Wow - I was quite impressed with the food scene in Columbus. It is definitely not the Ohio from 25 years back!
By coincidence, I ended up going to 3 of the Cameron Mitchell restaurants...
Ocean Club - got a great bottle of Chautenau de Pape where wines are 50% of under $100 (?). The food was good - nothing outstanding but passable. Blackened fish - quite good though a bit on the sweet side and the steak was cooked perfect medium-rare. Oysters - yummy
Martini - only found out same owner. The fresh mozarella appetizer is a must! This is the 2nd time I've had the fresh mozarella made on premise and it is a treat! Steak again was cooked perfect medium rare.
Marcella - probably my least favorite place. Had the gluten free pizza - pesto good - but pizza also isn't my favorite.
The Pearl - Quite the fusion type of restaurant - oyster bar but with a menu that was a mix of everything - in particular a lot of eggs appear in the dishes. Had the short ribs which was quite good - but my colleague had flank steak with kimchee fried rice. Being a Korean - the kimchee fried rice is comfort food. It was so good that I went back on my last night to have this dish. Quite surprised to find the dish - will definitely make it at home!
Deep Wood - this was the gem in town that topped everything. Can definitely hold its own among the best in the Bay area - without the Bay area prices! Since it was happy hour, all the wines were sold at retail -- what a steal! Everything was executed quite well. Potato soup - vichyoisse - was the best dish. Light yet creamy - both my colleague and I were fighting over it! The accompanying salad wasn't that impressive. Sardine dish with eggplant and lentils and roasted tomatoes - was ok nothing too memorable. Scallops in a choux pastry - scallops were done quite nicely - my colleague's favorite dish. Then a trio of beef: steak tartare - one of the best that I've had, beef marrow - rich and satisfying, and oxtail ravioli in an onion soup which had a slight tartness - very interesting flavors that worked well. And if you're into whiskeys - a very wide array of selections as well as some pretty good wines. In fact, a lot of the restaurants had great wine lists.