We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“So close to great” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Columbus Grill

Columbus Grill
8349 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20111-2223
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Columbus Grill is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #82 of 229 Restaurants in Manassas
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Manassas, Virginia
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“So close to great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

After driving past the Columbus Grill many times and seeing a full parking lot, my wife and I decided to try dinner there last Friday. When we arrived it was difficult to figure out where the entrance was and we ended up in the bar, but the hostess was attentive and quickly steered us in the right direction. We were seated in a very tight booth with a high table that was fairly awkward and hard to relax in (think of an adult high chair) and couldn't really see the rest of the restaurant, but we got the feeling that it was fairly empty, which really made us apprehensive. The bar was hopping though! We could hear every conversation including a screaming child (?).

The waitress was charming. Very attentive and cheerful - she did a lot to make us feel welcomed. Drinks came out quickly - the House red wine was soft and simple with a good portion size. We really liked the menu. Plenty to choose from, but some of the traditional Portuguese dishes could have benefitted from more description and pronunciation helpers. My wife started with a house salad, which was excellent, and I started with the Seafood Veloute, "Jumbo lump crab and scallops in a rich creamy lobster-based soup", but was really disappointed by the rather large bowl and scant amount of seafood. The taste was great but it was very rich, and without much seafood it was like drinking macaroni and cheese after a while. I could only finish about half of it. For entrees, my wife got the "Bitoque" and I got a special - "Fennel dusted Mahi-Mahi". The Bitoque was a simple "meat and potatoes" type of dish, but it was cooked and seasoned well. It was served in a copper bowl with high sides, and unfortunately, with the high table, also contributed to the "high chair" effect and made eating feel rather trough-like. My fish was excellent, although I think it sat under the heat lamps because it was a little dry on top and the mashed potatoes that it sat on were tepid around the edges. The overall dish was fantastic though and I relished every bite. Dessert was very good (an almond custard dish), especially with espresso, and, together with more diners being seated and the bar noise decreasing, really helped to buoy our sprits, and we left full and happy. Overall, I can understand the other commenter's stories much better now. Columbus Grill teeters on the edge of being a great restaurant with a line outside the door, but also could be a restaurant featured on "Restaurant Impossible". I think that they could really benefit from either opening the main dining room up and making it a more communal dining experience, or closing off the bar area and increasing the size of the booths to make it a more intimate date restaurant. Right now it doesn't really do either very well and that's a shame because the food and the concept are a great fit for Manassas and I'd like to see them succeed.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
McLean, Virginia
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Save your $”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

After a horrible first experience there in 2011 we decided to give the place a second chance and try it again.
So we went there the second week of december for a date night. We were seated at a table close to the entrance (same table as teh year before, we almost had a horrible deja vu feeling), whenever the resturant's door opened, we froze. There were a couple individuals that kept coming out of the bar area and going out then back in, I believe one of them may have been the owner. I don't think I've ever felt quite that cold in a restaurant before. We were hoping that the food has improved since the last time and would make up for the bad seating but boy, were we disappointed...

I ordered the crab cakes... again! I thought the first time it was a fluke. They were the nastiest, worst crab cakes I've ever had the misfortune to taste, they seemed even worse than I remembered from the previous visit. There was very little crab and lots and lots of fillers. They were rather tough and not what I expected at all.
The other person at the table ordered a basic steak/ fillet with a side of asparagus. The asparagus was raw, the steak was rare although he asked for medium. The waiter couldn't care less about our complaints.

It was a horrible meal. We are never going back.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, Virginia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Love the Sunday brunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I've been to brunch a couple of times and it was super both times. Made-to-order omelets, fresh bread and biscuits, sea food, meat - there are a lot of great options and everything is good. Save room for dessert.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, VA
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Food was great, selection small.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My husband and I went here for brunch one Sunday and it was packed! I have to say that I was pleasently surprised at how good the food was although the selection and choices were pretty small and not necessarily refilled in a timely manner.

The reason for the 4 stars instead of 3 is because the food was very tasty and worthwhile.

However, I'm not sure I would pay full price again or if it was actually worth that. Again, I would rate it a 3 but the food really saves the grade here.

I would be willing to try a dinner or lunch sometime but haven't gotten around to it.

Bottom line - if you want a decent brunch but without a lot of selection and you've got some cash to spare, than this place would probably suit you just fine.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Delicious food, great atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stumbled upon Columbus Grill en route to a party -- and I'm so thrilled we did! The food was outstanding, different and memorable. Before our lunches arrived, my sister, mom and I began to comment on all the delicious aromas . . . the garlic was almost too much to stand. If I thought I was hungry before, I was starved after that!

I ordered the Mediterranean pita (hummus, onions, garlic and more) with a side of the roasted red potatoes -- and I'm telling you: this potatoes were to die for. I can't remember the last time a meal provoked so much discussion amongst my family, and my mom and sister kept congratulating me on "a good pick." Considering I chose Columbus Grill solely by looking at a Google map of the area, I consider it our great fortune we found it! The service was great, too, and the ambiance was really neat. Felt like an old-world restaurant turned modern.

If I'm ever in Manassas again, you bet I'll be back!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Columbus Grill also viewed

Manassas, Prince William County
Manassas, Prince William County
Manassas, Prince William County
Manassas, Prince William County

Been to Columbus Grill? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Columbus Grill, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.