Rockmill Tavern | Columbus, OH

June 7, 2017

UPDATE September 2021: Rockmill Tavern has been retooled as Bandit Pizza & Pairings by Rockmill.

Rockmill Tavern | Facebook | IG: @rockmilltavern
503 S. Front St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 732-4364
Open Tues-Thurs, 7a-11p; Fri, 7a-1a; Sat, 10-1a; Sun, 10a-11p (brunch served Sat & Sun, 10a-2p)

We’ve long been fans of Rockmill Brewery, both their beers and their beautiful grounds in Lancaster, which we often refer to as our happy place. So we were pretty excited when they took over the old World of Beer space in the Brewery District and opened a tavern, and we thoroughly enjoyed dinner there.

Last month I was assigned to write about the tavern’s brunch for the Columbus Dispatch; read my review of it here. We had a terrific experience, and wanted to share our photos and additional thoughts.

Rockmill carries the horse theme over from their Lancaster brewery, which is located on an old horse farm. (Seriously, if you’ve never been, you should go.)

Most of the walls, booths, and tables are covered in wood accent. The chairs are heavy and framed in wrought iron.

There are two-tops, four-person booths, and a variety of large tables. There’s also a second floor, which we’ve often seen rented out for private parties.

Of particular note is Rockmill’s coffee program. They’re actually open at 7 a.m. weekdays, so you can stop in and get a solid caffeine fix to go with a light breakfast.

The menu features a wide range of preparations: espresso and cappuccinos, drip coffee and French press, regular and nitrogen-dispensed cold brew.

The espresso drinks are enhanced through beautiful ceramic flatware.

And the cold brew options are dangerously smooth.

And then, of course, there’s the beer. A baker’s dozen of Rockmill beers are on tap, from their witbier and saison to the dubbel and tripel, to the farmhouse IPA and Rugged Expanse stout, to barrel-aged beers. Pictured above is the dubbel, one of my favorites of their original portfolio. I’m partial to the Saison Noir and the whiskey barrel-aged tripel as well.

There’s a small collection of brunch cocktails, including a solid Bloody Mary that comes with a sidecar of stout.

And then, the food. I barely got a photo of the cheesy biscuits with spiced honey butter before they disappeared. They were that popular at the table.

The French toast arrived as two thick, circular slices with a layer of Valrhona chocolate between, whipped maple butter on top, plus a dash of maldon salt to balance the sweet. Like every brunch item we ordered, it was a really fantastic dish. Very rich, well-executed, and playing with the balance of sweet and salty.

The egg sandwich (which I’ve had during the weekday breakfast, too) fits between two thin, crispy, buttery layers of brioche bread.

It mixes a rich and savory bacon jam with sharp cheddar, arugula, pickled onion, and dijionaise.

And it’s a glorious mess to eat.

The egg in a biscuit can be ordered as a half or whole – one biscuit or two, respectively. It didn’t quite click with me, when we ordered it, that it would be a version of the eggs in a nest (toad in a hole, hens in a basket…) that we know and love. It’s one of those cheddar biscuits with a soft egg in the center, plus a cheddar fat hollandaise and pieces of crispy ham.

The dish was just beautiful, and it’s delightful to cut into the runny egg yolk.

Another winner: the fried chicken biscuit, one of those biscuits sandwiching a wonderfully crispy fried chicken breast with an egg yolk and that bacon jam again.

Last but certainly not least, the chilaquiles. A bowl of tortilla chips layered with a spicy chorizo, fried egg, urfa mayo, salsa verde, and ricotta salata.

Like the whole brunch, the dish was well-executed and a real delight to eat. Rockmill’s brunch easily tops my list of current recommendations.

Disclaimer: this meal was paid for as part of a Columbus Dispatch review. Thoughts and photos here are my own.

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FOOD + TRAVEL WRITER

I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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