Columbus-Based Brassica to Open Van Aken District Eatery on Friday, April 12

The year that brothers Kevin and Darren Malhame opened Brassica, it garnered spots on Best New Restaurant lists published by Columbus Monthly, Columbus Alive and Columbus Underground magazines. That was in 2015, and since then the brand has expanded to three locations in Central Ohio. When Brassica opens its doors on Friday, April 12 in Van Aken District’s Market Hall (20301 Meade Rd.) it will be the first outside of Columbus.

“We are incredibly excited and grateful to have the opportunity to open Brassica in Shaker Heights,” notes founder Kevin Malhame.

Building upon their Lebanese heritage, the siblings developed a fast-casual Middle Eastern concept to complement their other popular brand, Northstar Cafe, which has five locations in Columbus and Cincinnati. The name Brassica refers to the healthy family of vegetables that includes kale, cauliflower and all of the cabbages. But Brassica appeals to meat-eaters as well.

"The restaurant was inspired by great falafel shops around the world," says Malhame. "Our approach to both Northstar and Brassica has always been that they're great places for people who eat a plant-based diet, but it's rare to find more than two of those people together at a time, so you have to be a flexible restaurant."

Diners select between a bowl of lentils and rice, greens or a sandwich assembled in fresh-baked whole wheat pita. They're topped or filled with hummus, baba and a choice of falafel, braised Niman Ranch brisket, roasted chicken shawarma, or house-cured lamb bacon. A garden of fresh, pickled and spicy vegetables are available as garnishes, as is an assortment of sauces.

To drink, there’s a short but sweet list of wines by the glass and bottle, regional craft beers, cold-pressed juices and cold-brewed coffee on tap.

Brassica occupies a glassy 2,500-square-foot corner perch at the Market Hall. The contemporary space features a palette of walnut, brass, Carrera marble, black granite and raw steel. Much of the furniture and fixtures are custom built. Original artwork by artist Sarah Fairchild adorns the walls.

Brassica will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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