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Searching for restaurant in Columbus, Ohio

Looking for dinner for this Friday night. Here are the requirements:

1) Must be on East side (New Albany, Gahanna, Bexley, etc.)
or Short North of Columbus
2) Absolutely NO CHAIN restaurants
3) American/homestyle, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Fusion, etc.
4) A place where you need to get a little dressed up (DH can't wear jeans)
5) Dinner for 2 (w/o liquor) is <$50, 2 entrees & dessert
6) Reservations would be a plus
7) No Clarmont, Thom is a big smoking advocate

Any suggestions?

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  1. If you haven't been to Basi yet, it meets your criteria.


    It is off of Buttles between Neil and High. Print out a map before you go. It should cost you right about $50 for 2 entrees and a dessert. Smoking is now illegal at restaurants throughout the state, so I don't know what you mean by #7. They take reservations and have valet parking.

    1. How about Trattoria Roma in Grandview? They have a dinner special, "2 for $20... "Enjoy any combination of two entrees for twenty dollars. Dinners include your choice of our house or ceasar salads." I'm sure there would be room for dessert!


      1 Reply
      1. re: mmmdelicious

        Thanks, we are big fans of Trattoria Roma in Grandview. Consistently good food. We are meeting friends who want to stay on the East Side and am looking for some new places.

      2. Liu Pon Xi, the Asian restaurant in the short north on the bridge meets your criteria. Lindey's in German Village. Ocean Club in Easton has been newly remodeled and well received. Haiku in the short north is modern Asian, hip, but probably more casual than you are hoping.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stumpworks73

          I haven't been to Ocean Club since it was re-modeled. It is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant and we normally don't do chains. Has the menu changed to include more seafood? Last time I was there, it was a majority of lake fish and we are more seafood people. Anyone know if the menu is more seafood friendly?

        2. How about the Turkish place at Easton? I think they changed their name to Turkish Cuisine, but it's still the Cafe Istanbul people. I liked it when I went there and it was Cafe Istanbul.

            1. I liked Basi Italia a lot!

              1. if you're willing to go to german village, we had a really fun time at Barcelona. Great atmosphere, excellent fusiony food.

                1. Have you heard of Dine Originals Columbus? They are a group of indepently owned restaurants in Columbus. They also have dicounted gift certificates quarterly. They go pretty quickly so you have to jump on them when they first come out.


                  1. Well, we tried to get reservations at Basi for tonight, but must need to call days in advance. We haven't been to Barcelona in a while, that just might work. What is Brownstone on Main like? Will try to find an online menu, would like to try someplace we have never been.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Diane in Bexley

                      It is an African American owned restaurant (with a mixed crowd) and they call their food "contemporary Southern" or something. The menu is on their website. The food is good. It hits all of your criteria.

                      1. re: kura kura

                        We did go to Brownstone on Main Friday night with another couple and thorouhly enjoyed ourselves. The restaurant is decorated in somber tones, browns and other dark colors, but very elegant. The food was contemporary Southern as described. The service was a little spotty. We had to wait a few minutes after 3 entrees had been served for my husband's delicious fried chicken to appear. Bread for the table did not come until the entrees were almost all gone. We had asked for them. They turned out to be delicious corn bread muffins, but no explanation was given as to why they showed up so late. I ordered decaf coffee immediately upon finishing my dinner and the waitress forgot about it until I reminded her three times. We had the opportunity to meet the owner and he was very pleasant and gave us a history of the establishment. Overall the food was delicious. There was an automatic 18% tip on our bill, which I have never seen before in Columbus. This was not a problem for us, we tip well anyway. The waitress or kitchen can fix the few things that went wrong, we will be back for more. The bill came to $58 for a shared appetizer (BBQ wings), 2 entrees (rib eye steak and fried chicken) and a shared dessert (cheesecake with raspberry sauce). Good value in our book.

                    2. There's a new website that might give you some ideas. They just started, so there aren't a ton listed, but you can search by location. The listings give very detailed info on the restaurant an post menus with prices. http://www.menusandmorecolumbus.com

                      1. have you tried olivia's?