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Oct 17, 2009 09:29 PM

Best place for dinner in Columbus, Ohio?

Me again. This time looking for the best place for dinner in Columbus, Ohio.

Here are the criteria:

1. Must be open on Monday nights, or at least on this Monday (October 19). I am only in town for one night, so this is a dealbreaker.

2. Excellent service.

3. Outstanding desserts.

Ideally it would be in downtown Columbus. I prefer a small or mid-size place that is not in a hotel. I don't care for spicy or exotic food.

Money is no object.

I don't know Columbus at all, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. Rigsby's gets high marks from most Chowhounder's. It's upscale Italian, open Monday, and in the short north (which is just north of downtown and south of the OSU campus). I've never been, but my friends love it. Maybe some locals will chime in, but if not, do a search on Columbus to see quite a few recommendations. There are lots of restaurants on High St (including Rigsby's) in the short north. Good luck!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      Been to Rigsby's and have never been disappointed. First off, the service is fantastic. It is a wonderful balance between formal and friendly, which is pleasently suprising in a restaurant. The refined Northern Italian is consistently good, but what sets this restaurant apart on a gastronomic level are its specials. The in season dishes can range from day boat fish to organic, free range meat, an occuring theme at this restaurant with an apparent care for sourcing high quality ingredients.

      Hopefully this can help.

      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        I second this recommendation! Rigby's has never disappointed. Have the beet first course... it's amazing even if beets aren't your favorite.

        1. re: Niki in Dayton

          Niki, Looks like you've been on chowhound for a long time and I'm trusting your opinion. Can you tell me what restaurants are still good and open in DAYTON. We're headed to Dayton for my nieces wedding from SF. Not sure how much time we'll have but I'd love some recent updates for breakfast, lunch, restaurants with a good vegie option, fish etc... Thanks KC . You can reply on the Dayton post.

          1. re: love food

            I didn't see a recent Dayton post so am replying to you here. SF is a great food town, so we may not be up to your standards, but here are some places to consider:

            South of Dayton (Dayton Mall area)

            Rue Domaine (dinnner only except Fri lunch), New Orleans-influenced modern cuisine with emphasis on local seasonal ingredients, owned/operated by Anne Kearney (of NOLA Peristyle fame) and her husband Tom.
            Meadowlark (lunch, dinner, and brunch on weekends). Emphasis on local seasonal ingredients, modern American, always several good veggie options.

            Near Downtown Dayton

            Pine Club (in Oakwood, just south of downtown). Old time steak house; awesome hamburgers; cash only, no reserverations, dinner only.

            Jay's Seafood Restaurant (Oregon district downtown). This restaurant has been around for 36 years and had its ups and and downs, it was very good recently but they just lost their head chef, Justin White, to another gig. I haven't been since he left yet, dinner only.

            Blind Bob's is a bar/restaurant in the Oregon district that has good falafel and good tempura fried mushrooms. I haven't tried anything else, but my friend eats here regularly and likes the burgers. Lunch and dinner.

            Tank's Bar and Grill on Wayne Ave (about 1/2 east of the Oregon district). Great burgers, great fried mushrooms, good homemade soups. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I've never tried the breakfast. I would, though, based on the quality of the food.

            Also consider a trip out to Yellow Springs, to visit the Winds. Local, seasonal food, decent wine list, lots of great veggie options (the folks at Meadowlark trained here). Yellow Springs is a great little town to visit. Lunch and dinner.

            Hope this helps - let us know if you have more specific questions.


            1. re: Niki in Dayton

              Hi Niki,
              Thanks so much for replying. The Winds and Meadowlark look lovely. It's a quick weekend trip and it looks like we'll only have time for Dinner on Fri and Lunch on Sat. We're staying in Fairborn. I've spend lot's of time in the Midwest so I know what to expect or not.


              1. re: love food

                Is there a place near Fairborn to accomodate a large number of people? Could be an Asia restaurant or pub style of whatever you suggest. It must have some sort of vegie option. The fried mushrooms sound good. I love mushrooms. Can any of the restaurants above accomodate a large group? Are they near Fairborn?

                Also if you had to choose between Meadowlark and the Winds for lunch, which would you choose?


                1. re: love food

                  There's a Korean/Japanese restaurant in Fairborn called Saya. I've been there for work lunches and a friend ordered the vegetarian bip bim bop....I don't remember if it had egg or not (probably). They also have stuff like edmame, miso soup, tempura, and sushi (so a vegetarian could put together a decent meal). No web site; the phone is 937 879-9700 and it's at 1030 Kauffman Ave in Fairborn. We were there last month with about 25 folks, so they can accomodate a group; everyone seemed to love their food and portions were fairly large (and folks ordered both Korean and Japanese with no complaints). Fairborn is pretty small and doesn't have much else except chains and fast food. Blind Bob's could accomodate a group, but is about a half hour or so from Fairborn.

                  As to whether I'd go to Meadowlark or the Winds, it would depend upon what else I had on the agenda. The Winds is only about 20 minutes from Yellow Springs, and if I had some time to wander around and window shop, or if it was a nice day and I wanted to hike, I'd pick the Winds. Also, depends upon the day....I know Meadowlark is open for lunch during the week, but not sure about weekends (they do brunch, though). I think the Winds opens around 11:30 and stays open through dinner. Neither place would be good for a large group. Hope this helps...

                  1. re: Niki in Dayton

                    Hi Niki,
                    I made a map of Dayton you might like to see.


                    My sister in-law has gone to The Winds and loves it. I'll try to report back after my trip thanks for much for all your recommendations. I love chowhound.


                    1. re: love food

                      Cool! Hope you enjoy your visit; let us know where you eat.

        2. I would suggest having (or at least purchasing) dessert first at Pistacia Vera in German Village, and then strolling down the street to G. Michaels. If you have free time and love to read, you could even hit the book loft before you head back downtown (it's open until 11p).

          these spots are on 3rd street in German Village, just a few blocks south of Downtown. Maybe a $6 cab ride.

          Rigsby's, as already mentioned, is also really great and probably walkable from most hotels on the north side of downtown.

          Good luck!

          1 Reply
          1. re: lisathewaitress

            I second G. Michaels (they do have valet parking) and Pistacia Vera is the BEST bakery in town, hands down.

          2. We've taken to stopping in Columbus on our drives from Brooklyn to Indiana, and are planning a 3rd visit to Rigsby's soon-it's a really nice place. Our waiter had recommended Pistacia Vera, and we found that to be very good, as well.
            We're hoping to try G Michaels on our upcoming trip in December.
            You may want to check out the North Market as well, if you have time. Columbus is a really great town.