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view looking down inside FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio

The New Hilton Tower Welcomes Chef Sebastian La Rocca to FYR

Learn all about the newest eatery making a spark in downtown Columbus.

FYR at the Hilton Columbus Downtown

The New Hilton Tower Welcomes Chef Sebastian La Rocca to FYR

By Nick Dekker

Posted On: Jan 9, 2023

This past fall the Hilton Columbus Downtown completed a towering expansion next to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The new Hilton Tower rises 28 stories and adds 463 rooms to bring the grand total for the hotel to 1000 rooms - making it the largest hotel in Ohio!

inside FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio at night

In addition to its many rooms and event spaces, the upgraded Hilton features a collection of new eateries, the centerpiece of which is FYR, a live-fire cooking restaurant headed up by Argentinian chef Sebastian La Rocca.

Next to FYR is Spark, a café and bar right off the hotel lobby, where guests can grab drinks or a meal all throughout the day. And coming soon is Stories on High, a rooftop bar and restaurant on the 28th floor that will offer panoramic views of Columbus!

FYR is built around a live-fire cooking concept. This means the kitchen team uses specialized grills with multiple levels that let them grill, roast, sear, and smoke over open wood fires. So everything on FYR's menu is kissed with heat, a little smoke, and even some open flame from time to time.

looking down at hand holding cocktail in short glass with orange peel and liquor and giant ice cube with FYR stamped on top inside FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio

Even if you're making a quick stop at the eatery, sunken just below ground level along High Street with cavernous ceilings and tall windows, try grabbing a seat at the diamond-shaped bar. The beverage team whips up a selection of creative and classic cocktails to go with beer and ciders, wines by the bottle or by the glass.

If you're a cocktail aficionado, try the Bonded Old Fashioned, the Pisco Sour, or the Caipirinha, a Brazilian libation made with cachaca white rum, lime, and sugar.

Chef Sebastian La Rocca standing next to man talking inside  FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio
Right: Chef Sebastian La Rocca

The dinner menu at FYR is organized as Nibbles, Starters, Pura Vida (for sharing), From the Grill, and From the Wood Oven. On our first visit for dinner, we ordered as a group and shared everything, which allowed us to sample more of the menu. Both the server and Chef La Rocca himself, who can be seen visiting tables throughout the evening, recommended dishes to try.

empanadas filled with osso buco, plate of chorizo with chimichurri, and jar of seasonal pickled vegetables on table at FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio

We started with the empanadas filled with osso buco, chorizo with chimichurri, and the jar of seasonal pickled vegetables. All three were fun to eat, wonderfully balanced, and deep in flavor. For our second round we tasted the wonderful salmon ceviche and beetroot salad.

wood oven-roasted tomato dish on a plate at FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio

One of FYR's signature dishes, and one that really highlights live-fire cooking techniques, is the wood oven-roasted tomato. A full tomato is roasted in the oven, then chilled and topping with honey, goat cheese, charred onions, and sumac. The result is unexpected, both tart and sweet. After all the tomatoes I've tasted in my life, this one still offered a new and surprising take on it!

wild mushroom pizza on wooden platter on top of table at FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio

The menu also includes adventurous finds like chilled beef tongue and grilled bone marrow with sea urchin, all delightful dishes. We then finished out with a selection from the grill and from the oven: an earthy and fragrant wild mushroom pizza, tender skirt steak, rich Amish chicken with a Oaxacan mole, a fluffy gnocchi souffle.

ice cream dessert on table at  FYR live fire cooking restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio that has flame of ice on it

And of course, don't forget dessert! We sampled a rich caramel flan, made from the chef's grandmother's recipe, and the dramatic grilled pineapple upside-down cake. When it arrives at the table, the server lights a small decanter of rum on fire and pours it over the cake, so your meal at FYR really does end with a bit of flame!

overhead view looking down inside FYR restaurant at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Ohio

FYR is a wonderful addition to the downtown Columbus dining scene, especially as a centerpiece of the state's largest hotel. It's worth visiting for a special dinner out, just drinks, or if you're town earlier – for breakfast!

You can check out FYR at 404 N. High St. in Columbus, inside the Hilton Columbus Downtown. And learn more at fyrshortnorth.com or @fyrshortnorth on Instagram.

For more restaurants & dining, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org

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