Fresh Look - A new review of an old favorite

The most elegant and upscale of Cameron Mitchell's restaurants, M has solidly positioned itself among the city's top dining establishments over the years. 

And a change of chefs last year has done nothing to diminish the experience. Jay Cotrell took over the kitchen last July, and he has it running beautifully.

This place is worthy of a four-star rating, and it is possibly headed for better. The space is as lovely as ever, with white gauzy curtains separating some of the tables, the pretty view of the little green space between the Miranova office building and the Scioto River and the colored lights that constantly change. (Some find them annoying, but I think they set a peaceful mood.)

you will be at peace with the salad of crisp greens and perfectly cooked baby beets with a slice of the artisanal goat cheese called Humboldt Fog (as in the northern California county). It was one terrific salad. The spinach salad was likewise done well with a bit of Maytag blue and shreds of duck confit stepping in for the usual bacon to good effect.

For years, the Three Cones appetizer - crab, dressed lobster and tuna tartare in crisp sesame tuiles - has thrilled diners. I certainly liked it as well.

M styles itself in part as a Pacific Rim restaurant, and so sushi was on the menu. It was good sushi-nothing better or worse than our best Japanese restaurants. There were some interesting combinations, such as raw tuna with peanut sauce and cucumber salad. And you can be sure any of the fish offerings will be fresh.

Among the non-Pacific Rim items was a superior dish of long-braised beef short rib with root vegetables in a reduction of stock and wine. I also greatly enjoyed the plate of sea scallops served with asparagus and Parmesan-flavored risotto.

The wine list was extensive, better than it used to be in range of selection and quality. It was a fine list for choices. As for price, it was less expensive than on my previous visits, but still on the high side for many bottles. 

Service was smart and efficient. But I do wish they would dispense with the no-longer-amusing recitation of the servers' favorite items. If diners want to know, they'll ask.

Oh, yeah, desserts... don't miss the root beer float. Wow.