The Crafty Pint, located at 2234 West Dublin Granville Road in Worthington, enjoyed their grand opening on May 19th and to much success. It has been said that the object was to allow people who knew the location to once be another restaurant/bar would be able to walk in and see The Crafty Pint not as something that once was, but a place that is completely different from what patrons of the prior establishments may have known. And in that, I believe The Crafty Pint has succeeded.
The beer menu was my first priority. It was attached to a square piece of a Chutes and Ladders game board. I was a bit jealous because our neighbors had a Clue game board, but I enjoyed the playfulness and a tiny bit of irony having an adult drink list attached to a child's game board. The beer list itself was impressive, with many Ohio beers represented such as Fat Heads, Cellar Dwellar, CBC and Seventh Son. I suspect that many more local beers will be added to this list. There were also classic favorites such as Bell's Two-Hearted, Breckenridge and my favorite - Weihenstephaner, which was proudly served in a Seventh Son glass. If the beer list has too many choices for you, the staff is happy to bring you a flight of any four beers for only $10. Some places bring your flights out on a boring wooden board. Not so at The Crafty Pint where the glasses sit upon an old license plate that has four perfectly molded spots for your tryout beers.
After we got the beers squared away, it was time to look at appetizers. Braided pretzels with three different types of sauces, crab cakes, chips and guacamole were just a few of the pre-meal offerings. We chose the pretzels and crab cakes and both were pretty delicious. The two pretzels were quite enough to share without feeling stingy and their ale cheese was the perfect companion. The crab cakes were small, but packed full of flavor.
The rest of the menu was described as rustic, and it definitely had a countryside feel to it, but countryside with a bunch of fusion eaters. There was a shrimp scampi meal, the turkey leg, paprika pork tacos, duck flatbread and the crafty burger. Although there were more to select from, these particular items jumped out at us. I enjoyed the paprika pork tacos, mainly because it came with chips and guac as a side dish (how often do you see that?!?!), and my other taste tester opted for the crafty burger which had applewood smoked bacon to add to the overall flavor. As if this wasn't enough, I just had to try their mac 'n cheese with applewood smoked bacon as well. The food arrived promptly, was adequately warm and looked quite tasty. The three paprika pork tacos were flavorful and included a spicy slaw and mango salsa to add to the taste. The crafty burger was cooked perfectly, but was pretty much a burger - albeit a high-quality burger and not one you'd procure from Burger King. The mac 'n cheese wasn't bad either. I suspect that since it was brought out in a small crock pot, it is made to order. I would have liked it to be creamier and have a bit more of a cheese taste to it. The bread crumbs and bacon were a nice addition, but both would have been enhanced with a cheesier flavor.
After flights of beers and appetizers, it wasn't even remotely possible to finish our meals and thus had to skip dessert which was a warm apple pie with some liquory sauces. We will have to try that out next time. A table next to us enjoyed the dessert and I can say with all honesty that I was a bit heartbroken to not have had a go at it.
The overall decor of The Crafty Pint matched its food - rustic and creative. Our salt and pepper sat in two small liquor bottles (Maker's Mark and Crown Royal). The silverware was neatly wrapped up in a bandana that also served as a suitable napkin. Water was served in mason jars and the plateware was definitely fitting for the overall motif. The bar was a bit small, but an entire outside patio allowed patrons to enjoy their spirits in a much more open space.
The service was exceptional. Our server was, in my opinion, perfect but my friend found him to be a bit overzealous (it's the grand opening! of course he wanted to make a great first impression). When the meal was over, our bill arrived in a Dr. Seuss book which we were also encouraged to sign within the pages. That's definitely something different that was also fun - nothing like having a few beers and reading Dr. Seuss stories out loud.
Having been the first time here, it was impossible to take in everything, but as someone who was mainly drawn to the idea of this place having 40 active taps with 30 of them occupied by Ohio beers, I found it quite satisfactory. If you haven't checked out The Crafty Pint yet, I highly recommend it. There are beers for everyone, mixed drink concoctions and food that will pique your taste buds. With a town full of foodies and craft beer connoisseurs, I'm sure The Crafty Pint will fit right in.