1870 Mag

Date Night Bites

Three-course meal deals to keep your belly and your bank account full.

Living by the university, it’s easy to miss out on all the things Columbus has to offer. While regular meals for students range from Canes and Cazuelas to the occasional trip to Condado, our city has far more to offer us in terms of culinary craftsmanship. While the thought of leaving the university district may strike fear in the pocketbooks of many a student, the deals available with (614)’s Restaurant Week—which runs from July 23-28—give the perfect opportunity to treat your partner to a special meal from a place you’ve never ventured to.

So instead of heading out to the same date spot you’ve been taking your boo to the last few months and rather than forcing down another burger from McDonald’s, use the end of the month to treat yourself and your significant other to a nice dinner. Though menu prices for Restaurant Week can reach up to $40 per person, the five spots on this list won’t run you any more than $30 per person meaning you can treat your boo without hurting your wallet.

Columbus Fish Market: $30

1245 Olentangy River Rd.

If seafood means extravagance, but you or your date is getting a little tired of that two for $20 at Red Lobster, now is the perfect time to experience the Columbus Fish Market. You’ll start your dining with a choice of two salads—pretty normal—but things take off after that. The safe bet is to try the shrimp lo mein, but a true foodie will go after the seafood paella which comes with clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops, chorizo, peppers, and saffron rice. It’s a mouthful of components, but each one is every bit flavorful and important to the overall taste. Finish the meal off with a vanilla bean creme brulee and head home knowing your living large on the cheap.

Hubbard Grill: $30

793 N. High St.

Sitting in the heart of the Short North Arts District, Hubbard Grille is an ideal option before a Friday night on the town with friends. Its spacious interior and side patio offer plenty of seating options for you and your significant other, making it a great double date spot. Meatatarians can dive into the chimichurri sirloin or the organic pan-seared salmon while vegheads can put down some asparagus ravioli that was locally sourced. The one thing carnivores and vegetarians can agree on? Jalapeño cornbread. And that’s how you should start your date night bites here. Just make sure you save room for the charred pineapple-blueberry upside down cake—again, sharing is an option when it comes to the third course.

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Balboa: $25

1312 Grandview Ave.

Grabbing dinner for a date night doesn’t mean you have to be dressed up in your best button down, sometimes it’s as simple as grabbing some casual eats at an urban and hip spot. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing at Balboa. You have three options for your first course—street corn lollipops, oysters, and a chilled brisket salad—but the true lovers know oysters are the way to go on date night. Ever heard of an aphrodisiac? Google it. Your main course offers tacos, shrimp enchiladas, and sope. You could go the safe route and each get tacos, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, you get one thing and your significant other gets something else. This shouldn’t be about one or the other, it should be one and the other. Cap off your Spanish-inspired cuisine with some of the most iconic desserts, most notably the empanada. With some pineapple, cream cheese, churro dust (a fancy way of saying a mixture of sugar and cinnamon), strawberry hibiscus coulis, and shaved white chocolate… Maybe go ahead and double down here and get two empanadas as your third course.

The Old Mohawk: $20

819 Mohawk St.

Nestled in German Village sits a restaurant with roots dating back to 1933 post-prohibition America. Luckily things have changed and liquor is back on the menu. Now in its current state, the Old Mohawk offers entree options such as center cut sirloin and wild mushroom ravioli that would typically run you about $20 per entree. Notice how this entire three-course meal only costs $20 per person? Yup, that’s a steal. The Old Mohawk is a tough opportunity to pass up. They must’ve known a few OSU students will be coming too with their buckeye millionaire dessert option—three layers of chocolate mousse, peanut butter cheesecake, and whipped cream on a pecan crust.

Lemongrass: $30

641 N. High St.

For anyone looking to get outside of the box in terms of food, Lemongrass’s offering is the perfect option for you. While the edamame is a sure-fire go-to for vegetarians out there, the mini tartar catches my eye. It’s fresh tuna seasoned with cajun spices and served with avocado, pickled ginger, crispy noodles, mint wasabi, and ginger soy. Lemongrass’s menu will also be geared to seafood lovers as the stuffed salmon, seafood basil, and two sushi specials hit the discounted menu. The first roll, the red dragon roll, brings shrimp tempura and cucumber topped with tuna, spicy mayo, and Sriracha while the other roll, devil’s breath, showcases tuna and salmon over a California roll with jalapenos, spicy mayo, Sriracha, and black tobiko. Round out your meal by each splitting a creme brulee cheesecake and a triple chocolate mousse cake, or just be selfish and not let your significant other even try a bite.

Restaurant Week runs from July 23-28 and will benefit Columbus Humane. $1 will be donated to Columbus Humane for every Restaurant Week photo tagged #EAT614 on Instagram during the week up to $5,000. For more info, check out Eat614.com.

Julian Foglietti

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