Clintonville’s dining scene is slowly growing up! We’ve had a smattering of diners, cafes, ice cream shops, and dive bars for years, but our options are broadening, from spots like Harvest Pizzeria, Local Cantina, and Old Skool to Fusian, 6-1-Pho, and the forthcoming Bareburger. And one of our big recent arrivals is the new Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern.
The Clintonville Rusty Bucket is the tenth location for central Ohio; it’s located at the corner of Croswell and North High Street in a newly developed lot.
The Rusty Bucket format is a casual pub, with a menu spanning sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas, to bigger items like sirloin, fish & chips, and ribs. It’s all complemented by a respectable beer list and a full bar.
There’s also a big covered patio running along the High Street side.
The drink menu covers all the bases. There are wine, cocktails, and about 20 beers on tap, including some specialty finds. I sipped an XS Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and I noticed they have a special Bucket Pilsner brewed especially for them by Four String Brewing. We also appreciated the small selection of non-alcoholic drinks like Rogue’s root beer, a blueberry iced tea, and a strawberry aqua fresca. We sampled the raspberry iced tea; it was strong and zesty.
We started with a big bowl of the creamy spinach con queso, served with chips for dipping.
Rusty Bucket is very kid-friendly; the boys were supplied with menus and crayons the moment they sat down. They paused just long enough in their coloring to choose mac & cheese…
…and a hot dog and fries.
Any time I’m in a pub or pub-like establishment, I head straight for the fish & chips. Rusty Bucket’s version is nicely done, well seasoned, and served in a good size portion.
We doubled down on seafood with the Codwich, the same cod used in the fish & chips but topped with onion, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and tartar sauce.
We also dug into a side of mahi mahi tacos. We had first tried these at Taste of Clintonville a couple months back. Rusty Bucket was there, even though they weren’t quite open yet. The tacos made a big impression on us, so we went straight back to them. The fish is grilled nicely and complemented by sour cream and slaw. It comes with a surprisingly spicy side of rice and beans.
Like I said, we’re happy to have the Rusty Bucket in the neighborhood! I anticipate us making plenty of return visits.