Rigsby’s Closes Its Doors

It’s always tough when a beloved restaurant closes its doors, so I’m feeling sad tonight.  Rigsby’s, an eatery that has been a favorite of ours since we moved back to Columbus 29 years ago, has announced that it has ended operations and served its last meals last night.

This really sucks!  I liked Rigsby’s for a lot of reasons.  The food was fun, flavorful, and of consistently good quality.  The menu stayed fresh and interesting, and prices were reasonable.  The wine list was strong, and the restaurant was one of the places that showed that Columbus has long since moved past its “Cowtown” rep.  For many years, Rigsby’s was the beating heart of the Short North district that has become one of the centers of the Columbus social scene, too.

I’m thinking tonight of the many meals we’ve had at Rigsby’s — probably more than a hundred in all.  We went there with family and friends and clients and business colleagues we wanted to impress.  We had some great laughs, ate some great meals, and enjoyed some great wines.  It was a fabulous place to spend an evening, and we’ll miss it.  I only regret that we didn’t get a chance to have one more meal there.

Thanks to Kent Rigsby, the proprietor, for almost three decades of fine dining and fun.  We’ll look forward with great anticipation to his next venture.

The Columbus Top Six

The Brown Bear, a faithful reader of the Wall Street Journal, alerted some of us to a Journal article that includes Columbus in a list of “6 great small cities for food lovers” and identifies six great food options for the lucky residents of Ohio’s flagship city.  The Journal‘s six Columbus choices are The Refectory, Skillet, Basi Italia, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, Katalina, and Ajumama.

I’ve got no quibble with the restaurants on the list, although I haven’t been to Katalina yet.  In fact, I’ve written about my excellent omelet at Skillet, the delicious toad in the hole at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, and the mid-boggling amdong chicken at Ajumama, pictured at right.  The Refectory has long been a Columbus gastronomic landmark — its oyster soup may be the best soup this committed soupophile has ever tasted — and Basi Italia is a favorite of our friends the Bahamians where we’ve always had great meals.  I also commend the Journal for including a food truck, Ajumama, among the six choices.  I’m a huge fan of the Columbus food truck culture, whether found at Dinin’ Hall or the annual food truck festival, and I’m glad to see one of their number get a deserving nod in the pantheon of foodie destinations.

No, the problem with the list is who’s not on it.  No G. Michael’s?  No Rigsby’s?  No Indian Oven?  No shiznite from the Green Meanie?  And what about Alana’s, or the Black Creek Bistro?  They’re all deserving choices, too.

A list of six just isn’t enough to do justice to the great foodie options in Columbus.  And one other thing about the Journal article:  it says Columbus isn’t well known for its dining scene — yet.  Says who, WSJ?