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Columbus Cafe

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I've eaten here a couple of times recently and think it's a great South End standby, particularly on busier weekend nights without reservations, or with a group, or if you want to find sub $20 (and some sub $15 entrees). Last week we got a very nice table outside at 9 on Friday without a wait.

I had a (very generously poured) glass of Clay Station Viognier for (I think) $7, and a well-made mojito with a piece of sugar cane. Spinach and artichoke dip was a good version of the old standby, creamy and rich, with largeish pieces of artichoke. Excellent plantain appetizer: small pieces of fried plantain topped with guacamole and chiptole cream--a nice mixture of textures, and quite spicy. I had the tuna special entree ($17), which was cooked a little beyond the medium rare I'd requested, but was a very good and large piece of tuna, crusted with peppercorns, on pea risotto. The risotto was cooked as I prefer, with a slight bite to each individual grain of rice. Other entrees also looked good, especially the quesadilla (a steal at $12), served with a nice mix of sides. My DCs were all pleased with their cocktails, particularly the bellini martini--which, with peach schanpps and vodka, was a turbo-charged version of the traditional drink. We had excellent and rather charming service from our attentive waiter.

Has anyone else been recently? I think reviews were mixed when the ownership first changed, and a meal I had there last September was a bit spotty (mixed up drink orders, overcooked steak) but it seems to be settling down into a good, casual neighborhood option.

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