Thursday, October 16, 2008

Burton's Grill , South Windsor, CT June 2008 Grade: B

Joanne writes:

Amy and I went out for a celebration lunch to one of our favorite places,
Burton's. We love it there, and are both regulars, but that doesn't mean we have nothing to say...

When it first opened, I happened upon it first. It would have been enough to love it just because it existed, and was not another national chain in an overdeveloped mall area, but I also loved the service and the sauteed shrimp appetizer. Amy and her husband C went on my recommendation and loved it too. We've all been regulars ever since. Back to lunch.

We don't often get to go out to lunch, so we were excited. But that's when we discovered the flaws. The menu offers a varitety of salads--Cobb, house, Ceasar, Mediterranean--but they are all entree size. No half salads or side salads to be found. If you happen to be with someone who wants to share the same kind of salad, you're in luck. They'll even deliver it on two plates. If not, skip to the entrees. Which is where we discovered problem number two.

Three lunch specials were listed: a grilled vegetable sandwich, a chef salad, and salmon picatta. I was happy because I love salmon and all things piccata. Amy, on the other hand, was not interested in any of them, so she felt relegated to said entree salads, a burger, or full-priced, full-portioned dinner entree. She didn't want a salad or a burger. And while she could have dug into a rib eye, she resented that they didn't offer a lunch portion. Ultimately she decided on the clam chowder, followed by the scallops appetizer.

The chowder was thin but flavorful, packed with clams and potatoes, with a touch of applewood smoked bacon. The server had asked if she wanted the scallops medium-rare, a question she had never been asked before, and said yes. She shouldn't have. The scallops were underdone for her taste, but they were seasoned well. They also had the ubiquitous applewood smoked bacon and a hint of jalapenos for nice spice.

I ordered the salmon piccata served over spaghetti. The salmon was delicious, cooked perfectly. The sauce was good, but could have been just a little lighter without the garlic, which--incidentally--is typically not part of a piccata. But the dish was crying for color and texture. Some wilted spinach or arugula would have elevated the dish from good to excellent.

We opted out of dessert that requires a fork, but have had a good experience with them in the past. Instead, we had dessert martinis and toasted to summer vacation.

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