Columbus has transformed its urban core in the past two decades, but the restaurant scene remains stagnant. Here's what's holding it back—and why its success is about more than just food and drink.

Veritas is the sort of restaurant food-lovers gush about with each other. It offers a boundary-pushing chef’s tasting menu, well-paired wines and an intimate setting in the bottom of the beautifully redeveloped Citizens Building. There’s even an upstairs bar, The Citizens Trust, with unique cocktails, interesting beers, plush couches, a pool table and other upscale touches in the soaring first floor of the former bank.

It is also the sort of restaurant that owner and chef Josh Dalton always wanted but couldn’t have afforded in the Short North, at Easton Town Center or in Dublin’s new Bridge Park development. The big, open kitchen and opulent spaces are a product of its location, Downtown, where the dining scene is eclectic but has just never clicked—which can make filling seats a challenge but also means much more attractive lease deals. “It was our opportunity to get a restaurant that was beyond our means,” Dalton says about moving to the building on Gay Street.

Dalton opened Veritas Tavern several years ago in Delaware as a prestige project—his popular 1808 American Bistro paid most of the bills. Veritas grew through word-of-mouth and gained a reputation for excellence, but Dalton wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to bring it to the big city, and in late 2017, Veritas opened Downtown to much buzz. “It was a way to get as many people as possible to taste my food,” he says.

That hasn’t exactly worked out—not yet anyway.

Continue reading at Columbus Monthly.