If there’s one thing I love to do more than cooking, baking, reading or writing, it will be hands down, restaurant exploring. Isn’t that an expensive hobby? Not really! In fact, a good dining experience doesn’t have to be fancy. With the abundance of ethnic cuisines and food establishments (especially here in New Jersey), there are plenty of places to go to at your preferred price points.
A few weeks ago, I am very excited to have been invited to visit a local restaurant called The Office Tavern Grill in their Summit, NJ location. Since it is my first time to go, I decided to check their website beforehand. There’s nothing worse for me than going to a restaurant and being over or under dressed. Do you agree?
It was a really cold and windy Saturday when we (my husband and I) went to The Office Tavern Grill. I know what you’re thinking. Why in the world would I dine during rush hour? Let’s just say that I believe the peak hours often give the best gauge on how well a restaurant and its staff performs. If they can deliver well under pressure, then there will be no issues during down time right?
Anyway, when we arrived, the place is already buzzing with customers. While there’s a 20 minute wait, there were only two groups waiting before us. Right away, I noticed that the place didn’t skimp on their staff. All the tables were properly attended and no tables were without food.
The atmosphere though casual seemed “cool” enough for yuppies yet friendly enough to families with small children as well. Oh, and I love that they actually have a wall to separate the bar and dining areas too. Even though it’s the rush hour, I’m quite impressed that within 5 minutes drinks were served along with the complementary bread.
Their attention to detail was immediately seen in my first order which was the Winter Blues Margarita. Not only was the cocktail delicious, the color was really pretty too. Then there’s the lemon slice which had caramelized sugar. This simply touch gave their drink that extra flavor. (Yup! I’m the cocktail girl. Can you tell?)
For starters, my husband ordered the Grilled Shrimp Skewer which was part of the Road Trip Menu (a special limited time menu which they change every month or so). As part of their promotion, this menu features dishes that represent a particular US state. This appetizer was part of the Baja, California edition. It has 3 big pieces of perfectly cooked and moist shrimps. The flavor is really mild and goes well with the spicy pineapple salsa.
A little warning, the salsa though refreshing had a really big kick to it. If you like spicy food, then this one is for you. To give you a better idea, on heat scale of 1-10 where Tabasco sauce is 5, the heat level in this is about 7 – 7.5. It’s the perfect match to my husband’s beer too.
Since the shrimp appetizer was meant for 1 person only, I ordered another appetizer from their regular menu. These Crab Croquettes were a must try. The breading is crunchy and not greasy at all. The inside is creamy and melt in your mouth. I like that the mild crab flavor also stood out. You know I’ve been to Maryland lately and has been eating their special crab cakes, these can give the authentic ones a run for their money. Even if the portion is good for 2 people, I finished it.
As for the entree, I was really curious to try their location specialty which is the Duck Pot Pie. However, the steak lover in me, can’t resist to order the Petite Sirloin. Since they serve American cuisine, I’m expecting they’ll deliver a good steak dinner too.
Now, here’s a nice test too. I like my steak Medium. Most of the time, especially when a restaurant is busy, this temperature can easily be messed up. If done a little early, the steak will continue to cook and by the time it reach my table, the pink in the middle will no longer be there. If the chef makes it a little underdone for timing purposes, I can easily end up with a medium rare. Another challenge too is that my husband likes his meat well done.
We both got steaks for entrees. My Petite Sirloin with Greens surprised me. Unlike most places where the presentation tend to be clean and fancy, mine had a rustic touch to it. The tender and well seasoned medium temperature steak rested on top of my creamed spinach. Then there’s this unexpected fried greens garnish which gave it a nice twist.
My husband’s well done steak was not only tasty but tender as well. Okay, generally, I’m not a big fan of sweet potato fries. Let’s just say, I’m the “purist” steak and potato gal. However, the flavors in this entree were spot on. I can’t even imagine getting regular fries.
While the portions aren’t diner sized, I can still say that it’s still quite big. An entree can be enough for 2 people to enjoy. If you are on a budget, this restaurant is on the affordable side. Yes, both the steak dinners are on the $20 range. However, those are already the priciest. Majority of their menu items are between $10-16. Check out the sample menu below.
Now, even though I was stuffed, I can’t pass the dessert. Since I’m a bit picky with desserts, I asked both our servers for a recommendation. Without a blink, they both suggested the Apple Cobbler. It was highly praised that I decided to give it a try even though I hate cobblers. Why? Let’s just say that I find cobblers too sweet and sugary.
Anyway, it was a good choice after all. The Apple Cobbler has a nice balance of flavor and sweetness. Even my husband who’s not a big fan of sweets can’t get enough of it. The apples were tart and the topping just gives it a nice contrast. Of course, one can’t go wrong with the hot and cold combo. If there’s one thing that I’ll suggest you must order, this is “the one”.
For those who are gluten free or have food restrictions, this place don’t have a specific allergy menu. However, the chef is willing to come out and help customize a meal just for you.
Did I make you hungry? Well, don’t worry, our friends from The Office Tavern Grill would like to you to visit them too. In fact, they just sponsored a prize for one lucky reader. That’s a $50 Gift Card!
Simply do the steps below to get free entries. This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years and up. The prize is only redeemable at either the Summit, NJ or Morristown, NJ location.
Hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19, 2017, 11:59pm EST.