2458 Cleveland Ave (On the intersection of Myrtle and Cleveland)
Island cuisine isn’t something we run into often in Columbus. When someone brought in some Dominic’s takeout into a bar I was at a few weeks ago, I promptly attacked the poor man for more information and the take out menu. I was also trying hard to charm him into sharing some of his food with me, but all the winks and offers of free beer went unanswered. After eating at Dominic’s, now I know why the stranger refused to share.
TacoDrew and I ordered conch fritters for starters. (Conch in Columbus, we thought? It is a menu item not easily found fresh in Cbus) Our instinct were correct, the chef came out and apologize for the lack of conch and offered us cod fritters ($5) instead.
These fritters were similar in execution as hush puppies. Instead of cornmeal, we have a batter of salted cod, pickled onions, scallions and a small amount of flour. The accompanying sauce was freshly made with lots of the usual salsa like ingredients. However it slightly more tart due to the vinegar and it was a great counterpoint to the fried fritters.
For our entree, we ordered a medium sized curry goat ($8) and jerk chicken ($7). The entrees comes with two sides. We picked fried plantains and pasta olivonge for the goat, rice and peas and fried dumplings for the jerk chicken.
The goat was tender and falling off the bones and lightly season with curry powder. It can be made spicier upon request but we were told by the waitress that they eat it on the mild side in Jamaica. They really know what they are doing with goat here as it is devoid of the usual musky and uric properties that goat tends to have when handled improperly. The plantains were sweet and fried with skill as it was not greasy. The pasta was a nice surprise as it was refreshingly light and healthy with lots of veggies and the use of sun-dried tomatoes was lovely.
This is a jerk I would be happy to see. The chicken was tender, had a great smoky flavor and was well seasoned with jerk spices. There is an option for white meat for an additional $1 but we stuck with the recommended dark meat and did not regret that choice. The fried dumplings that came with it was a cross between a donut hole and a biscuit. It would have been best eaten for dessert with some jam. The rice and peas were amazing! I couldn’t stop eating it, then again I am a sucker for rice cooked in coconut milk. It was rich without being cloying and made the rice very fragrant.
Marlon and Andrew runs Dominic’s which is named after Marlon’s son. They were very friendly and hospitable and went out of their way to educate us about Jamaican food and showed us how they made jerk chicken out back. It is slow roasted over charcoal embers. Andrew told us that the secret to jerk is freshly ground pimento (allspice) and black pepper. The menu has quite a few vegetarian items but Andrew said that he has a longer list of vegetarian dishes in his head. So if you want vegetarian Jamaican grub, just ask Andrew for some suggestions. He does vegan too by request.
Needless to say, we will be back for more as there are some other traditional Jamaican dishes to explore like ackee, saltfish and oxtails. Dominic’s may be new to the restaurant scene, having recently opened in Feb 2010, but there are some old hands back in that kitchen brewing some island magic.
great review. When I was in jamaica a few months ago I took a cooking/nature class and the rasta guy teaching it said there is a huge difference between the taste of male (he called it man) goats and female goats. He said nobody in jamaica would ever eat a “man goat” because it is really smelly or like you said musky. he said you can buy male goats for pennies, because nobody will eat them.
I wonder if there is any truth to that.
We were told almost exactly the same thing. The chef indicated that the males can be used and apparently even made to taste good, but that it takes extra effort and the smell when preparing is… potent.
If you ever try Dominic’s, let us know how it compares with the food you ate while you were in Jamaica.
Can I needle you to put another s on Needles to say? Otherwise, Bravo!! And, I’d like to try some of these dishes on our next visit to Columbus.
Done. Thanks for the heads up 🙂
Great review, I can’t wait to try this place out! I also can’t believe there aren’t any reviews of it elsewhere. For shame, columbusians.
where do you get this foolishness from about ram goat meat selling for little or nothing .this rasta was telling you what him think you wanted to hear. In fact the flavour of the ram goat meat is what make this dish so desirable ask any true jamaican .i hate when people disperse wrong infomation on matters like this . ram goat meat is the best because male goats are never subjected to acts of beastialitiy .if you know what i mean
Thank you very much for the info and review! I’m Jamaican and also vegetarian so I can’t wait to try their vegetarian items. I’m still new to Columbus and I have yet to try a Jamaican restaurant for fear that there won’t be enough vegetarian items for me. I will give Dominic’s a try though!
Just tried to go here this weekend and the building is boarded up and for lease. 😦
Well that’s a shame. Thanks for letting us know about it.
Try Ena’s Caribbean Kitchen on Cleveland too. I love it. Across the street from Dominic’s. Brown Stew Chicken on Wednesdays and great Ox Tail. Of course the Jerk is great too.
Ena’s Caribbean Kitche
2444 Cleveland Ave
Columbus, OH 43211