Let me start by saying that technically, Fairplain Yacht Club falls outside of what I would consider the Mid-Ohio Valley (MOV). Let me also say that, holy wow, it was well worth the drive! We’re already planning a trip back. We’re always up for an adventure, so when we saw Ripley’s Fairplain Yacht Club’s menu on the MOV Restaurant Week lineup this year we were completely on board. A gigantic pork chop, surf & turf, nachos, shrimp and two desserts? More than sold.
FYC is off the main roads by a few turns so you kinda have to know it exists to find it. But trust me, when we showed up there were very few places to park so they’re not having a problem getting the word out. From the outside, the steakhouse looks a bit like a shack: a hodgepodge of materials and almost a disguise for the deliciousness inside. As soon as we walked inside we immediately felt at home.
The staff at Fairplain were all equally friendly and we should know. It seemed each staff member took turns checking on us, talking with us, and even saying hello when we walked past them. Our waitress, Ashley, was especially kind and even brought our daughter crayons and paper to decorate while we waited for food, plus found her some cinnamon for her applesauce in the kitchen.
Before we even sat down though, we couldn’t get over the space inside. It was so spacious. Jay mentioned to me “you won’t run into anyone here unless you want to” because the tables were really spread out. It seems as though there used to be live music in this place, but we couldn’t find any record of any happening recently. I hope we’re wrong because it really is the perfect space for performances.
There was music playing in the background, but the emphasis on atmosphere seemed to be more about the restaurant and less about the “bar vibe” – even though there is a nice, large bar inside. It was easy to talk over the music, and there were times I forgot it was playing at all.
We knew going in exactly what we wanted to order, since with MOV Restaurant Week, there are typically two choices (and two of us, so we each order half of the menu). But we decided to check out the regular menu, anyway. So many items tempted our taste buds, and we can’t wait to try some of the Cajun-flavored dishes. The kiddo really wanted a burger, so she ordered her burger patty and applesauce, and we happily got all of the Restaurant Week offerings.
The appetizers were generous – especially the nachos. I had a feeling when we saw nachos on the menu it would be hefty. I’m trying not to swear here, but man. The smoked beef (smoked that day right outside of the Club), the fresh-made salsa…it was so good. The smoke flavor wasn’t overpowering, but was mouthwatering and also perfectly understated. We wanted to finish all of the nachos on the spot, but knew we wouldn’t have room for our entrees. So we honestly brought them home. I’ve never brought nachos home, but they were worth doing so. The shrimp? Stop. I have no idea exactly what was on those puppies, but the sweet grilling sauce topped with the fresh cilantro cream was so unexpected and also SO addictive. Jay said they were “crave-worthy”, and as soon as we finished them, we were ready for more.
To be honest, we could have stopped and been satisfied, right there, but I’m so glad we didn’t.
Dude. My pork chop was massive. I still can’t decide if it smelled better or tasted better, but the teaser photos they posted online were exactly how our chop looked: perfectly smoked, moist and absolutely full of flavor. Jay also added, “It gets better the more I eat of it. I love the seasoning.” Truly, it was perfect. I also don’t think I could have eaten it alone. The sweet potato hash tasted like the way I love to oven roast sweet potatoes, so I was happy, but I saved room for dessert by bringing half of the sweet potato hash home for a rice bowl lunch.
Even after all of that: The Chimichuri Surf & Turf may have taken the cake.
Fairplain Yacht Club is a steakhouse, and they know their steak. I don’t think our steak could have been cooked or flavored more perfectly, and the house-made chimichuri sauce was so good, we tried it on every single thing on our plates (and by itself). The Surf & Turf was also plated beautifully. And even though I’m usually cautious about eating prawns (as they can get rubbery from my experience), this one was tender and flavorful, and we both loved, loved it. Perfect.
Our daughter enjoyed her burger and “thoroughly destroyed it.” But she loved the ice cream the most. Her main takeaway was the ice cream, to be honest. It was vanilla, with caramel drizzle and caramelized bacon. This might seem like an unsuspecting combo, but we really suggest giving it a go. Jay loves bacon anything, and the last time he’d had a bacon sundae was at McDonald’s. This one was “Waay better”.
I definitely enjoyed the bourbon glazed peach cheesecake (my second cheesecake of the week) and think the glaze was a great, zingy balance to the rich cheesecake filling.
Overall, this was a great experience that we’re looking forward to repeating. We left happy, perfectly full, with a few leftovers in our hands and a bunch of friendly faces all around us. So glad Fairplain Yacht Club gave us the opportunity to get to know them a bit better today.