Restaurant review: Press Grill

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

What am I going on about? Well, seeing how people in this chicken-wing-obsessed era we live in will brazenly dump wing sauce onto nearly anything - and with good reason, if you ask me! - I was trying to think of things the hot stuff wouldn't improve.

Because, let's face it, adding that double-barreled burn of vinegar and chili can bring an enlivening zing to all kinds of asking-for-it edibles. For instance, while hanging out at the delightful Press Grill the other night, I had an appetizer dish that splashed wing sauce all over something far leaner than skin-on, fried chicken wings - and the result worked great.

First a few words about the Press. It's no wonder the friendly confines of this stalwart Short Norther are frequently packed with good-timing imbibers - talk about a lot to offer!

It's dark and comfy inside, with a long bar fitted with padded chairs. Behind the accommodating bar are wall-spanning mirrors that allow patrons to see how much fun they're having. There's also cherry-wood-colored tables, a checkerboard floor, a quartet of modestly sized sports-tuned tubes, decent tunes and some of the best bar food in town.

Along these lines are homey soups, a bunch of especially well-made burgers and sandwiches, spot-hitting pizzas and a group of excellent daily specials. And c'mon, how can you beat two Nathan's Famous hot dogs for $3 (Mondays), or complete Thanksgiving (Thursday) or steak (Sunday) dinners for a beyond-reasonable $10?

As for that wing-sauced starter, it was Buffalo Shrimp. Unlike most of the Press Grill's menu items, this one wasn't super cheap ($9), but it was worth the tariff. I got eight non-battered fatboy shrimp given a dark and crusty chargrilling but still plump, tender and juicy underneath. The crispy critters were doused in a creamsicle-colored sauce showing a fine balance between butter and vinegar.

I also liked how the smoky grill-marked flavor of the good-quality crustaceans thematically paired with the singe of the sauce. On the side were the expected celery and blue cheese dip to dampen the flames (Hint: don't plunge the shrimp into the thick blue cheese sauce - it'll overwhelm them).

For best results, consume these Buffalo Shrimp with two to three light-bodied and refreshing brewskis. Repeat as necessary.

For more local food news and reviews, click to G.A. Benton's blog at

Press Grill

741 N. High St., Short North


More info at Columbus Dining Guide

From the Alive archives:

Nightly Special: Press Grill