Friday, October 19, 2012

ella - eat local. love art.

So here it is, a rainy & chilly Friday night. Who wants to cook, I ask you? I certainly didn't. Bob was game for an impromptu dinner out and we had been wanting to try Ella in New Albany. Off we went!

Ella is located on E.Main Street, New Albany (Rt 62) in a business strip. The entrance and parking lot are in the back of the building. There is a great little patio attached, that brought visions of summer drinks and happy hour with friends. *sigh* That ship has certainly sailed for this year. But I will surely keep it in mind when the spring of 2013 rolls around!

Walking into Ella, the atmosphere is relaxed yet upscale. On the left as you walk into the restaurant, is a long bench seat with tables and chairs on the other side. There is a large bar in the middle with plenty of seating where we saw couples as well as singles. In addition there are booths and individual tables. We were tucked around the corner with a few other tables. Cozy.

We were immediately greeted by our server, Bree. Let me say this about Bree: I wanted to put her in my back pocket and take her home with me! She was absolutely delightful. On a busy Friday night she had a huge smile and was quite knowledgeable about the menu. We took her suggestions and were incredibly glad we did.

The menu is quite varied. Ella is all about eating local. I love that philosophy :-) They support so many of our local businesses. And what Chef Travis Hyde and Sous Chef Alexis Randolph have put together is a menu of interesting and inviting combinations. These two obvioulsy like to play with their food! The results blew us away.

This is the bread service that is presented to your table, piping hot. Thick slices of cibatta are dressed with butter that has been infused with rosemary, thyme and a tad of lemon. Oh my. We couldn't get enough. Bob and I devoured that bread like it was our job. When I exclaimed to Bree how much we loved it, she insisted on bringing another round that had just come out of the oven...oh like my hips really needed that. But hey, she insisted!

Scallops are on the menu, Chef's creation. Tonight the scallops were seared and served with a black pepper cream sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted broccollini with a goat cheese and honey mousse. My picture really does not do it justice. Simply put, this was heaven on a plate. Oh my goodness. I was seriously wondering if I could just get a bowl of the mousse and be done with it. However, there was no way I wanted to miss the perfectly cooked scallops, the divine cream sauce, and the potatoes and broccollini that were awesome as well. All of the elements on one plate made a dinner worthy of celebration.

Bob had narrowed his choice down to two, and with Bree's help he went with the Spiced Pork Loin Chop. The chop is served with buttermilk potato and asiago gratin, zucchini, blue crab bearnaise, and a cherry & peach mostarda. This is one incredible dinner. The chop was thick, yet juicy. The topping of the cherry & peach mostarda was so incredibly flavorful that I swear it was like a carnival in your mouth! The gratin was to die for, and the zucchini (while not my favorite vegetable) was so darn good with the blue crab bearnaise. (I'm talking chunks of blue crap.) Because I am so committed to presenting you information with honesty and integrity, I couldn't take Bob's word that it was delicious. It was my duty to taste each component of his dish and make my own assessment. (Hey, don't feel too sorry for him. He insisted on tasting mine as well, and he had no intention of blogging!) My verdict was extremely positive to say the least. This restaurant is a definite do-over!

All in all, Ella (eat local. love art.) is a winner in our book. Leaving the restaurant we were reminded once again of their committment to support local businesses.

Thank you, Ella. This goes a long way in our book. We will definitely be back...with friends.

266 E. Main Street
New Albany, OH 43054

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