Behind the Menu: Old World pizzas make the cut on Bistrolino’s menu

Gary Seman Jr.
Special to The Columbus Dispatch
The za'atar mankoushe features a blend of ground spices and olive oil spread across the top.

Recent additions to the menu at Bistrolino Old World Kitchen & Bar have been met with high approval from customers, said co-owner Samer Chedid.

Chedid and business partner Francesco Todisco opened Bistrolino a little more than a year ago in German Village.

The restaurant features rustic cuisine, reflecting its owners’ backgrounds, Todisco from Italy and Chedid from Lebanon.

Pizzas are fairly new to the menu and are fairly uncomplicated, using thin, homemade dough and fresh ingredients whenever possible.

One of the most popular options uses Italian canned tuna, cheese and black truffles ($21) for an unusual but appetizing combination, Chedid said.

Another customer favorite is the capricciosa ($18) — smoked provolone, mozzarella, roasted eggplant cut into thin strips, chorizo and fresh peppers.

Lebanese mankoushe, or flatbreads, are an alternative to the pizzas.

The za'atar version ($8) has a robust blend of ground spices — thyme oregano, sesame seeds, sumac — and olive oil spread across the top.

The smoked salmon Alfredo has handmade cheese-stuffed tortellini, peas, heavy cream and a mix of mozzarella and provolone.

It is always recommended with an appetizer offering bresaola (cured dry-aged beef), arugula and homemade burrata, a silky style of mozzarella ($17).

Chedid and Todisco met years ago at Aladdin’s Eatery in Worthington. Chedid was manager and Todisco the area director.

“We became friends and we realized how much we have in common with our food — southern Italian and Lebanese,” Chedid said. “So, we said, why not put them together?”

Bistrolino takes over the former Harvest Pizzeria location, which included Curio, a cocktail lounge.

“We have a really small place,” he said. “Our kitchen is really small. It’s kind of an advantage that we have to do it this way.”

The restaurant has taken a hit from COVID-19 but has reinstated outdoor seating with heaters.

There are plenty of rich meals to get customers through the cold weather.

The smoked salmon Alfredo ($18) features handmade cheese-stuffed tortellini, peas, heavy cream, a mix of mozzarella and provolone and a topping of grated Parmigiana-Reggiano.

“It’s fantastic,” Chedid said. “It’s the definition of comfort food.”

Oven-baked lamb chops ($24) are cooked until a nice crust forms on the meat’s exterior. The chops are topped with fresh mint for a refreshing taste and served over a bed of freekeh, a Lebanese ancient grain.

Oven-baked lamb chops are served over a bed of freekeh.

Chedid said he hopes the threat of COVID-19 will weaken in 2021 so that customers feel comfortable going out and enjoying a fresh, made-from-scratch meal.

“We will keep it simple,” he said. “We’re always committed to fresh ingredients, and we’re very, very glad and thank all of our customers for their support.”

At a glance

Where: Bistrolino Old World Kitchen & Bar

Location: 495 S. 4th St., German Village

Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday

Contact: 614-928-3898,