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Vibrant Short North restaurant offers tasty food, trendy atmosphere

Erin Myers / Lantern photographer

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Looking to get away from campus for an evening and find a new place to dine or share a drink?

Level Dining Lounge might be just what you’re looking for. Located in the heart of the Short North, this trendy lounge, named for its various levels of seating, has all the offerings of an upscale restaurant with some added vibrancy. Color changing wall pillars and local art surround the bar creating a modern atmosphere for all to enjoy.

The made-from-scratch food is prepared fresh daily in an open kitchen. The menu is creatively named for the different courses of a meal beginning with appetizers as the Starter Level and desserts as the Final Level. There is even a Morning Level section offering a full breakfast menu, served only on weekends.

“It is an American bistro menu with an Italian flare focused on delivering value,” said Brent Clevidence, CEO and President of Dream Vision, LLC, the company which owns and operates Level Dining Lounge. “We change our menu twice a year to reflect seasonal changes.”

After ordering the Crispy Calamari as an appetizer, I tried the Tuscan Pesto Pasta from the seasonal menu as my main entrée. The calamari was a bit over-breaded for my liking, but it didn’t stop my guests from clearing the plate. The pasta dish, on the other hand, was a delightful combination of fresh veggies tossed in a light sun-dried tomato pesto topped with goat cheese crumbles. This was definitely a meal worth going back for.

Typically, a meal will cost anywhere from $10 to $15.

With a live DJ spinning every weekend, some see Level as a “Saturday night staple,” said Mark Zellefrow, a fourth-year in speech language pathology.

“I love in the spring and summertime when Level opens their sliding windows, so it’s like you are sitting on the sidewalk having dinner and you can just watch the people walk by,” Zellefrow said.

Level offers different drink specials all week with an all-day happy hour Monday and College Night on Thursdays with $3 Long Island iced teas and $3 any-flavor Three Olives Vodka.

“It’s a great escape from the campus bars. Level can be your one destination for the night whether you are just hungry or looking for fun,” said Tony Brost, a fourth-year in international business and marketing.

Between the menu, drinks and energetic atmosphere, Level Dining Lounge is a unique venue with something for everyone. Overall, it was a great dining experience and certainly somewhere I will bring friends.

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