The zipline course at Valley Zipline Tours speeds danglers over the scenic Northern Hocking Hills in spectacular fashion, whisking them along a series of lines that extend to more than 1 mile in total length. First, a friendly guide drives the zippers up to the top of the valley, where they don their safety equipment and then zoom down the first five lines as a warm-up to the following three, known collectively as the Valley Super Lines. Starting at line 6, the journey whips riders across the valley and lake for distances of nearly 1,000 feet each and at more than 100 feet off the ground, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour. To cap off the high-speed trip, a valley swing awaits at the end of the tour attached to the edge of a tower, inviting participants to jump and swing over the valley while suspended at more than 50 feet.
Founded in 1947 as a poker hall for traveling tycoons, The Clarmont became a steakhouse when it fell out of fashion to use grilled beef slabs as chips. Since then, the Columbus institution has added seafood and fresh fish offerings to its sumptuous menu. The culinary fireworks begin at dinner with the always-goes-fast prime rib of beef ($19.59), seasoned and roasted on-site each day, or The Clarmont's 50-year standby: 12 ounces of filet mignon ($30.99), which you can top with fresh mushrooms ($2.99), drizzle with port demi-glace ($2.95), and side with french-fried onion rings ($4.79/full order), among other things. Beyond the beef, discriminating diners can branch out into lamb osso bucco ($23.99), Long Island duckling in a bing cherry glaze ($21.99), or potato-encrusted salmon in an orange horseradish beurre blanc ($19.99). A wine menu featuring 17 by-the-glass options, such as Italian Al Verdi Pinot Grigio ($5.25), and more than 100 bottle options are available to pair with delectable dishes, as well as lubricate conversation that's been desiccated by too many office anecdotes.
Two Fish Bistro is the yang to the yin of Red, a sushi bar in the same building also owned by the Daeoh group. While Red draws out the essence of raw seafood, Two Fish unleashes the flavors of its flame-kissed counterpart to craft a menu that 614 calls "concise and approachable." To introduce diners to their distinct flavor parings, Two Fish's chefs assemble mini fish tacos from housemade crispy flour chips, sautéed whitefish, and garlic-parmesan aioli. Their entrees draw on wild-caught seafood purchased fresh daily, such as the specialty tuna, a walnut-crusted, medium-rare cut that perches on a pillow of fluffy wasabi mashed potatoes with a maple-butter reduction and treats diners to the satisfying crunch of a charred-scallion garnish. To accent its colorful, carefully plated cuisine, Two Fish keeps its interior sleek and simple. Several enormous windows marry form and function, bathing the square wooden tables and mixed wood walls in natural sunlight or the unnatural glow of bioluminescent snowflakes. Three flat-screen TVs watch over a gray stone bar, surrounded on all sides by minimalist low-rise chairs.
At The Lazy Chameleon, chefs bring out the best in fresh seafood with tropical flourishes: they serve back-fin crab cakes with creole mustard, for instance, and drizzle cilantro-lime sauce over blackened tilapia. The environs are similarly subtropical, with hanging fishnets and verdant plants enlivening the dining room. In keeping with the jovial atmosphere, guests can try out experimental dance moves to the beat of live music four nights a week or feel the adrenaline rush that accompanies winning a card game at euchre night on Tuesday.
First-time visitors to Chowder House Cafe often fixate on the dining room’s walls—or lack thereof, as every square inch has been painted over with electric flowers, guitar players, crowned kings, and other artistic testaments to the café’s funky and unconventional outlook. This same outlook makes its way onto the menu, which features the namesake clam chowder alongside salads, sandwiches, and dinner entrees similarly inspired by the sea. Aside from the Sunday brunch’s traditional omelets and buttermilk pancakes drenched in fresh Ohio maple syrup, a crab cake benedict celebrates the weekend atop a toasted ciabatta roll. Regardless of the time of day, a considerate BYOB policy accommodates the sailors who often stumble into the café with unlabeled bottles of clam juice.
To describe the building in which Jay's Seafood finds itself today is to depict the history of Dayton since the mid-1800s. Once the Dayton Corn and Grist Mill and later a school for young ladies, it first became a restaurant in 1882 when its proprietor paid to transform 5,400 pounds of mahogany into a 32-foot bar, eventually frequented by the likes of Buffalo Bill. And just like the rest of the decor—which comprises antique light fixtures and a railing from the Old Xenia Hotel—the ingredients that form Jay's dishes too come from an eclectic mix of sources.
Jay's dished out the freshest seafood from various suppliers around the United States, while Angus beef arrives fresh from Chicago and is hand-cut into steaks in the kitchen. The results of these efforts manifest in succulent house specialties such as spiced bourbon salmon, sea scallops baked in garlic butter, and grilled filet mignon. Each meal is made even more enjoyable with a featured wine by the glass or bottle and one of Jay's housemade desserts.