A recent addition to the Short North’s plethora of bars and restaurants, Standard Hall serves creative variations of classic dishes.
It offers a pleasant balance between excessively casual campus bars and expensive Short North eateries.
Standard Hall, located on North High Street between East Third and East Fourth avenues, opened in June with a mission to set the standard for hospitality in the Short North, according to the writing on its wall.
As I approached the restaurant for the first time, the exterior stone carvings, ornate sconces and spacious windows made me feel a little out of my element. But upon entry, the atmosphere is immediately adjusted to that of a casual, rustic restaurant-bar that is welcoming to all.
From the little mason jar candles on the tables, to the industrial pipe hanging from the ceiling, to the flat screen TVs over the bar, the restaurant has features that appeal to a variety of potential guests. It’s not trying too hard to create an image.
My friends and I took our seats at a high-top table on chairs made of distressed metal. Several of these tables run across the middle of the restaurant, with booths on one side and the bar on the other. The gaping windows behind the bar allow outdoor diners to order directly from the bar without coming back inside and also create an open-air feel for the entire restaurant.
I started off by ordering a Cold Brew Coffee from the cocktail menu, suggested to me by our waiter. The mix of Absolut vanilla-flavored vodka, Patron XO, Bailey’s and Thunderkiss cold brewed coffee was served in a little coffee mug and was a pick-me-up in every sense of the word. If Standard Hall is the first stop on a night out, this is the perfect first drink, especially coming off a long week of classes. It’s refreshing and strong, but most importantly, it’s delicious.
Already settling in comfortably to the restaurant, I began to peruse the menu.
A single page with food on one side and drinks on the other, the menu is very concise. The simplicity is nice. I personally don’t want to spend half my time at dinner pouring over a ten page menu. At first glance it appears to offer a pretty typical selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, wings and tacos.
But Standard Hall has some creative twists on classic menu items.
Take, for example, the pizza my friend Emily ordered and so graciously shared with me. This peculiar pie is topped with chicken, smoked Gouda, pickles, coleslaw and garlic ranch dressing. We were skeptical about the pickles, so we asked to have them on the side. I never would have guessed it, but the salty crunch of those pickles is what makes this pizza. After one taste we sprinkled them over the entire pie.
Emily, who is vegetarian, also asked to substitute mushrooms for the chicken. The staff was very accommodating to our special requests.
For the less daring, the menu also offers traditional pizza selections, all of which are available with gluten-free crust upon request.
I ordered from the taco section, which offers chicken, pork, beef, cod and jackfruit. The tacos come in orders of one, three, six or twelve, and you can mix and match. I tried the carnitas and barbacoa and ordered a yaca for Emily. They were tasty tacos, but on the small side and not at all comparable to other Columbus taco destinations such as Condado or Cazuela’s.
I ordered Whiskey in a Jar to complement my tacos. It’s made with fresh raspberries and lemon juice and was a nice cool down to the slightly spicy tacos.
Beyond the selection of fresh cocktails, Standard Hall serves wine and a variety of locally brewed, classic and craft beer.
We finished off our meal with the restaurant’s only dessert option: the Standard Hall Cookie. Disregard that name. This skillet cookie is anything but standard. Baked into the chocolate chip dough are pieces of M&M’s, Snickers, Butterfinger, Twix, Almond Joy and Whoppers. Then it gets topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Nutella and chocolate sauce. It’s definitely enough to split.
The appetizers and entrees at Standard Hall are college-budget friendly, especially considering there are sharable options. But watch out for those cocktails, because that can get expensive fast. I spent $16 on drinks compared to the $8 I spent on food.
It’s not the kind of place you’d find me every weekend, even if I could afford that. But it is a cool change of pace from campus bars and restaurants and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Standard Hall is located at 1100 N. High St and is open 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on Friday-Sunday.