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Restaurant Review: Cameron’s American Bistro

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Cameron’s American BistroPhotos by Mollie Lyman.
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Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has hired one of two teams: it’s either the most convincing crew of thespians in the universe, or it’s the most sincerely caring waitstaff in world history.

It’s not easy to deal with the public. There are a million restaurant staffer blogs and discussion boards that detail the miseries of waiting on the masses of self-absorbed, self-important, self-righteous peoples.

And yet, in spite of the challenges, every staff member at the revamped Cameron’s American Bistro seems to care, and seems to care deeply about the dining experience. From the entrance to the exit, there are lots of sincere looks and heartfelt greetings. The team’s personal investment is disturbing, almost.

While the restaurant has been recently revamped and updated, the menu skews heavily towards old-school offerings. To wit, you can score calamari, crab cakes or filet mignon any day of the week.

Or Caesar Salad ($6), that’s a traditional place to start. The kitchen does it in classic style with crisp romaine decorated with croutons, parmesan and a nice dressing that has a pronounced lemon accent.

Less often seen is the Chop Chop Salad ($7). It’s a raucous combo that includes greens, asparagus, egg, bacon and gorgonzola. The fact that there’s bacon in every bite makes the mix quite substantial and quite good. Even if it’s ubiquitous, bacon is still a home run.

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On the entree side of things, Cameron’s Walleye ($27) is a really nice thing to happen to a fish (outside the fact that it has to die in order to end up as an entree). Two thick fingers are stacked on the plate, the light and lush fish flesh is encrusted in a barely-there potatoey shell. It’s rounded out with crab meat, spinach and whipped potatoes. After decades of lumpy, smashed potatoes on local menus, the little puddle of silky smooth, whipped tubers feels revolutionary.

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Or perhaps Frutti Di Mare ($21)? It’s fun to mispronounce and it offers entertainment and nourishment. Sitting atop a whirling nest of flat pasta is a treasure trove of sea things; there are labor-intensive little mussels, firm shrimp, a few scallops here and there, and wispy rolls of calamari. It’s all tied together with a pulpy marinara.

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Cameron’s does a really nice job with seafood, but it isn’t trying to be the next Fish Market. The menu gives equal time to land creatures too. There’s plenty of steak, lamb, pork chops and (for the win) Dixie Pan Fried Chicken ($17): crackling outside, moist and juicy inside, and served with crushed potatoes and down-home chicken gravy.

Cameron’s American Bistro is up in the suburbs, so the dining crowd seems to skew a little older than the Cameron Mitchell joints at the city’s core. There is a kiddie menu too, for the other end of the dining age spectrum, the menu has offerings such as pizza and mac and cheese.

You can find the bistro at 2185 W. Dublin Granville Road. It’s open for dinner only: Mondays through Thursdays from 5pm until 10pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open until 11pm. And on Sundays, it closes at 9pm.

For more information, visit www.cameronsamericanbistro.com.

Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.

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3 Responses to Restaurant Review: Cameron’s American Bistro

  1. Cbusbill March 12, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am

    I took my now wife here on our first date before heading downtown to catch a Jerry Seinfeld stand up performance (that dates me, I’m sure). We’ve been back every year for our anniversary (among other occassions). We simply love this place to pieces. The review is dead on re: waitstaff sincerity. On one occassion, I ordered an appetizer w/ goat cheese, a salad w/ goat cheese, and an entree w/ goat cheese (apparently they love goat cheese as much as I do). Without missing a beat, our waitress cheekily responded “Not to burst your bubble, but we don’t have any goat cheese on the dessert menu.” The menu is as fun as the staff. Their shrimp & grits (now a daily ‘special’) is mind-blowing good.

  2. Lisa Craig Morton
    Lisa Craig Morton March 12, 2014 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm

    A lot of people sort of dis Cameron Mitchell and his restaurant group. I guess the hipsters in town think it is too “corporate” or something. But say what you will, the guy knows what he is doing! He is a total pro and as Miriam has pointed out, it shows in every single aspect and detail of all of his restaurant offerings. They are flawlessly executed and the food is amazing, whether it is high-end, new cuisine or casual, old-school comfort food. And as a former classmate of Mr. Mitchell, who was a bit of a dead-beat stoner back in the day at UAHS, nothing is more fun than seeing him enjoy such continued success! Can’t wait to try the “new” Cameron’s American Bistro.

  3. HouseWine March 18, 2014 8:48 am at 8:48 am

    I haven’t been to Cameron’s since the reopening but look forward to checking it out. We’ve typically sat at the bar. I’ve always felt that the food is pretty good but the atmosphere and the people at the CMR spots are friendly and customer-oriented.

    I had an anniversary dinner scheduled at Cameron’s a few years back, and due to car trouble and work, I had to call several times to push back the reservation. I finally told them after several calls and updates that we couldn’t get there until closing time so we wanted to cancel our reservation. Due to the special occasion, they requested that we still come for dinner. On top of that, they wanted to buy us dessert. A lot of restaurants miss the boat on service of this nature. It’s never expected but always appreciated.

    The menu has some classics and the walleye is always a good way to go.

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