When Hungry Met Thirsty: Six Columbus restaurants that pair great food with terrific drinks

Easy — and Cheapie — Sushi

Sushi from M: If cost and/or intimidation steer you toward grocery stores for a sushi fix, you know you can do better. I suggest you hit up happy hour (Monday-Friday, 5-7 p.m.) in one of Columbus’ priciest restaurants for some of the city’s least expensive “sushi” (many are fusion-y and not-so-raw). Obviously you’re not gonna get crap fish at Cameron Mitchell’s flagship operation, which looks like a flamboyant lounge in a ritzy California hotel. No, you’ll get silky, peppered filet mignon carpaccio wrapped around inverted rolls stuffed with sweet and crunchy tempura shrimp and cream cheese. That’d be M’s huge and famous Surf-n-Turf ($8), which fittingly resembles a tempting serpent. Heat-seekers should target the messy-but-excellent Spicy Scallop ($6.50), which caps the best California roll in town (full of sweet, real crab meat) with diced and hot-sauced scallops, plus deep-fried crunchies.

To Drink: M’s well-deserved reputation for creative cocktails entails that it boil Peruvian tree bark with aromatics to make its own tonic water. This heady elixir grounds an amazing, tangerine-tinted-and-tangerine-hinting, full-bodied Tonic and Gin ($10, with Plymouth gin and fresh lime). For more fizzy fun, try a tart-finishing alcoholic cherry “pop” (Bourbon Cola, $12) made with Four Roses bourbon, Ruby Port, cherry bitters, fresh raspberries and sarsaparilla syrup ... which M bottles for a ticklish presentation. There’s also a huge, un-cheap wine list rife with French Champagnes.

April 24, 2014
G.A. Benton
Columbus Alive
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