“We’re not a bland health-food restaurant,” is Heath’s response.
The menu is virtually veto-proof, he said.
Although TownHall has plenty of plant-based options, the menu also includes burgers, strip steak, fried chicken, salmon and grilled cheese with tomato bisque, some keto-friendly.
The deliberate sourcing extends to the beverages, too.
For example, TownHall serves 0% toxin coffee, meaning the beans are free of mold and pesticides. The beans are roasted locally, and coffee drinks prepared at the restaurant. The house signature cup is the Big Bullet Coffee, which has butter from grass-fed cows and high-grade coconut oil, all whipped together.
The restaurant serves organic cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies and shakes, and it uses fresh-squeezed juices and sugar-free syrups for its cocktails.
TownHall has 30 American craft beers, mostly from Ohio, on tap.
Most items on the menu cost $10 to $15, with dinner entrees starting at $22.
Make no mistake, TownHall is far from a sterile environment.
It has live greenery attached to the walls, a stylized fireplace and garage doors that open to a patio that fronts North High Street.
The spacious interior, which seats 200, offers wooden fixtures from ceiling to floor, from the thick butcher-block tables to the bar counter.
“Our favorite term is ‘log cabin,’ ” Heath said.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with brunch being served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 614-639-8600.
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