This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of joining Fox 28‘s Johnny DiLoretto at Skillet in German Village. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit Skillet, which has been open for five weeks and received some rave reviews from trusted sources, so I was pretty excited about the prospect. I took a lot of pictures from the visit, and will post a link to the video from Fox 28’s site whenever it’s up.
Skillet is located in the original location of Banana Bean Cafe on 411 E. Whittier St. in German Village. Banana Bean has since moved to a larger location on Greenlawn Ave., and the folks at Skillet bought out the lease on this space. I’ve always loved this location: it’s small, and very warm and cozy on a cold winter morning.
Many of folks involved in Skillet were or are involved in Banana Bean, so there’s a loose relationship between the two restaurants. They produce very different styles of food, but similar philosophies and creativity. Skillet’s kitchen is run by a father and son duo of Kevin and Patrick Caskey. Patrick did much of the refurb on their space, and he said he’s working on a mobile unit to bring Skillet’s food to the masses.
Johnny did a series of short segments about Kevin, Patrick, the restaurant, and me. Here’s a few shots of them working in and around the kitchen.
Kevin started out by creating their warm vanilla mascarpone breakfast risotto. The toasty and sweet risotto is flavored with a bourbon molasses red eye gravy, then topped with seared honeycrisp apples, more mascarpone, and brown sugar, then lightly bruleed. Seriously, this is the ultimate in warm, November comfort food.
And this is what we thought of it.
Next up, Kevin made us a duck and sweet potato hash, topped with two duck eggs (over easy!) and arugula with a basic vinaigrette. I can’t recall ever eating duck meat, so this was a new experience. I would be hard pressed, in a blind taste-test, to identify this meat as poultry. It was thicker and meatier, more like beef. But it was still very tender and went well with the thick-chunked sweet potatoes. The duck eggs were amazing. Patrick showed me how the shells are so much thicker than chicken eggs that he has to score them before he cracks them. The yokes are a deep, rich golden yellow – it runs so slowly when you cut into it – and the egg itself is very hearty. A perfect match for the duck meat and sweet potatoes. Then the acidity of the simple salad cuts through the the big flavors – a great combo.
The hash came with some grilled ciabatta bread.
In between the live spots, I took the opportunity to explore the restaurant. The decor is simple and straightforward, much like the food.
Skillet employs a the order-at-the-counter-then-find-a-seat style. Keeps it simple and keeps their costs down.
The colorful eggs up front are chicken eggs from local farms; the white ones behind them are the duck eggs.
Here’s a shot of the crew. From the left: me, Johnny D, Patrick, and Kevin.
Skillet is an excellent addition to the Columbus breakfast scene. It’s a simple menu with some creative versions of breakfast classics, in a small, neighborhood location. I think it’s worth at least one visit, although I can’t imagine going and then not wanting to return to try something else off the menu. Heck, I’m already planning my return visit tomorrow morning. If you’re interested in visiting, here are the vital stats on Skillet again:
Skillet: Rustic. Urban. Food
410 E. Whittier St.
Columbus, OH 43206
Open Tues-Fri 11 am – 3 pm for lunch
Open Sat & Sun 8 am – 2 pm for brunch