Rosehill Seafood is a Columbus tradition. I’ve eaten there for 40 years. Let me tell you that it has changed very little. The tables and chairs are newer and so is most of the staff. But with few exceptions the menu if the basically the same. It is a delightful step back in time to what in the south we called a fish camp.
Rosehill does it their way and in mighty fine style. There are no wine, beer and beverage lists. You won’t find any fancy menus and rosters of who grew what. There are no pictures and the descriptions are sparse. It’s simply 2 pages of yumminess.
Service is old style – professional and good. Our server brought 6 plates out to a table near us – 3 on each arm and without a problem. Even though the restaurant was busy, she never forgot us. We got everything we needed and on time.
Rosehill uses real plates and flatware. No Styrofoam on the table. There are more napkins plus ketchup, cocktail sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. The servers offer you bowls of lemons, sliced onions and dill pickles. You can also have tartar sauce and horseradish.
The kitchen staff are pros. They can shuck oysters with the best – each brimming in its own juice. The oysters are fresh, glistening and ice cold. The staff handle the fryers with deft expertise. The items are cooked just right and hot all the way through. The batter is appropriately light. If you want your fish and seafood broiled, Rosehill can do that too. They also offer boiled shrimp.
Over the years I have had several different things and never been disappointed. The menu is simple but has lots of options. On the fish side there’s always mackerel, flounder, snapper, rainbow trout, tilapia, mullet and catfish. Sometimes they will have grouper. Shrimp, scallops, clams and oysters round out the shellfish. There’s also stuffed crab. They serve chicken tenders too. You can get main course salads featuring several of these. Sides are simple – fries, baked potato, hushpuppies, slaw and a salad. They also have real onion rings. Desserts are key lime or mango pie.
Not many places offer mullet, aka Biloxi bacon. Rosehill does.
On a recent visit we checked out the chalkboard at the entrance to the dining room. It shows you the price of oysters and scallops that day plus any special Rosehill may have. A dozen briny wonders were $10.
We had a dozen on the half shell to start of course. At Rosehill they are fresh shucked and served on a school tray. They come with a sleeve of saltines and fragrant horseradish. The oysters are cold and tender. Truly outstanding.
We ordered the seafood platter. It comes with fish, shrimp, oysters, scallops and a stuffed crab. This is a throw-back plate. It was all good, but the scallops were killer.
For me it was the plate I’ve had many times – fried catfish, whole. They are medium size and tender. My plate had 4. Rosehill’s special cut makes for crisp tenderness. With both our lunches we ordered a salad rather than slaw and potatoes.
Rosehill serves true southern fish and seafood perfection. It’s a simple presentation and straight-forward preparation. It’s located on Hamilton Road just outside downtown Columbus. There’s an adjacent fresh seafood market that offers lots of selections to take home and prepare yourself. Both are open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 to 9:00. There’s plenty of parking and good accessibility.
It’s also important to note that Rosehill really does have fresh product. There are multiple deliveries every week. They have the best connections to the Gulf coast.
One more thing – get there early or mid-afternoon. When we left, the restaurant was full and there were 20 people waiting for a table.
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