The hot list

Todd Barnum

president, CEO and chairman

Max & Erma’s Restaurants Inc.

Locally, Barnum’s pick is Oscar’s in Dublin.

“I think they have the best walleye — I love walleye — that I have ever had,” Barnum says. “And my nephew [Craig Barnum] owns it, so I’m taken very good care of.”

Barnum’s favorite restaurant chain, other than his own, is Houston’s, based in Atlanta.

“They’re a large chain that has absolutely the best standards of any chain restaurant I’ve seen,” he says of the steak house.

“Then there are lots of different restaurants I love for lots of different reasons: The Atlanta Fish Market in Buckhead — I love that,” Barnum says. “I love a little restaurant in Birmingham, Mich., called Forte. And Chick-fil-A is my favorite fast food restaurant, because they have a great chicken sandwich.”

Sue Doody



Doody’s favorite eating spots include those with high standards of food and service.

Among her picks: Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia.

“It’s small and intimate, so it’s a little different than what most of the Columbus restaurants are. It’s really pricey, but it’s impeccable as far as food and service.”

Another favorite of Doody’s is Mirabelle in London, which has, in some 30 years, changed ownership several times, she says.

“It reopened under the auspices of Marco Pierre White. They refer to him as the ‘Bad Boy Chef’ because he just does things his own way. It’s very hot now. He just took it over,” Doody says, noting that the restaurant’s prime location in the west end of London adds to its success.

Her third choice is Connaught Grill Room in the Connaught Hotel, also in London.

“It just is wonderful food and service. It’s been a top restaurant in London for I’d say 35, 40 years,” Doody says. “It’s internationally known and acclaimed.”

Dave Thomas


Wendy’s International Inc.

Thomas’ top choices include Pete’s Boca Raton in Boca Raton, Fla. The owner is an old and dear friend of Thomas’.

“They have excellent seafood and pasta, and the best Greek salad I’ve ever had,” Thomas says.

Two local eateries tie on his list of favorites: Scioto Country Club and Muirfield Village Golf Club.

“Both clubs have excellent chefs that are attentive to individual tastes,” says Thomas, who is a member at both of these exclusive golf courses. “They also have consistent service and loyal staffs.”

Joan Slattery Wall ([email protected]) is a reporter for SBN.