Sometimes you just need to look for beauty to find it. This morning, as I walked to work on a perfect autumn morning, I was struck by the way the soft morning sunshine lit up the LeVeque Tower, leaving it looking bright and warm against the cloudless sky.
Last night, the Carroll County Cousin, Kish, and I went to the newest restaurant in our neighborhood — The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek. You’ll find it at the intersection of Route 62 and Morse Road, on the border between New Albany and Gahanna.
The Barn is located in a huge, barn-like structure that formerly was a Hoggy’s restaurant. Hoggy’s, a barbecue joint, featured a large antique tractor hanging from the ceiling that I always assumed was designed to encourage table turnover by incentivizing diners to wolf down their food and get away from the presumed kill zone if the tractor ever were to fall.
Thankfully, The Barn has removed the Tractor of Damocles from the ceiling. However, The Barn fortunately has kept the meatcentric orientation of the old Hoggy’s, with a few steps in the upscale direction. It bills itself as a destination steakhouse, but it’s not the kind where the waiters wear black jackets. Instead, it has a kind of rustic flair, with the servers sporting gingham shirts and the menu featuring some smokehouse and barbecue options as well as a fully array of steaks, seafood, salads, and sides.
I had a shrimp cocktail and the “king’s cut” of prime rib — a full 16 ounces — because sometimes only a red slab of beef with flavorful fat around the edges will do. The shrimp cocktail was packed with shrimp and a sinus-clearing, horseradish-heavy cocktail sauce that let you know this restaurant isn’t afraid to offer bold flavors. The prime rib was great — a large, juicy, perfectly cooked cut that I savored bite by bite. The prime rib is served with a large baked onion, and we got some very tasty creamed spinach for the table to complete a classic, old-line steakhouse meal.
The Barn just opened last weekend, and it’s still got some kinks to work out. The place was packed when we were there, and it took too long for our food to arrive — which was a source of some concern because Kish and the Cousin were on their way to a show. I’m hoping they iron out the kinks, because the food was quite good and we really need more restaurants — especially hearty, beef-oriented ones — in this neck of the woods.