Rockmill Tavern-Winter Cocktail + brunch

Happy Tuesday, y’all! (I’m realizing that I actually never say y’all when I speak aloud, only in writing… weird or acceptable?)

This past weekend was so busy and productive; Matt and I tried out two great restaurants, one of which was Rockmill Tavern. Rockmill Tavern is the restaurant that the owners of Rockmill Brewery in Lancaster opened as a way to showcase their brews in downtown Columbus.

I had scheduled with the bar manager at Rockmill to take some photos of a new winter cocktail (which is now available as of yesterday, December 19th!) for Saturday. Matt and I decided we should grab some food there as well, as it had just opened a couple of months ago and we had yet to try it.

Well, Saturday morning, we woke up to no power. So we decided to head over to Rockmill a little bit early to grab some brunch before the photos instead of after. As you all are well aware, all of Columbus was covered in a layer of slippery ice. The roads weren’t bad, though, and we arrived to the restaurant with time to spare.

HOWEVER, the sidewalks in the Brewery District were still slippery as ever (even at 11AM with temperatures in the 40s), and sure enough, as we were shuffling along, Matt slipped and fell right into a puddle in the gutter.

Nothing worse than wet jeans, am I right?

Anyways, we finally got there and the place. was. beautiful.

The whole room was paneled with roughly-hewn wood panels, with gorgeously crafted tables, and a polished wooden bar. There’s a huge windowed wall with doors leading out to the patio; the sunlight streams through these windows, allowing a contrast of dark walls with bright light.

There are lush green plants everywhere, including a large wall of plants at the entrance. The effect is incredibly calming. An extra-large wreath adorns the back wall as you walk in: (apparently made by the owner’s wife) crafted from branches and wrapped in twinkle lights, it surrounds a rusted metal silhouette of a horse, which is the brewery’s logo. rockmilltavern-1

The upstairs balcony has another bar and several tables, including a long fourteen-seater table, making it a perfect space to reserve for private events.

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Each detail was very clearly thought out, from the slate blue crockery to the uniform tap handles (apart from two taps which feature  a rotation of local brews), and finally to the artfully crafted menu…

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The coffee was fantastic. Matt had the French press and I had the drip, both which had full body and rich flavor.

To eat, Matt had the Egg in a Biscuit, which was fantastic. It features their cheddar biscuits with two poached eggs and a Cheddar fat hollandaise sauce, garnished with chives.

My sweet tooth was calling, so I chose the French toast that was going that week: a Brioche custard French toast layered with Varlhona chocolate, topped with melted butter and sea salt. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again, three days later.

This place is absolutely a repeat for brunch, and I can’t wait to try their dinner menu.

After brunch, we walked over to the bar and met James Moore, who I had been corresponding with via e-mail the week previous. James graciously allowed me to record him making a cocktail (thanks again, James!).

The cocktail is on their new winter cocktail menu (they change their menu every quarter), and is called Old Man Winter. It has bourbon, amontillado sherry, Earl-grey infused maple syrup, lemon juice, black walnut bitters, and is garnished with freshly ground ginger.

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We had taken a few sips before snapping this shot (couldn’t resist!)

I was worried that this cocktail would savor too strongly of bourbon (it’s just not my drink of choice, call me weak sauce if you must), but it was perfectly balanced. I most strongly tasted the sherry and maple, but each ingredient peeked out with every sip.

Old Man Winter will warm your bones this chilling season (I can’t believe it’s only December and we’ve already had such crazy weather!). Absolutely make sure to stop by Rockmill Tavern to enjoy the soothing atmosphere and delightful fares.

 

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