Columbus Monthly’s Best New Restaurants: Chapman’s Eat Market
BJ Lieberman’s buzzy restaurant meets high expectations.
This German Village spot is one of the most buzzed-about Columbus restaurants to open in years, for a list of reasons. Atop that list is Chapman’s celebrated chef-owner BJ Lieberman, whose stellar resume sparkles with Michelin stars and career-making experiences at elite eateries such as Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, and Rose’s Luxury in Washington, D.C.
While such a chef opening a restaurant ushers in something new and exciting for Columbus, Lieberman and his wife, Bronwyn Haines, who grew up here, do a fine job of drawing on links to our city’s past. For example, the restaurant’s country-store-sounding name honors Chapman’s Poultry Market, a bygone Clintonville shop operated by Haines’ great-grandparents. Chapman’s location inside the vintage brick building that housed the original Max & Erma’s likewise connects our increasingly cosmopolitan city to its simpler roots.
You can still get a hamburger on premises, and it’ll be one of the best around. Chapman’s Double Burger—which arrives in a wonderful house-made bun and should be paired with the restaurant’s superior shoestring fries, cooked in butter, pork and beef fat—could answer the culinary question: What do you get when a world-class chef makes a Big Mac?
The skillfully executed small menu and nightly specials often draw inspiration from further afield but with equally unpretentious and uncommonly delicious results. Chapman’s chicken and shrimp khao soi is a curry dish whose complex symphony of chiles, herbs, fish sauce and puréed bananas echoes with the tones of Chiang Mai, Thailand; the agnolotti en brodo is like a trip to Italy in a bowl bobbing with lovely handmade pasta; the lamb shank barbacoa with risottolike arroz verde and pickled raisins starts off in Mexico but goes someplace new; and excellent house-made ice creams give Columbus’ own Jeni’s a run for its money. Bonus: Tickets to the globetrotting, eight-course, tasting-menu dinners are a bargain at $60.
Chapman’s Eat Market, 739 S. Third St., German Village, 614-444-0917, eatchapmans.com