684 South High Street
February 12, 2010
For Valentine's Day this year we decided we wanted the classic steakhouse experience and quite frankly, in Columbus, you can't get more classic than the Clarmont. To some it may be outdated, but in my mind it's the epitome of retro cool. I have been to this place a few times before and I always love the feeling of stepping back in time. There are still phone jacks at each table from the days they would bring a phone to your table if an important call needed to be taken or made. I always think about all the business and political deals that were likely made at those tables. As we walked in a piano player was playing in a salmon jacket. He had probably worn that same jacket and played the same songs every Friday night there since 1980. However, that's just part of the ambiance and made us smile. Who doesn't enjoy dining to the piano version of "Wind Beneath My Wings"?
"Ahhh, that's good. For a minute I thought you were taking a picture of the salad and that would be weird," he countered back. Yep, weird is right. Yep, that's what I was doing :)
Anyway, even though he was obviously not up on the ways of restaurant blogging, that didn't stop him from offereing up wonderful service. For a drink I ordered a classic vodka martini, dirty. I inquired about whether or not they had blue cheese stuffed olives (my favorite) and he quickly replied they didn't, but he could make some up for me. I about fell over in love. The idea that these didn't have to be pre-bought or even pre-made, but that he would do something extra to help give me the experience that I wanted. This is why I love this place and it's an old way of doing business. I wish there was more of that in the current restaurant business.
Bread service had a portion of a typical white loaf that was crusty on the outside and light and doughy on the inside. However, I was partial to the pretzel sticks with sesame seeds that was also in the bread basket. They reminded me of a snack my grandmother usually had at her house. The butter was whipped, light, creamy, and airy.
Bill Total: 1 martini, 2 gimlets, house salad, wedge salad, 10 oz strip steak, perch, whipped potatoes, and a baked potato, and tip (minus a buy one get one free from the Prestige Dining Card)= $57
Overall Rating: 4 buckeyes