Cimi’s Bistro - At the Pinnacle

1550 Pinnacle Club Drive, Grove City, OH (614) 539-3035

Cimi’s Bistro stands as the showcase at Pinnacle, a newer golf club perched upon Grove City greens. This metropolis is so expansive – a wide swatch bathed in gleaming marble and hues of taupe and gray – there isn't enough room here to detail all the goings-on inside. But, we’ll try. The restaurant is the focal point, however, managing partner Brian Younkin notes. The golf club takes care of itself.

A team of gentlemen takes control here, lining up event after events; the club was commissioned for 75 weddings so far this year. Food and Beverage Director Tim Magee sat at my suede-seated, white-linen table a bit, perfectly situated in the center of the bistro for a 180-view of the facility. Before astounding me with tidbits on club operations, he convinced me to try a Blood Orange Cosmopolitan, craftily concocted for the season. Also created: a Bloody Vampire, a tempting twist on a Bloody Mary. Some of the highlights he spoke of: an interactive pasta station on Tuesday evenings. It’s all you can eat for $14. In fact, there’s something slated here every night – wine night, surf-and-turf night, date night and more. Sometimes extra-special events are lined up, such as hog roasts and lobster bakes. After enjoying that chilled frou-frou delight of a drink, I was whisked away by Younkin for a tour of the facility. We first ventured to the patio, beautiful with brick and wrought-iron furniture; hanging bare bulbs completed the look. There’s a “Champion’s Grill” here as well, an outdoor brick oven Younkin believes is the only one in the city. From here, diners can nibble on stromboli or panini while viewing the 9th hole, the fairway gorgeously speckled with mature maple, oak and sycamore trees. Moving to the other end of the facility, I was startled to discover a brick altar beautifully designed with luscious grass and pavers. Couples simply say “I do” and take a step away into a ballroom dripping with chandeliers.

The bistro remains open between 10 and 11 a.m. each day. It closes depending on business, but standard closing hours are usually between 9 and 10 p.m. each evening. Some nights, this spot hosts live bands, Date Night being one of them. Couples can enjoy music and dinner for two for $55. Happy hour here runs from 4-6 p.m.; however, only from Sunday through Thursday.

Find this gem of a club just a quick jaunt from I-71 in Grove City. There’s plenty of parking, and I was even offered a ride from the parking lot to the facility by an employee in a golf cart. Once inside and after viewing the grounds, you’ll forget you’re even anywhere close to a city or highway.

There were no surprises this night. The menu was presented with all entrees I would receive spelled out. Surf and Turf and Italian Twisty Rolls arrived first. When asked about the inspiration behind the dishes on the menu, I learned that all the chefs have a creative hand in its design and that it’s important that the creations appease the Grove City meat-and-potatoes-eating demographic. Scallops served as the surf here; BBQ ribs stood as the turf. The ribs were as expected – moist and super tangy-sweet, a nice contrast with the spice of the blackened scallops, sizzling from being prepared in a cast-iron skillet. Also delicious with this dish was the accompanying traditional-style coleslaw, notable because of its light, subtle taste. I was pleased to try the Twisty Rolls, which came stuffed with meats and cheese, simply because of its originality. The house-made marinara sauce, however, was the highlight of this dish. Perhaps try a glass a Da Vinci Chianti with these plates.

Round two: Lobster Bisque and Cimi’s Signature Salad. A theme to recur in following dishes was the richness of the house sauces. I found this soup so delectable, so creamy and cheesy with little meaty slivers, I had to force myself to stop spooning it out. The salad affected me the same way, perfectly balanced with candied pecans, ruby-red strawberries, salty blue cheese and a sweet-and-sour dressing.

When the main entrees arrived, I glanced around me to see if anyone was noticing how many plates were in front of me, just one lonely diner. Rest assured I asked for all of the leftovers to be boxed up. I ended up taking two full bags home with me. How did I get so lucky to get this gig? The marinara sauce again made an appearance in the Chicken Marsala dish, and it was one of the best flavors of the evening, perfectly seasoned and tomato smooth. Rich beyond belief would best describe the Marsala sauce, made even heartier with the addition of crimini mushrooms. I tried each of the varieties from the bread basket to swipe in it – a gleaming pretzel roll and piece of ciabatta.

Pizza pie anyone? I believe Margaritas are the best, and the one I was served had that perfect brick-oven taste. Only one slice though before I had to move on to the Tuna Putanesca, a perfectly juicy steak set atop garlicky sautéed spinach with Kalamata olives. I would even have enjoyed just the spinach mix as an entrée – it was that tasty.

One last delight, and I insisted on trying this dish specifically – so fitting with the season – Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut Sage Cream Sauce topped with Roasted Hazelnuts. That’s a mouthful, and a delicately delicious one. I found these little wonders so tender and richly sweet with all that creamy sauce. The sage and crunchy hazelnuts elevate the plate to something that shouldn’t be passed up. The Honig sauvignon blanc complimented the flavors nicely.

Three drinks down and I was ready for some coffee, and though the dessert dishes that came my way in the end looked good, I was simply too full to have any more than just a couple nibbles. Continuing with the fall theme, I asked for Pumpkin Pie. I didn’t argue with the Mud Pie that was selected for me. Both served as a sweet ending to an enjoyable evening.