Who would think that a city nestled in the heart of Ohio could be home to some of the best non-chain seafood restaurants in the country? Well, Columbus, Ohio has five outstanding places where one can experience everything from gourmet to down-home seafood meals certain to satisfy that craving for fish, shrimp, crab, salmon and everything in between.
Located at 4002 Easton Station at the upscale Easton Town Center shopping mall is Mitchell’s Ocean Club. This Cameron Mitchell restaurant fuses a swanky décor, an extensive wine list and some of the best gourmet seafood entrees and appetizers in the city.
A multi-course meal is the best way to indulge and experience all of their unique menu items. If one can’t afford to plop down hundreds of dollars to try everything on the appetizer, raw bar, salad, entrée, side dish, wine and dessert menus, then plan on several return visits. Particular favorite menu items include the Lobster Bisque, Point Judith Calamari, Colossal Shrimp Sauté with angel hair pasta and tobasco cream sauce, the Crab Crusted Blue Tilapia, the Scallion twice-baked Vermont cheddar potatoes with bacon, the sweet potato French fries and the Black Truffle Mac and Cheese.
The Ocean Club experience doesn’t come cheap but it is well worth the seafood sampling. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 5-10 pm; Friday 5-11 pm; Saturday 4-11 pm and Sunday 4-9 pm.
The Claremont Steak and Seafood restaurant is a Columbus tradition. Established in 1947, the Claremont offers traditional seafood with an elegant dining experience. The Claremont prides itself on using high quality ingredients and providing top-notch service. Dinner menu items to sample include the Potato Encrusted Salmon and the Jumbo Sea Scallops. For lighter fare, try these specialties from the Lunch menu: the Salmon BLT or the pan-fried, deep-fried or broiled Lake Erie Walleye sandwich.
The Claremont is located at 684 South High Street in historic German Village. The restaurant’s seafood offerings are available during lunch (Monday through Friday 11-2:30; Saturday 11-4) and dinner (Monday through Thursday 5-10: Friday and Saturday 5-11; Sunday 4-9.)
Looking for delicious fried fish? Pop into Marino’s Fish and Chips. For over 25 years, Marino’s has served up lightly battered fried fish and thick-cut chips to the Central Ohio community. For the best overall experience, try the Seafood platter, which comes packed with 1 fish fillet, 5 scallops, 2 shrimp, chips and 2 hush puppies. In addition you can choose between macaroni salad and coleslaw to complete your combo. You get all of this for only $6.50 and it’s ready in about 10 minutes.
In the mood to gorge a bit, then sample Marino’s All-You-Can Eat offering available Monday-Thursday from 4-7 pm and all day on Saturday. Guests can enjoy unlimited fish, chips, coleslaw, hushpuppies and drink. Marino’s is open Monday-Friday 10:30-9; Saturday 11-9 and is closed on Sunday. Located at 1216 West 5th Avenue in Grandview, Marino’s is a warm, friendly and family-owned business guaranteed to satisfy that fried fish craving.
One of the tastiest fish sandwiches in Columbus can be found at the Fish and Chicken Inn at 1828 East Hudson Street. Known for the Big Momma Fish Sandwich, the Fish and Chicken Inn serves up inexpensive fried fish sandwiches and meals. The Big Momma comes with lettuce and onion and can be a meal on its own or you can make it a combo by adding fries and a can of pop. If you are looking for something more substantial try one of the fried fish combos. Choose from Whiting, Ocean Perch, Tilapia or Catfish and add two side items, I suggest the greens and yams. If you want something more adventurous add some fried okra. This down-home restaurant is open Monday-Thursday 11-8:30, Friday and Saturday 11-9 and Sunday 12-5. Be prepared to wait during lunch hours and on Sundays, but know it is well worth it.
The urban hipster, stylish suburbanite and the groovy gay all co-mingle at Short North hot spot Level. Featuring a delicious selection of seafood samplings, Level has emerged as a place to enjoy some of the city’s most creative seafood dishes.
The menu is cleverly separated into Starter, Garden, Main, Side, Stacked, Burger and Final levels allowing the diner to easily navigate its wide variety of options. Sticking with seafood, one should sample the Crispy Calamari. It comes with a spicy dipping sauce and is always delicious. Moving onto the Main Level, recommendations include the Seared Scallops or the Blackened Tilapia. Both are quite tasty, filling and beautifully presented. If the fried Coconut Shrimp is on the menu, make certain to order and dip them into both the orange-ginger and sweet Thai chili sauces. Level’s kitchen is open Sunday-Saturday from 11-11, but arrive between 7-9:30 for the best ambiance, crowd and swanky mood.
Columbus, Ohio’s seafood offerings are as diverse as the restaurants that specialize in them. Whether you want an upscale dining experience or a quick bite, Columbus has some fantastic fish options serving up memorable flavors.