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Intermediately priced B-day rec in Columbus, Ohio?

Diane in Bexley Aug 2, 2010 01:22 PM

Long story short, the whole family is not available for my birthday celebration this weekend. We are postponing the big event to later in the month. HOWEVER, I share this birthday with my mother and the 2 of us will be going out for an Intermediately expensive, celebratory dinner this Saturday. Mother is 81, of European culture & native, not into Indian/Thai/Mexican very spicy or very adventerous eating. We prefer small, owner operated restaurants where local food ingredients are carefully prepared. Would like to stay under $25/entree and do something different.

The "usual suspects" are Barcelona, G. Michael, Lindey's, Lola's, Hunan House, Trattorria Roma, The Top, so we are looking for something else. No Clarmont, please, for reasons I have discussed elsewhere. We have driven to Shaw's in Lancaster and Pine Supper Club in Dayton, so distance is not as important as good food. Thanks in advance!

684 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215

169 E. Beck Street, Columbus, OH 43206

Hunan House
2157 S Mission St Ste C, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

Hacienda Santa Rosa
3535 Calumet Ave, Manitowoc, WI 54220

  1. d
    drewdrew Aug 3, 2010 09:14 AM

    A few thoughts off the top of my head - Knead, Skillet, Park Street Cafe, Rigsby's, or Basi.

    Rigsby's Restaurant
    698 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

    1. f
      Fibber McGee Aug 4, 2010 09:07 AM

      If the Pine Club wasn't too far, you may like The Winds in Yellow Springs.


      1. h
        HungryLetsEat Aug 4, 2010 10:31 AM

        Diane - what about Camerons on 161? I took my parents there (they are in their 80s) and they loved it. I find the food is consistently quite good.

        1. uhockey Aug 6, 2010 03:12 PM

          Hands down - make the drive to Luce Enoteca. The owner/chef is the former chef at M @ Miranova and The Loft at BoMA. Fantastic and well priced Italian food - cheaper than Rigsby's and on the same level.


          Rigsby's Restaurant
          698 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

          1 Reply
          1. re: uhockey
            uhockey Aug 6, 2010 03:13 PM


          2. q
            quirkydeb Aug 10, 2010 12:08 PM

            What about the Refectory's Bistro Menu?

            1 Reply
            1. re: quirkydeb
              uhockey Aug 10, 2010 03:31 PM

              Best food in the city is at Refectory - and that menu is a STEAL.


            2. Niki in Dayton Aug 10, 2010 12:22 PM

              If Dayton isn't too far to travel, have you tried Rue Domaine? Chef Anne Kearney features lots of local food, some of it grown on her farm. Although some of the dishes are Cajun-influenced, most of it isn't really spicy. Or try Meadowlark, or, as someone else suggested, the Winds in Yellow Springs (which will be closer than Dayton from Columbus).

              1. d
                Diane in Bexley Aug 11, 2010 12:23 PM

                We celebrated our birthday on both Fri & Sat last weekend, Aug 6 & 7. We had a small group at Trattoria Roma on Fri, which was always a solid rec in the past. Don't know if the chef was having a bad day or they have gone downhill, but it will be a while till we return. Mother had the veal, which was meh - could have been chicken or pork, it didn't taste like veal to me. Brother had the pasta, the sauce wasn't very flavorful. The minestrone soup was ordinaire as well. The only good item was the mussel in a cream wine sauce, which Mother & I split as an appetizer. Should have ordered this as a main dish, it was so yummy, we asked for more toasted ciabatta to sop up the juices. The mussels were cooked perfectly and just the right amount of sauce. This would have been delicious over pasta. We treated ourselves to Jeni's a few doors down on Grandview, which was the 2nd highlight of the evening.

                For our actual birthday on Saturday, we ended up at The Clarmont on S. High, which I had sworn I wouldn't do. Won't get into my personal rant, but the meal turned out very good. The difficulty for us in finding a restaurant is that all diners are vociferous carnivores except for nephew, who is vegan. Hard to find a restaurant that has tableclothes, a good selection of both vegan and meat oriented dishes. After I called seriously about 20 places, most of which had no clue what vegan was, the Clarmont assured me they have done this before. Nephew was served non-egg pasta with roasted veggies and EVOO as well as wedge salad with no egg, balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The bottom line is that Mother really enjoyed her food, the ambience and the evening. It's about 8 years since I was there last and the decor hasn't changed (a good thing to my Mother). She first started eating at The Clarmont in 1953 when she first came to Columbus as a young bride and worked at Grange Mutual Insurance. Technically speaking, I have been going there since in utero. For many years she and my father frequented the place and enjoyed it. It was the last place my father visited just before he died, at his request for a last meal.

                For $19.95, Mother and my neice has a full prime rib dinner with salad and side dish, a bargain indeed. The sweet potato was much appreciated with the maple syrup butter served on the side. The prime rib looked to be 16 oz. at least, very nicely seasoned and cooked medium rare. I had rack of lamb, again a good value at $25.99 with salad and side. The lamb was charred on the outside with the meaty rack cut into individual rib chops, perfectly cooked medium rare and served with a good brown sauce enhanced with wine. Mother was extremely satisfied with her meal, we were seated near the piano player who played several requests. Neice and nephew recognized some old Blue Eyes songs and commented how nice the man could play Michael Buble!

                We had ordered a cake from Mozart (hazelnut torte) which was also very good. All in all, a nice evening. I may re-consider my boycott.

                Thanks for making me aware of some other options - we don't often find ourselves in Powell, but Luce Enoteca sounds like it might be worth a trip. I love the Refectory, didn't realize they have a bistro, which might be less formal and more appealing. Will also file away the Dayton rec when we find ourselves going in that direction next time (nephew is off to Miami U). Thanks!

                684 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215

                Trattoria Roma
                1447 Grandview Avenue, Columbus, OH 43212

                Grandview Cafe
                1455 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212

                660 Woodward Ave Ste 1, Detroit, MI 48226

                1 Reply
                1. re: Diane in Bexley
                  kura kura Aug 12, 2010 03:19 PM

                  FYI, Alana will do some of her dishes vegetarian or vegan if you ask.

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