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“Out with the old, in with the new”
Review of Columbus Inn

Columbus Inn
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Ranked #71 of 549 Restaurants in Wilmington
Price range: $19 - $30
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Romantic, Business meetings, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Woodlawn
Description: Columbus Inn IS reborn as a contemporary restaurant & tavern that combines the best of both the old and the new. Seasonally inspired & fresh food with an amazing selection of wines, craft beers, quality spirits & cocktails.
Delaware
Level Contributor
48 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Out with the old, in with the new”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

The old Columbus Inn was a long-time favorite restaurant for us and many in greater Wilmington. It closed a few years ago, but reopened recently, so my wife and I decided to try the "new" Columbus Inn. The inside of the old Inn fit the outside – an older building – and was characterized by dark woods and a generally warm, colonial appearance. The atmosphere in the new Columbus Inn is very different – modern, but just as comfortable and quiet.

My wife, who's a small eater, ordered the soup-of-the-day, which happened to be Kennett Square mushroom, and the Filet Mignon Carpaccio (appetizer). I got the Crispy Calamari "snack" and the Crab Cake "Cobb".

The service was quite attentive, starting with warm, homemade bread that that did not have a crust hard as a brick (!) like some restaurant's we've been to lately. Delivery time for the main meal items was long, so if you're restricted on time, limit your choices to appetizers and snacks.

The mushroom soup was extremely good, but was the type where the mushrooms have been ground to a fine powder, so there are no pieces of mushroom in it, which both of us prefer. I didn't try the Carpaccio, but my wife said it was quite good and very different from anything she'd ever had. And unlike many "appetizers" at restaurants these days, it was quite small – a true appetizer.

Not so my calamari. To the restaurant's credit, the dish is not under "Appetizers"; it's under "Snacks". Most visitors would consider them the same, as did I, and the server didn't warn me that they're not. The restaurant's Snacks are mini-meals, and I had to doggie-bag about half of it. It was also not that good. Taste was fine, but the meat was very rubbery. I get calamari in almost every restaurant that offers it and have found only two that have discovered the secret of how to make squid non-rubbery: Macaroni Grill (the best) and Sullivan's (great taste, but excessively spicy).

My Crab Cake "Cobb" was the most interesting entrée I've had in a long time. A bed of lettuce ran end-to-end through the middle of the oval dish. On one side of the lettuce were two sizable crab cakes with a smattering of "broken" tartar sauce (have no idea what "broken" means). On the other side was a collection of things: a couple of small pieces of lobster, a large shrimp, Greek olives, cherry tomatoes, slices of avocado, a hard-boiled egg split in half, and real bacon bits. The centerpiece of the dish was, of course, the crab cakes. While they were pure crab – no filler – they were overcooked, dry, and seemed a bit over salted. To mitigate the dryness, I asked for additional tartar sauce, which didn't help much. I ate only one of the cakes and brought the other one home where I can apply ample tartar sauce and perhaps other oils to it to make it less dry.

We finished the meal with a shared crème brulée. It was very good.

Cost wise, this restaurant is definitely upper end. While I had a full meal, my wife had only soup, appetizer, half the crème brulée, and chamomile tea. The bill came to $73.

Although my rating shows 4 stars, I'd really rate it "4 minus", were that available.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FrugalGormet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    38
    22
    6
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
167 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Got it Right”
Reviewed May 30, 2013

When it first reopened I felt like the menu was a reach for Wilmington, all big city gourmet fancy stuff you had know idea what it was - and I have travelled a lot oversees. Now, the dishes are upscale but recognizible (sp?) and I had an amazing scallop dish a few weels ago. And their brunch is well worth it, reasonable pricing and great selection.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank SIngDelaware
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Yummy”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

I love the new Columbus, decor, food, service, everything is great! Can't wait to go back.
Try the tuna roll, wow! Salads are awesome.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank lifessweet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
319 reviews
300 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Excellent meal.”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

FYI, Columbus Inn no longer serves lunch.
We went there the other night and there were very few tables filled. My husband and I shared an order of edamame (tasty but sauteed in butter) and each had their pad thai. It is unusual to find this on the menu of a more traditional restaurant but chefs nowadays are getting more creative which is certainly welcome.
The pad thai came with 3 large shrimp and 2 large diver scallops and was delicious.
My only complaint was a personable waitress who was just too chatty.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank eclairewl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
131 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Expensive, food portions skimpy”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Columbus Inn was recently reopened after a long absence. It's now renovated. The inside is very updated, clean, bright and attractive.
The food is average for the price. They still have the Sunday brunch. I didn't try it since it reopoened. The food is not bad, but I think it's just too expensive for the quanity they give you.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank artyalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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