The Whitney House (Facebook / Instagram: @thewhitneyhouse)
666 High St. (map it!)
Worthington, OH 43085
Open Tues-Thurs, 11a-10p; Fri, 11a-11p; Sat & Sun, 9a-11p (brunch served Sat & Sun, 9a-3p)
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
When it opened late last year, the Whitney House was pretty quickly embraced by the Worthington community but also by the broader Columbus food community. It seems to be hitting on all the right notes. Upscale when it needs to be, casual at other times. A menu of traditional American favorites mixed with Asian and Latin American specialties. And it enjoys a central location in Olde Worthington in the former P.K. O’Ryan’s space. And, yes, they serve brunch.
Although the building’s address is High Street, the entrance is along the side.
The Whitney House space is warm and inviting.
The main dining room has a view of the kitchen, plus a small counter in front of it. More on that later.
The back room is a cozy bar with more tables and booths.
If you’re on your own or with a small enough group, I highly, highly recommend sitting at the kitchen counter. The seating is still comfortable, and then you get to watch Chef Max Avon as he expedites. It’s some serious fun. The counter seats were open when we visited, so Mrs. Breakfast w/Nick, the boys, and I plunked down in front of Chef Max to watch the action.
Whitney House has a full bar, with a complete wine list, cocktails, and a very respectable selection of local and regional beers on tap. The Bloody Mary takes its deep red color from beet juice. Mrs. Breakfast w/Nick declared it very good.
I had heard tell of the boozy cereals available at brunch, so I immediately sought them out as my “drink” for the meal. This is a perfect example of Whitney House’s combined upscale quality with a bit of a sassy edge. Like they take themselves seriously, but not too seriously. It’s something I appreciate.
The boozy cereals combine a glass of cereal plus a generous shot of milk and liquor. Max and our server said the Trix are especially popular because of their bright coloring, but I had my eye on the Cinnamon Toast Crunch all along.
It’s left to you to pour the milk/booze concoction onto your cereal. Now, here’s where I will say that, if texture is a big thing for you, the cereal might get to you. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch comes with spiced rum and Brothers Drake apple pie mead, and when the alcohol hits the milk, it’s going to separate out a bit. So maybe the milk isn’t as smooth and creamy, but the whole experience of eating a bowl of heavily (I repeat, heavily) spiked cereal is one worth trying at least once. Imagine eating a bowl of cereal while doing a couple shots – that’s what it’s like.
I enjoyed the Cinnamon Toast Crunch – the alcohol pairing was very appropriate for the cereal. On my next visit, I will probably have the Trix.
Now on to the serious breakfast business. We’ve had recommendations for the cast iron sticky bun. It’s presented beautifully, and it’s as good of a sticky bun as I’ve had.
The fact that it comes out warm and soft, and accompanied by candied bacon, makes it easy to like. Even those of you who don’t like nuts on your cinnamon rolls (i.e. Mrs. Bfast w/Nick) will tolerate them juuuuuust fine here.
Whitney House is also in line with the current trend of presenting a really good kid’s menu (I think of Hudson 29, 101 Beer Kitchen, Guild House, Kona Grill, and others as great examples). The regular kid’s menu has everything from salmon to chicken tacos to a bibb salad. Chef Max made a kid’s version of French toast for one of our boys.
The other wanted the grilled cheese and substituted house fries for the tomato soup. I especially loved the thick-cut fries. Despite the huge slices, they were cooked soft all the way through but still crispy and well-salted.
For my entree I chose the fried bologna sandwich. I used to love fried bologna growing up. I’d make little sandwiches with fried bologna and melted cheese on white bread. I quit these sandwiches for a number of years (I think after actually looking at the ingredients), but obviously there are good quality versions I’ve been missing. Chef Max said they get their all-beef bologna from Waldo, where the G&R Tavern famously makes it.
Whitney House’s sandwich is topped with a breaded and fried tomato, aioli, and a fried egg. Altogether, it’s a great sandwich, although expect that yolk to run everywhere. Make sure you save some aioli for dipping the fries.
Mrs. Bfast w/Nick ordered the farroto, a risotto made with farro grain, mushrooms, asparagus, and poached eggs. I think mushrooms are my favorite ingredient in risotto, and this version is fantastic.
The plating is beautiful all around. We caught this shot of the steak and eggs and the chilaquiles.
I’m sure you can tell from the tone that we’re adding our voices to the praise for the Whitney House. There’s still much more to explore on the brunch menu and for daily lunch specials, drinks, and beyond.
If you’re going with a smaller group, I really recommend sitting at the counter to interact with Chef Max. It was a pleasure watching him work, and he was very gracious with our two boys.