The Ahi Ruby Rare appetizer at Polaris Grill. Photo by Michael A. Foley/Rycus Assoc.
The aptly named Polaris Grill, located on Polaris Parkway just east of I-71 since 1997, offers a nice range of upscale bar food plus varied entrees. Prices aren’t low, and it’s not altogether clear you get what you pay for. But some of the food is quite good.
My dining pals and I sampled an array of appetizers. The jumbo shrimp cocktail featured decently big, but not cold or crisp shrimp and a good-enough standard cocktail sauce. Ahi Ruby Rare came with the familiar pickled ginger and hot mustard flavors encompassed in a wasabi beurre blanc. There was a Platter for Two: slightly spicy chicken tenders, some of the shrimp, pieces of good crab cake and what the menu described as Pane de Grill, which resembled pizza puffs with a sort of mild, but tasty fondue for dipping.
Soups were good. I especially enjoyed the Aztec chowder (with a well-flavored mix of white beans, chicken and chilies topped with pepper jack) and a savory and pretty squash soup that was a nightly special.
One of the Grill’s signature items is the 55 House Salad, a carryover from the now defunct 55 Restaurant Group, where this restaurant’s owners once were top executives. According to one of my companions, who worked in three of the old 55 operations, Polaris Grill’s version of the famous 55 salad has slipped. The original was carefully tossed with just the right amount of dressing before the garnishes of bacon, onions and blue cheese were added, but this has the dressing just kind of dumped on.
Entrees were OK, with a few disappointments. The roasted prime rib au jus was competent, with a good horseradish cream, but the beef flavor was not quite full. Salmon shiitake fettuccine provided salmon that was better than Columbus-fresh, but, despite the name, regular white button mushrooms had replaced half of the shiitakes. Disappointing.
Lamb chops were thin and served medium rare, as ordered, but not quite hot, a sin where lamb is concerned since the fat congeals particularly fast as it cools. The accompanying risotto was grainy, and the broccoli and carrots undercooked.
Desserts were pretty good, particularly the delicious pumpkin cheesecake. The apple crisp was gummy, but delicious. Sorbet and berries was entirely satisfactory, although the dish is hard to screw up. And there was a moderately interesting wine list.
1835 Polaris Pkwy.
Price range: Appetizers $8.95-$16.95; soups and salads $4.95-$14.95; pizza $10.95; entrees $13.95-$24.95.
Hours: Monday through Friday 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday noon to 10 pm, Sunday 10 am to 2:30 pm and 4:30 to 9 pm.
Rating: ** 1⁄2