Download the menu

Lindey’s Cafe - Always at Your Service

1500 Polaris Pkwy. Columbus, OH 43240 (614) 410-0310

We sure do love our malls in Central Ohio, but seldom is it reciprocal. We give them all our hard earned cash, and all they give us is jeans with the asses already tore out and Transfat-i-bons. They expect us to spend all our free time with them, carrying all those bags around, and then, when we ask for a backrub, they give us the Seaweed-Essence Deep-Tissue Massage with Sea Salt and Pepper Muscle Tonic, and put another $250 on the Amex.

Usually malls are self-centered and distant, but sometimes they have those moments – those moments when one thing they do makes up for all the crap they heaped on us before. That’s when we know our malls love us, too.

That occasion, that single event of pure love so intense it makes up for the bad behavior of every mall in Franklin, Delaware and Pickaway Counties, is Lindey’s Polaris. It is a beautiful, kind and wise love, like a completely platonic fusion of a mother’s and a lover’s love, with a whisper of fatherly pedagogy about fiscal responsibility. It’s not that hippie-assed free-love, so it will cost us, but the value of the experience vastly exceeds anything mortal numbers can qualify, if we pay attention.

A tasteful beauty, like a pretty lady in church clothes, immediately enfolds us as we step into the foyer of Lindey’s. Everything from the young woman who greets us to the wall sconces is lovely. Then, we step into the dining room and things get a little lovelier. Servers wait for us to pass, despite their armloads of soiled china. Everyone on the payroll who is within a fifty-yard radius scurries to pull out our chairs. The olfactory portion of the experience begins to grab us as tiny particles of Chef John Fortes’ genius waft past us, while the server lays napkins in our lap and articulates the difference in character between the Champagne and the California sparkling we are debating.

We go with the Sophia sparkling from Coppola. It is light and fruity with a gentle, demi-sec finish and it leaves a palate less sullied than a Manhattan or Apple Martini might. We are sure by the first bites of Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread and Tuna Tartar that we want our palates spotless, because we need to taste every layer of flavor, explicit and implied, that Chef Fortes has embedded in the Bacon-Wrapped Oakvale Farms Gouda with honeycomb, port wine reduction, tomato and toasted brioche. Chef has also put wine pairing suggestions on the menu, and, like the Domaine Chesney CDR he suggests with the cheese, they are perfect between bites and linger on the tongue between courses.

We notice that every empty glass and every soiled fork disappears when the throng of service people removes the appetizer plates (from the right), and in their place we receive a bottle of Wilamette Pinot and clean salad forks. The salad forks are chilled and the Pinot is Gris, and we are once again reminded of how much our malls love us. After we devour the morsel of Bibb lettuce, candied rhubarb and Manchego, we use every method within the bounds of politeness to remove all the strawberry vinaigrette from the plate, which is also chilled.

Slightly after the server reaches around our right shoulder to remove the now-useless dishes, another one reaches around our left to deposit the big fork, the steak knife and the polished wine glass. We now know it is time to decide between the Magnificat or the ZD Cab, but we don’t want to rule either of them out any more than we want to have to choose between the Trio of Duck and the Tournedos. We feel a tantrum coming on when we realize that either one of those decisions means we don’t get Seared Sea Scallops with mushroom strudel, spring pea and mint purees, herb salad and red pepper jam, and that even if we did, the huge red wine would overwhelm it much more than something like the Cakebread Chardonnay would.

Fortunately we remember our manners, because if we had thrown our tantrum, we would probably not be allowed back and would certainly be sent home without dessert. The last thing we want to do at Lindey’s is go home without dessert. That would mean missing out on S’mores, which Chef Fortes has reconstructed exquisitely to accompany a twenty-year tawny port. Who doesn’t feel loved after S’mores?