Yesterday Dr. Science and I decided to grab lunch at The Crest Gastropub, newly opened near the corner of Livingston and Parsons, catty corner to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The Crest is seen by many people in the neighborhood as a key component of the effort to revive the Parsons Avenue corridor. It’s also a place with an interesting air of legend surrounding it. For decades, the Crest Tavern was a legendary saloon in the Clintonville area, and more recently it was purchased, refurbished, and turned into a well-regarded foodie destination. I’ve never been there in either of its incarnations. Now the proprietors have opened a new location, and Parsons Avenue boosters are hoping it thrives.
If my visit yesterday is any indication, I’d say the Crest will do just fine, thank you very much. The new location is roomy and attractive, with a central bar/counter area, a cluster of high-tops where Dr. Science and I landed, and more conventional tables sprinkled just about everywhere. It’s got high ceilings, a bright feeling, and a cool piece of artwork on one wall that looks like a recreation of tree bark with bits of moss on it. I’d guess that the ambiance will appeal to most diners.
I think they’ll find the food pretty appealing, too. The Crest has a large menu with lots of enticing options, and according to our friendly server it’s known for its salads. I recoiled in horror from that suggestion and went instead for the Americana burger, which is two hamburger patties, cheese, bacon, and onion straws. The quality of burger offerings tell you a lot about a place, and this was a juicy slice of culinary excellence. I’d recommend that you add some of the Crest’s own special recipe hot sauce, which really gave the burger a nice kick.
One note: the Crest isn’t cheap. The Americana burger comes in at $16 and thereby continues the trend toward burger-entree price convergence that you see at many more upscale restaurants. At many places, burgers have long since crossed the $10 threshold, marched relentlessly upward in price, and broken through the $15.00 barrier. I love burgers, and I’m willing to shell out $16.00 for a really good double-patty effort once in a while, but at some point — I’m not sure just where right now — I’m going to draw the line.
I’ll happily go back to The Crest Gastropub, though. If you visit, be sure to pick up one of the cool, free buttons they are offering, with a lamb and Ohio flag logo that celebrates the proprietors’ Lebanese heritage.