Ice cream for supper isn't something for every day, of course, but Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is far different from most. Located in the Short North Art District on North High Street, a neighborhood that feels like the Central West End, it offers about 15 seats, a mural outside and a plethora of intriguing options.
There are a couple of traditional choices for the timid, yes, but we consider ourselves extremely adventurous when it comes to ice cream flavors. Mom always told us not to stare, but the display cases of a variety of flavors are irresistible, and then we are reminded that it's rude to ask for a taste of every single one. But consider the pistachio honey, the first ice cream we've had that actually tastes like pistachio nuts. Another delight showed off local goat cheese and red cherries, dense, both tangy and tart, almost like eating cheesecake. This is why the photo shows ice cream that's obviously been dug into; we were so taken with our tastes that we forgot to shoot first.
A seasonal flavor was sweet corn with black raspberries, one of those combinations that sound odd but taste great. Salty caramel--carried by Dean and DeLuca in New York--was extraordinary, its texture softer because of the salt, the caramel note strong and seductive. Queen
City Chocolate, named for Columbus' downstate rival, Cincinnati, showed dark chocolate and a slow-growing heat from cayenne pepper. Another spicy option, more complex, was Bangkok Peanut that combined peanut butter, coconut, and some complex spicing that danced on the tongue.
Jeni's has a total of five stores now, but this seems to be the easiest to find. There's a High Street exit from I-70 in downtown Columbus; just follow it north. To return, head back down High Street and look for signs. You'll be grinning happily as you go.
714 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio
Lunch & Dinner daily
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair access: Fair