An Obituary.

Two weekends ago, another Columbus restaurant closed its doors for the last time. Every time a business I like ceases to exist, I feel partially responsible. Ah, the rules of retail; if we don’t buy it, eventually they – whoever they are – won’t supply it. Needless to say, I didn’t get to Bexley’s Monk frequently. But, sadly, I feel like with their participation with Dine Originals Columbus and the way that social media have embraced Columbus’ culinary landmarks, the restaurant has been on my radar way more than ever before.

This restaurant is responsible for some of the best pork belly I’ve had in Ohio. It’s the place where I first listened to jazz in Columbus. It was a host to company holiday dinners. I distinctly remember every time I’ve ever dined at Bexley’s Monk, and I can honestly say that the food kept getting better and better. (Or, perhaps, my taste has improved.)

Baseball Boy and I headed there prior to the closing, to eat as much as possible. With the mantra, “We’ll never be able to do this again,” we ordered way more than we could digest, allowing for delicious leftovers. I ordered tuna with bacon and cabbage on a bed of tomatoes and capers. I became one of those obnoxious diners that loudly proclaimed my pleasure by “Mmmmm-ing” several times throughout that meal. Please, Bexley’s Monk people, if you ever read this, e-mail me the recipe for that cabbage? Please? Accompanying my meal was a side of brussels sprouts, roasted and shredded. Thanks to this meal, my love for those little guys grows and grows.

Baseball Boy had several items on the menu that he wanted to try including the black truffle-kissed grits. (I’m pretty sure that those grits – paired with viewing a part of Columbus’ history – were his motivation for the trip to Bexley.) His main course was roasted grouper with a butternut squash puree and spinach. I had several bites of both his options, but preferred my own choices.

When it came to dessert time, I literally became anxious. I was full, but it was the last time I could order some of these desserts. I asked our server if their chocolate cake was made in-house (secretly hoping it came from the freezer of a restaurant supplier, so I could witness it in the future.) The answer? House-made. There was also a beautiful fruity thing served in a pilsner glass. I was about to order that when BB spoke up with words to cut through my panicked state, “Jill, you don’t eat fruit.” (This is usually true. Don’t judge.)

And so we closed the meal with crème brûlée. Because it was the right thing to do. Because it came with fresh whipped cream on top. Because I’d brought my dairy pill with me. And as my spoon cracked into that beloved burnt sugar, I said goodbye one last time.

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4 thoughts on “An Obituary.

  1. Anne says:

    I wish I’d known they were going under. They were on my radar as a spot I should try but never got to. Sad. I wish it had made it. I never like to hear about a restaurant failing.

  2. Amanda says:

    :( Best pork belly ever is right.

    Great service too.

    sadness.

  3. ChrisD says:

    Liked this place a lot once upon a time. But, honestly, the last time I went there (about 3 months ago) it was one of the worst dining experiences that I’ve ever had. It was so bad I said I’d never go back again. Looks like they turned me into a man of my word.

    I ordered a steak medium-rare. It came out purple, way undercooked. So, I asked my waiter to please send it back and get me a steak that was actually medium-rare. After overhearing him refer to me as a “prick” to his manager when he was explaining why the steak was being taken back to the kitchen, he returned a number of minutes later with a steak that was medium-well to well. It felt like he was almost challenging me to send it back again. So I did. Third try and they actually got it right but, at this point, everybody else at my table was finished eating, all of my sides were cold (they didn’t put new ones on the plate), I felt like a dick even though I’d done nothing more than request my food to be served the way I’d ordered it, and I got mean-mugged by every employee that walked by my table for the rest of the night.

    I used to talk the place up to people all of the time. For one, and as you mentioned, it was one of the only places to hear decent live jazz music in Columbus. But, based on that last experience, f*ck the Bexley Monk. Good Riddance.

  4. Michael says:

    Wow, I had no idea this place was closing. Luckily I stumbled in about a month ago with my old man, uncle (S.O. made brief appearance as well). Had a fantastic meal, great service, and they made room for us to enjoy a cigar on the porch where we ran into friends from my home town. Honestly I felt like a regular even though it was my first time. It was like Cheers, but with incredible food.

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