Last week I had to go down to Columbus for a conference. If you spend any time in our state capitol’s restaurant scene, you’ll soon figure out that its landscape is dominated by corporate entities. For a relatively large city, Columbus’ fine dining options are especially corporate.
On the one night I spent there I was eating at Cameron Mitchell’s Martini Modern Italian, in the Short North. Located across from the Columbus Convention Center, Martini does a massive business from events held across the street.
I first noticed two things:
1) The place was packed to the gills.
2) Where there are many people, there is much body heat. It was absolutely sweltering in the upper dining room.
So I sit down with my friend Danny (seated with a party of about 15 other people) and partake in a few drinks. Passing on the appetizers I dove straight into Caesar’s salad. It was big and it was, well, a Caesar’s salad.
I chose the Garlic Crusted Salmon for my entrée. My first impression was that, from the top, it looked like a grilled cheese sandwich. The skin side (with the skin off) had a garlic crust on it. Since it was the flat side, it looked like a grilled cheese sandwich because the crust was on top and maintaining that flat firm surface. I was skeptical to say the least. Just then Ed, who was sitting across from me said, “I had that last night. It’s good. Don’t you think it looks like grilled cheese?” If you look here you’ll see it pictured in the banner in the upper right hand corner.
All I can say is that it the garlic crust is where it’s at. It tasted damn good. The funny thing is that the salmon looked like a piece of Coho or Sockeye (not particularly thick and a very deep salmon color), but it was perfectly cooked. Looking at the piece of salmon I thought, “Man, this is going to be dry as hell.” However, the crust and the sauce really pulled the whole together to create a really good dish.
For dessert I had the Tiramisu, again not your typical presentation. Expecting the “same old same old”, it came out served in a chocolate cup. The tiramisu itself seemed to have more of the creaminess and fewer of the lady fingers. I would jump on this dessert again in a heart beat.
Was it corporate? Sure. Was it free? Yeah. Thanks Danny. If there weren’t a number of new restaurants I haven’t tried in Columbus I would go there again. Other than the overwhelmingly high temperatures inside (in the middle of December no less), I really enjoyed my dinner here.
Martini Modern Italian
445 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215