August 4, 2012 — Ella wins First Place – Best in Show AND People’s Choice Award at Taste of New Albany!


Verbatim customer comments about ella…

“Awesome patio!”


“I love everything about Ella’s – atmosphere, ambiance, meal quality, quantity and value.  Finally Northeast Columbus has a destination spot – thanks Ella, we needed you!”


“3 words: best. fried. chicken. He loved it! And I was able to sneak an extra crispy bite! @ellanewalbany #eat614 http://t.co/wveNuTnB.”


“Wonderful food and great service. Really great wine list and the local foods are amazing.”


“Overwhelmed by the staff hospitality. The food was absolutely incredible. We are already planning a return visit.”


“Great atmosphere and food quality was outstanding. The hamburger was fresh and the calamari appetizer melted in your mouth. The s’mores dessert tastes like the real thing, only more decadent.”


“Duck breast was tender and juicy, and the mussels & sauce were so flavorful. Great service. I love this place.”


“It was one of the best meals I’ve had in the Columbus area.”


“The food is always good. I love how the menu changes with what is available locally. The service is also very good. My server who I regularly have is Kip. He is good with recommendations and wine selection.”


“The berry dessert is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. I may be back tomorrow!”


“My friends and I celebrated my birthday there on Saturday night.  Our food and drinks were fantastic!!!! Ella is now our official birthday dinner spot.  Thanks for a great night!”


“My dad’s new girlfriend was visiting Columbus the other day and told him of this great restaurant that they tried and she loved it, she said I just have to try Ella, I told her already have!  You are getting a name in Cleveland!”


“It was great. The scallops were awesome!”


“The menu was very imaginative — with a good use of locally grown and produced ingredients. The servers were attentive, and we enjoyed the adjoining art gallery.”


“I have had the privilege to visit Ella on a few occasions. Every time I have been EXTREMELY SATISFIED! The restaurant has stellar Feng Shui.  The bar staff had awesome positive attitudes and w/ a wicked cocktail selection. The gallery screams creativity.  I am loving it… keep it up Ella!”


“The waitstaff was very attentive The food was delicious and nicely presented. Very fun being able to walk over to the gallery between courses!”


“Great food. Menu changes regularly and entrees are always wonderful.”


“We love, love, love our new neighborhood spot. If you want great food, excellent drinks, and the best management team and staff, enjoy an evening at ella. Check out @Hayley Gallery while you’re there, too!”


“Outstanding food right in the heart of New Albany!  I am usually a little hesitant to try new restaurants until a few months after they have opened and worked all the kinks out.  So I was both surprised and delighted to eat at Ella last night and find the cuisine to be the equal of anywhere else in the Columbus area.  It was a very crowded Saturday night, which makes that task even tougher.  It is obvious that they do not cut corners or lack vigilance in the kitchen when under pressure.  The beet salad was to die for!  Subtle and exquisite.  The shrimp, bacon, polenta entree was a delightful but not overpowering melange of flavor.  The eggplant sandwich was remarkable.  And the pastry fingers dessert was a light and flavorful finish to a memorable evening.  It was crowded in the dining room, but what better way to spend your wait time than strolling through the attached Hayley Gallery… another New Albany treasure!  I can’t wait to come back and explore the rest of the menu.”


” A+… from the food to the ambiance to mingling with the owner Hayley.  Do not travel to Europe… it’s all happening in New Albany!”


“Terrific experience. Great food and service in a delightful, casual atmosphere!!!”


“The food is the most exciting part of the dining experience. The flavors are exceptional and the portion size is just right. I like the fact that most of the food is locally grown (the “EL” part of the name). We always eat at the bar because it’s comfortable and usually available since we rarely make reservations. The service is always excellent and the bartenders are very helpful. The room is beautiful and it’s fun to visit the art gallery next door after a fine meal.”


“Best scallops EVER! Thanks, Sean, for a great dinner out. We will be back again.”


“The atmosphere is very welcoming and the use of locally grown ingredients is a big plus! The adjacent art gallery is a great plus too! The chef uses cooking styles that go well together and the appetizers, salads and soups are one better than the next.”


“Love the concept of using locally sustainable ingredients and having healthy items on the menu. I had the spinach salad with grilled chicken and it was superb!”


“I have tried the walleye and the portabello, both amazing. And great neighborhood bar atmosphere. menu has a variety of price points and options to make any size group happy, sandwiches, salads, soups, apps and nice entrees, comfy atmosphere, which is must in my book. manager stopped by just to chat and make sure service/food was good. fantastic bar with a lovely selection of wines and micro-brews. easily viewed TV’s for those who can’t live without knowing the score. easily become a spot where ‘everybody knows your name’ for the those who work and reside in New Albany. we will definitely go back… how nice it is to take your wine and peruse the adjacent art gallery…has some fantastic jewelry pieces, hanging art, and some fun ‘kitschy’ items as well…”


“Every forkful was perfect.”


“The last bite was as exciting as the first. The pan-seared walleye was prepared to perfection.  It was as beautiful as it was tasty. Service was very prompt.  Next time we will have the biscuits and jam.  One of the best meals I’ve had outside the Ocean Club.”


“The food is the most exciting part of the dining experience. The flavors are exceptional and the portion size is just right. I like the fact that most of the food is locally grown (the “EL” part of the name). We always eat at the bar because it’s comfortable and usually available since we rarely make reservations. The service is always excellent and the bartenders are very helpful. The room is beautiful and it’s fun to visit the art gallery next door after a fine meal.”


“I have been here a dozen times since it opened.  Love eating at the bar, honestly it has been packed every time I have come to dine.  The bartenders are great at remembering your drink and that you love coffee after your meal.  The Walleye is to die for, and the Pork wings for an app is fantastic. What a great new addition to New Albany, it really rounds out the dining choices in the area.”


“My sixth visit in a month, I experienced yet another fine dinner at ella tonight. You’ve got to stop in for a drink, a chat with the friendly bar tenders, a luscious meal — and a long, happy gaze at the rich art in adjoining Hayley Gallery. The best food and art the Columbus area has to offer!”


“The menu at Ella is fabulous, with changing specials based on locally grown products. Our server was great–didn’t hang around too much but was always there when we wanted him. Both my husband and I were very pleased with our entrees and the beet salad was great. I would definitely recommend Ella to my friends and we will visit again soon”.


“Loved it! Had a great dinner tonight…. Such a cozy atmosphere! The biscuits with the coffee honey was crazy good!;). Thanks ella!”


“I was with my mother who has Celiac disease and has to eat 100% gluten-free.  Finding restaurants for her is hard enough, and even then she may only have a few gluten-free menu options which are typically bland and boring.  We were blown away by how many options she had at ella, also by the fact that our waitress was knowledgeable about the gluten-free meals/options, and then the kicker — the chef came to our table to discuss the menu with her.  For her, it’s a treat to even HAVE options on a menu, and the way she was taken care of made us both ella fans for life.  I should also mention that both of our meals were delicious and the chips were one of my favorite parts of the meal. I would HIGHLY recommend this restaurant, especially to anyone with special dietary needs!”


“We can’t wait to come again.  Thank you for a great local restaurant.”


“The concept is unique. Combining art and food has been done before…but to concentrate on local art and local food is a great service to our community. And to have it well done is even better.”


” The food is always good. I love how the menu changes with what is available locally. The service is also very good. My server who I regularly have is Kip. He is good with recommendations and wine selection.”


“Beet salad, steak fry salad and wedge salad are all terrific.  The spicy sweet potato soup and the black bean with Chorizo soups were amazing!  House bread is really good.  We love the slow roasted short rib entree.  It is also nice that the kids meals come with some healthy side options like raw carrots, salad (which is a nice size) or fruit in addition to the traditional french fry option.”


“Thank you for a wonderful evening. The staff was outstanding and the food amazing.  The wine tasting was a great addition, enjoyed by many. Highly recommend!!  Everyone thought it was one of the best Christmas parties we have had.”


“Four of us took a weekend trip to Columbus this past weekend, to celebrate a birthday. Staying at a hotel in Easton, we had initially booked reservations for dinner Saturday night at Barcelona in Columbus.  After reading several recent reviews indicating a drop off in customer satisfaction, we decided to try another restaurant.  Our research turned up Ella as a new, interesting place to dine – so we made reservations for Saturday night. I will tell you right now – WE ARE GLAD WE DID!  This was probably one of the best dining experiences we have had in a long time (and we travel extensively in and out of the country).

Arriving about 15 minutes before our reservation time, we were told that the party at our table was still finishing up. We were invited to get a drink at the bar, and wander about Hayley Gallery, which is next door to the restaurant, but accessible through a doorway in the building.  We spent 15 – 20 very relaxing minutes or so, looking at some great contemporary art work, when one of the hosts came in and escorted us to our table.

From the time we sat down, to the time we left (which has a story in it self – you’ll find it at the end of this review), we were treated as VIP guests – every need was attended to in a timely manner, all initial sides (breads, etc.) were delivered quickly.  Our waiter (Brandon) was very attentive and extremely pleasant to deal with.  We started with the hummus appetizer, and it (and the tappanade) were simply wonderful.  For entrees: between the four of us, we had the Scallops/Pork/Salmon/Chicken dishes, and each dish was cooked to perfection (and I have had some really poorly cooked scallops in some very high end restaurants before – these were spot on) with just the right seasonings, etc.. The meal was completed with Jeni’s Ice Cream samplers (salty caramel/chocolate fudge/Riesling pear sorbet) and chocolate cheesecake (with a pretzel crust), and all desserts were just the best! Ella’s emphasis on using as much locally sustainable food products as possible in their menu really adds to the overall dining experience – we just could not find anything wrong with the service, the atmosphere, the food, the experience.

It was just an excellent evening at a very fine restaurant.  We highly recommend that you go eat here, but make reservations for Friday and Saturdays, as the restaurant was very busy the entire time that we were there.

Now the leaving story: we had taken a cab from the hotel to the restaurant, and when we arrived, the cabbie gave us his card and said to call him when we were ready and he would return to pick us up and deliver us back to the hotel.  When we were ready to leave, we tried calling the number provided 10 times within an half an hour stretch – no answer at any time. We spoke with our waiter and asked him to check with the management to see if they could secure a cab for us.  A couple of minutes later a gentlemen in a suit came over and asked if were having a problem getting a cab?  We indicated that we were, and he then offered to drive us back to the hotel himself.  This man turned out to be Larry Schottenstein, the husband of the General Manager/Owner!  He went out of his way to ensure that we were back at our hotel with a minimum of fuss.  That sealed the deal for us right there – this was a sign that these people care about their customers and really wanted to make sure that people enjoyed their dining experience, stress free.  We will be back many many more times to this excellent food establishment, and will be sure to tell everyone we know what a great experience we had at Ella!”


“We have eaten at ELLA several times and have enjoyed each experience. The atmosphere is fun and the food prepared by Chef Hyde is wonderful.”


“Most enjoyable dinner in a long time – food was outstanding and the service tremendous – Chef Travis — I am hooked on the beet salad and the butternut squash ravioli was remarkable!  Our server, Sean was fun and felt like we were dining with a long-time friend! Great time at the gallery before and after dinner. Really looking forward to our next celebration at ella! Our new favorite restaurant!”


“The food at ella was awesome. I had the opportunity to try some new dishes (e.g. butternut squash ravioli..yum) and the best hamburger I have ever tasted. The hummus appetizer is definitely worth starting out with! On top of that, the service was great….On another note, you need to check out the attached gallery….lots of fun and beautiful art.”


“Decided on Friday to try ella, and my wife and I were both amazed. Starting with the wonderful biscuits and toppings (especially the cherry-onion jam!!), to the salads with freshly made ranch dressing (it wasn’t on the menu, the chef just “whipped some up”) we knew were off to a great meal. The service and ambiance were lively and friendly. The braised short ribs was perhaps the best entree I’ve had in Columbus in my recent memory. Overall, I would put ella amongst my new favorites in Columbus, a real treat. I’d go back, even if it were just for the biscuits!”


“AMAZING Dinner tonight with some amazing friends!!! I’m going to dream about that soup! Yum! Thanks y’all!”


“Love the drinks. Love the food. Love love love the oil paintings and the professional staff.  I ordered the fillet and it was grilled perfectly.  Can’t wait to go back and try the butternut squash ravioli. Martinis are amazing!”


“With all of the negativity in the world, I wanted to pass on a wonderful experience that we had at your restaurant.  We heard about Ella’s from your hostess and my daughter knows the chef, Alexis so it was a must that we give it a try.   It was a wonderful experience and I have to admit, that we eat out all the time so we know the good from the bad.   We had Carrie as our server and she was great, too.  The food was fantastic!!  I had the walleye and it was unbelievably delicious!!   We came with our family and they loved it, too.  Fact is, I need reservations again for this Friday for 6 people about 6:30.  Will that work?   I learned that you book up quickly.   Thank you for a great night and please pass on our compliments to the chefs.”


“Really enjoyed the food and the evening.  My sister and I took our father and a couple of friends out for his birthday.  I ordered the ginger pork tenderloin which was very tasty and perfectly cooked.  It was on a wonderful bed of sweet potato hash browns.  It was topped with an unusual and delicious cole slaw. We all agreed that the homemade potato chips were excellent. Not sure how fattening they are but they were not the least bit greasy. Other dishes ordered were the chicken and the walleye. My sister raved about the walleye. One of our guests really enjoyed the chicken. We all really enjoyed the meal.”


“I absolutely love the atmosphere; the layout of the dining room with the bar area is wonderful, very similar to McCormick & Schmick’s at Easton, which I think is a great layout. The artwork adds a really nice touch to the restaurant.  Food was great.  We got the beef special, short ribs, biscuits, cheesy polenta, and shrimp cocktail.  All was great, but especially loved the biscuits and short ribs.  Your hard work is truly paying off!”


” ELLA is our new favorite restaurant.  We have enjoyed several wonderful meals there and each has been better than the one before.  We especially like the “specials” prepared by Chef Hyde.”


“Damn this place is awesome. I read a really bad review in the Dispatch by J.C. and then a really good one in the Alive by G.A. so we had to see who was right.  Went there Saturday night and it was bumping.  Beautiful place. Table of 5 people, all of us loved everything, especially the short ribs, walleye, and burger.  Did I mention the burger, if there are burger lovers out there, you need to try this one, it is no joke.  Had a Char special that was kick ass as well.  No one thought anything was salty, we even overheard some other people saying the same stuff about the food not being salty at all.  Maybe it was just the reviewer whom is salty…Dispatch and J.C. just lost all of our credibility for food reviews.  This place is now one of our fav’s and we expect to see it make it’s mark on the C-Bus dining scene.”


“Katie and I had reservations two Fridays ago and your staff and every dish was delightful!  Sorry not to remember our waiter’s name – he didn’t hover but he was “right” there when needed – just seemed to appear at the right times – nothing tops great food and attentive service! If it was baseball you hit a home run! Thanks to your staff!”


“I’ve now eaten at ella five times and haven’t experienced a misstep by chef, servers or bartenders. My entree last night is indicative of the quality and originality of the chef: Sauteed scallops on artichoke risotto with a leek/fennel ragout and mache “salad” on top.  It tasted as amazing as it sounds. In case something like that entree isn’t your style, the burger with apple-wood smoked bacon and cheddar with house-made chips was just as good!  Thrilled to have a restaurant of this quality in the area!  Owners and staff are to be congratulated for pulling off a great, new dining venue!”