Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) announced the recent promotion of two restaurant leaders. Dain Cooke of Columbus has been promoted to general manager of Marcella’s in the Short North, and Ryan DeConnick of Johnstown has been named executive chef of Molly’s Woos at Polaris. News from the Columbus restaurant company also included the introduction of fall and winter menus at a number of central Ohio’s favorite CMR restaurants.
Dain Cooke is a veteran of CMR with nearly a decade of hospitality experience. He joined the company in high school as a busser at Cameron’s in Bexley and also has held a number of positions at Cap City in Gahanna and at Marcella’s in the Short North, as well as serving as a lead trainer for the company. Most recently, Cooke served as the dining room manager at Marcella’s Short North location before being promoted to general manager.
Cooke, a lifelong Columbus resident, graduated from the Columbus State Community College hospitality program.
“I’m excited about the development taking place and the energy of the Short North, and what it means for our restaurant,” said Cooke. “As a resident of the area, being able to invite guests in for a one-of-a-kind quality dining experience and the opportunity to make new memories together is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”
DeConnick, who in 2013 was named Sous Chef of the Year for CMR just before being named executive chef, joined the company in 2007. After graduating from culinary school at Columbus State Community College, he held positions at M, Marcella’s and Molly Woo’s.
A true culinarian who loves cooking for others, DeConnick, a current Johnstown resident, enjoys preparing original dishes for friends and family, as well as for the guests of Molly Woo’s. DeConnick attributes his success to being lucky enough to wake up every day truly loving his job.
“Doing what you love every day is an extraordinary gift,” said DeConnick. “I’ve been so fortunate to build my career with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead for me to build a creative, delicious menu for our guests at Molly Woo’s.”
“Our company is lucky to have two talented individuals like Dain and Ryan to lead the teams at Marcella’s and Molly Woo’s,” said Chuck Kline, Vice President of Operations and Operating Partner for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. “From the moment our guests arrive to the outstanding food served on our tables, they both will ensure the tradition of Cameron Mitchell hospitality continues.”
Fall Menus Released
Headlining the fall menus at several CMR restaurants are the addition of seasonal cocktails and desserts, as well as a number of new entrees.
M at Miranova (M) has expanded their house made bottled carbonated cocktails to two offerings this fall by introducing the Bourbon Cola with Four Roses, Ruby Port, fresh raspberries, sarsaparilla syrup and cherry bitters. Other fall cocktail features for the cold winter months include; the exotic Mata Hari made with Plymouth Gin, Chai-infused sweet vermouth, fresh lemon and pomegranate. Newton Sidecar, prepared with Remy Martin vs., Fresh Black Mission Fig, Cointreau and fresh lemon juice; the Perfect Storm, a fall favorite, with Ron Zacapa Rum, Ohio Apple Cider, Velvet Falernum and Gosling’s Ginger Beer; and a unique twist on a Whiskey Sour—the Whiskey Spice prepared with Bulleit Rye, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Brown Sugar and Maple Bitters.
Cap City Fine Diner & Bar
Joining the seasonal cocktail introduction is Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, which is offering a number of drinks created with fresh fruits and house made accompaniments. Back by popular demand and recognized as a top seller is the Cranberry Crush made with Absolut Vanilla, house made cranberry puree, fresh squeezed lemon, and a splash of simple syrup, shaken and finished with a sugar rim. Other guest favorites include the Moonshine Caramel Apple martini, crafted with Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine, apple cider, caramel, fresh squeezed lemon and house made apple cinnamon simple syrup. Cap City also has also added a Stonefruit Cosmopolitan made with OYO Stonefruit vodka, St. Germain, Cointreau, muddled oranges, fresh squeezed lime and Fee Brothers orange bitters; and the refreshing Pineapple Bellini, offered during weekend brunch, prepared with Absolut Peach, pineapple puree, house made sour and sparkling wine. For those cold nights, guests can warm up with a classic Hot Buttered Rum made with a delicate blend of winter spices and Mount Gay rum or satisfy a sweet tooth with the Aztec Chocolate Martini made with Bailey’s, Godiva, Crème de cacao, Tia Maria and cream mixed with a touch of Aztec spices.
The team at Molly Woo’s is excited to take advantage of the short season where the delicious citrus kumquat is available; inspiring the creation of the Orange Citrus Punch, made with house-infused kumquat Bacardi Superior Rum, fresh squeezed pineapple and lime juice, house-infused orange simple syrup and orange bitters float; a Tom Yum Gimlet made with Bombay Sapphire, lemongrass-coconut infused simple syrup, Gosling’s ginger beer, fresh lime juice and a curry bitters float; and rich and delightful Blackberry Bourbon crafted with Maker’s Mark, Courvoisier, fresh raspberry and blackberry puree, simple syrup and lime juice.
The Pearl & Cameron’s American Bistro
The Pearl and Cameron’s American Bistro also updated their cocktail menus to reflect the season. At The Pearl, back again by popular demand is the Bourbon Apple Punch, made with Bulleit Kentucky Bourbon, Calvados, local cider, house made spice syrup and baked apple bitters. In addition, The Pearl introduces a new Pimm’s Punch, a sweet punch made with Tanqueray gin, fresh raspberries and house made cranberry syrup.
Cameron’s American Bistro is showcasing its own new seasonal cocktails, including the renowned Hot Buttered Rum; back for the eighth year this season, made with Mount Gay Rum, house made buttered rum mix and served with a cinnamon stick; as well as a flavorful fall special – American Bourbon Cider made with Woodford Reserve bourbon and an apple cider reduction.
Fall at CMR restaurants also means the introduction of new entrees and desserts, as well as other seasonal specials. At M, the menu highlights new scallop dishes such as an appetizer of scallops served over butternut squash puree, duck confit, leeks and bordelaise; and a new scallop entrée with chanterelle and shiitake risotto, lobster-butter sauce and fennel salad. M has also added a 14 ounce Black Falls strip steak to the menu, which is accompanied by a caramelized onion and mushroom ragout and finished with a cardamom horseradish reduction. A fresh pear salad will satisfy any sweet and savory palate on bed of mixed greens topped with candied pecans, dried cherries and parmesan cheese with a maple balsamic vinaigrette. The dessert menu at M marks the return of hot apple pie topped with almond streusel and served with cinnamon ice cream and warm caramel sauce.
The Pearl has made several changes to reflect the season, including the introduction of a new Happy Hour snacks menu, which offers half off draught beer, select bottled and canned beers, wines by the glass, brown bag special and specialty cocktails and punches. The new happy hour menu offers some old favorites and brand-new snacks such as pork rinds, a Chi-town dog, pork belly tacos, caramel corn and lemon-peppered nuts.
Dinner at The Pearl showcases a popular roasted half chicken served with quinoa, edamame, roasted tomato and a citrus vinaigrette. A brunch destination for central Ohioans, The Pearl will delight brunch guests on Saturdays and Sundays with new menu items including Spiced Banana Rum-stuffed French toast with bacon, a daily chef’s special omelet and the most popular guest choice —Chicken ‘n Waffles served with a warm blueberry sauce and Ohio honey.