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M at Miranova - Columbus, OH

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M at Miranova - Columbus, OH

uhockey | Mar 2, 2008 02:50 PM

On Friday, February 29th myself and a group of 7 other people attended dinner at
M at Miranova. The eight of us were from places varying from Wisconsin to
Toronto to Miami to NYC to New Jersey to right here in Columbus and we were all
together for a nice dinner after the Arnold. As an experienced diner and the
only person from Columbus, I suggested M and I could not have been more pleased
with the food, the service, or my group's experience.

First, the decor was beautiful. With slowly changing overhead lighting as well
as slashes of light emanating from the "Mastro's-Style" wine rack in the front
combined with low light chandeliers in the back of the restaurant created an
elegant yet trendy look without feeling stuffy or arrogant. The staff was
dressed elegantly and everything at the table appeared pressed, polished, and
high quality. The candles in the barrel shaped room at the front were incredible
as well and the noise level was wonderful for conversation.

As most had only arrived that day and were busy with hotel reservations, two
members of the group arrived early and two late. Those who arrived early were
treated to great cocktails at the bar and those arriving late were ushered to
our table in the beautiful 'barrel room' without hassle.

Nate, our server, was outstanding in explaining the menu to some of the diners
who were more picky due to bodybuilding restrictions and was fantastic at
knowing when to offer suggestions and when to give the diner time to decide.
Nothing felt rushed at all. Additionally, as the menu frequently changes, one
of our diners had noted Watermelon sushi in the past and being from New York was
disappointed to discover it had recently left the menu. To my amazement, the
waiter left and returned shortly to inform us that they could make the roll and
that someone had been sent to pick up a Watermelon immediately. Never have I
experienced such service. I was and still am in awe.

While I cannot comment on everything on the menu, I will note that my fellow
diners were particularly pleased with the 'Soup' of Roasted Tomato and Chevre
Crostini, The 'Beef' of Mini Kobe Burgers w/ Carmelized Onions, Cheddar, and
Spiced Fries, and the 'Poke' with Big Eye Tuna, Avocado, Ginger Soy, and Wasabi
Sorbet (The sorbet alone was raved by our friend from NYC.) The Steak in a Bowl
was described as 'incredible' by all three diners who experienced it and both
the Surf n' Turn Roll and Watermelon Roll were enjoyed. Very full, only 2
desserts were ordered, the coffee and donuts by an athlete from Miami and the
Bread Pudding by myself. Less highly thought of items included the Three Cones
which were "too sweet" and "unoriginal" and the Wild salmon which was 'average,'
and the coffee and donuts which were simply coffee and warm fried pieces of
apple and bread with dipping sauce.

I personally opted for a starter of the 'Crab' She-Crab Bisque with Blue Crab
BLT and Basil Aioli. The dish was plated beautifully and although small,
incredible in taste and texture. The soup was pureed crab and butter, plus
basil and each taste melded perfectly while maintaining its originality. The
Blue Crab BLT was even better than the soup, in my opinion, and the taste of
Crab exploded from the tiny sandwich in the same way that the Lobster at SPAGO
explodes from the Lobster BLT.

As a main, I chose the Black Cod with Lobster Ravioli, Green Asparagus, and
Sweet Corn Emulsion. Plated on a simple white plate, the flawlessly broiled
fish was served topped with very tender and flavorful asparagus on top of a bed
of 4 Lobster Ravioli and a base layer of the Corn. The flavors each persisted
on their own, but also complimented one another eaten as a whole. The lobster
Ravioli were as good as any I've ever experienced and the corn emulsion could be
served as a dessert in a lesser restaurant.

In addition to my main, I also opted for the Lobster Mashed Potatoes which were
simple, utilizing a creamy potato and garlic oil, topped with warm whole chunks
of lobster. Having had this dish only 2 weeks prior at Mastro's in Los Angeles,
I can definitively say I preferred the M presentation, flavor, and pricetag ($34
at Mastro's.)

For dessert, a friend and I split the Banana Bread Pudding described as 'Layered
in Butterscotch Banana custard, Cashew Toffee, and Roasted Banana Gelato.' As
Bread pudding is in my top two favorite desserts along with Tiramisu, I have
experienced multiple presentations and will say that M's interpretation was
amongst the top two or three along with the version's at Emeril's in Orlando and
Lolita's Lust in Toronto. The gelato was understated yet complimented the
saltiness of the saltiness of the cashews beautifully while the bread pudding
was a tastefully heavy banana bread coated in a delectably smooth butterscotch
custard. The dessert was sizable without being too much, just as dessert should
be.

All told, everyone was pleased, including those with upscale 'big city' eating
experience in cities much more respected by "foodies." For myself, the meal
ranked on the same level as meals at restaurants like Il Mulino in New York and
Spago in Los Angeles, as well as the Emeril's Franchised restaurants in Orlando
and Las Vegas, and the service was even better. If there is better dining to be
had in Columbus Ohio, or all of Ohio at all, I have yet to experience it.

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