Midwest Living Review
The tagline of this tiny Columbus, Ohio restaurant -- Rustic. Urban. Food. -- is accurate but deceptively simple. Those three little words hardly do justice to the complexity of flavors and the creativity of chef/owner Kevin Caskey's preparation. Consider, for example, Skillet's macaroni and cheese, a comfort food that Caskey elevates from everyday to extraordinary by topping it with pulled pork and a nest of fresh arugula. He uses spirally cavatappi pasta because it captures more sauce than smooth elbows; his sauce is a rich, smooth bchamel; the cheese is a farmstead organic cheddar from an Ohio creamery; and the meat is lean, Ohio-raised Tamworth pork, which is smoked on the patio behind the restaurant and then braised in apple cider. A dedicated locavore, Caskey changes the fare at Skillet often, depending on the season and the availability of fresh produce and meats. He obtains many ingredients from Columbus's famed North Market and has developed an extensive network of local farmers and producers. Emphasizing sophisticated versions of familiar foods, the menu's offerings might include truffled-griddled cheese with melted cheddar and herbed boursin on buttered brioche, or the Skillet burger, which consists of a grass-fed beef served with Amish cheddar and roasted green chiles. Portions are large and prices reasonable. Bowls of homemade soup cost $5, most sides are $4; and Skillet's wonderfully satisfying mac and cheese with pork is a bargain at $12.