8. M at Miranova

Story by Robin Davis + Photos by Will Shilling

M can be whatever you want it to be.

Looking for a special occasion spot? With striking two-story ceilings hung with diaphanous white curtains and simply stunning views of the Downtown skyline, M is it.

Want a sophisticated cocktail lounge? That's M too, with a dramatically blue-lit bar that has to be the prettiest in the city, manned by mixologist extraordinaire Cris Dehlavi.

The cocktails alone are reason to visit. Take the Black Orchid. The black raspberry vodka and St. Germain drink is garnished with an actual orchid frozen into a ball of ice. The Marquee is just as pretty, a mix of citrus vodka and blood orange puree with a spritz of bitters forming the letter M on top.

Chef Jay Cotrell whips up food to please a variety of palates. Kobe beef slider appetizers are a homey snack served with fries and spicy ketchup and aioli for dipping.

Diners looking for more celebratory fare can feast on seafood dishes with an Asian influence. Poke--cubed raw tuna with bits of pineapple, peas and tiny taro root chips--is an appetizer that's meant to be shared.

A shrimp tempura dish comes with three fat shrimp, sweet potato slices and shitake mushroom caps, all coated in an ultra-crisp batter and served with a sweet-spicy chili sauce.

For entrees, listen to the specials. On a recent visit, I loved the seared Scottish salmon served over baby bok choy with a soy-butter sauce.

Don't pass up dessert, especially the Root Beer Float. This beaut combines root beer granita with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, all doused in root beer and served with warm chocolate chip cookies.

M at Miranova 2 Miranova Pl., Downtown 614-629-0000 matmiranova.com Hours: 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday

The Crave 10 1. Rigsby's 2. G. Michael's 3. Kihachi 4. Dragonfly 5. Basi Italia 6. Sage 7. Refectory 8. M 9. Alana's 10. Worthington Inn