Sunday, June 15, 2014

Del Frisco's Grille Grand Opening Weekend

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you would know that Del Frisco's in Boston is my FAVORITE steak house as well as my FAVORITE overall restaurant in Boston.  The Mo and I had dinner there on our "mini moon" and celebrate our anniversary there.  I'm also fortunate to have been extended many  invites to business dinners held at the waterfront location, during the holiday season where I can drink fancy wine by the glass-full.

I could not be more thrilled that the "Classic American Steakhouse" would be coming to Burlington. My boss, who is quite the food and wine connoisseur had to talk me down a couple notches, "Now, you know it's not the ACTUAL steakhouse like Boston right? It's the grille version, which is a little bit different."

"Really? Well, I hope they have the filet, actually they BETTER have the filet!"  I exclaimed.  I made dinner reservations for opening day via opentable and studied the menu.  Yes, they did have the filet for lunch and dinner!

We weren't able to keep our reservation and changed it to Sunday Brunch the next day instead.  I called to make sure the lunch menu was available and the hostess confirmed it was; I was relieved. I could still get my filet.

The parking lot was empty upon arrival around 12:30.  I thought it would be a bit more busy since it was father's day.  I assume that word hasn't spread much about the grand opening OR maybe people wasn't as excited as I was.

We entered the restaurant and was greeted by 4 hosts and a manager.  It was definitely OPENING WEEKEND.  Since it was nice out, I requested to be seated on the patio.  The layout was simple and basic.  It was almost like we were eating in the parking lot.  There was only an iron fence that divided the sidewalk from our table.  There were no potted plants or "window planters" to provide privacy. Pedestrians would walk by and comment on our food and drinks, nothing bad but it was a bit odd and uncomfortable.

Our sever appeared and greeted us.  She was very friendly and dressed well.  All the servers are required to wear black clothes and heels at a minimum of 1 1/2 inch.  Most of them were wearing short skirts, tights and boots.  They were all good looking girls; reminds me of the servers at Strega Waterfront.

We were sat near the semi-al fresco bar area that had bar stools and TV's.  It was a popular dining area for the group of guys that looked like they just finished up a round of golf.

The carafes of brunch-type booze appealed to us.  The offerings included carafes of mimosa, white sangria, screwdrivers and Bloody Mary's.  Patrons could also opt for drinks by the glass.  We ordered the "Build Your Own Bloody Mary" with house made mix, Tito's Vodka and a plate of fixin's that included celery, pickle, hot sauce, black pepper, olives, lemon, lime and BACON! Yes, I said BACON! How cool is that?

Del Frisco's Make It Yourself Bloody Mary Carafe & Plate Fixin's $ 19.00

The drinks were great but on the salty side.  I wished we were asked for our salt rim preferences when we ordered the drinks.  Also, our ice kept melting and our carafe was warm before we made it to round two.  It would be nice if they offered an ice bucket to keep the carafe chilled, similar to one used for white wine. Maybe that's too much effort for a $ 19.00 drink?  Our server was really good about refreshing our ice and "fixins" platter despite the small annoyance.

Instead of sharing a normal appetizer, we went with the Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles as starter.  I mean, we WERE there for brunch after-all.  The plump Belgian waffle was "eggy" and delicious.  It was soft and perfect.  I'm not a fan of the crunchy versions.

The fried boneless chicken breasts was seasoned well but the batter inconsistent.  Some pieces were crunchy and some were soggy .. possibly from being over-battered or from the steam of the waffle beneath it?.  The thick hickory smoked bacon and maple syrup complimented the hearty brunch dish well.  The menu described the condiment as "Spicy" but I didn't taste any heat.

Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
Southern Fried Chicken and Waffle with "Spicy" maple syrup $ 15.00
Del Frisco's Grille Sunday Brunch 
For our second course, the Mo and I ordered the Ahi tacos from the "Food to Fight Over" section, which is their starters/appetizer section.  We both agreed that the tuna tar-tare tasted fresh.  It was our favorite "non-steak" dish.  The shell kept intact and remained crispy despite housing the avocado, tuna and spicy citrus mayo.  The flavors exploded in our mouth with the different textures of the crunchy shell and soft avocado and tuna contrasting each other.

Of course we couldn't go to Del Frisco's and not order steak! I glanced at the menu for our options and didn't see any on the brunch menu.  I was frantic and confused ...but I called to confirm that the lunch menu was also being served!! 

Throughout our meal, we had at least 10 different people come by to check up on us, whether it was a manager, our server, another server, or a bus boy. One of the managers overheard me inquiring about the lack of steak offering on the brunch menu and looked into it for us.

Done & Done, we were able to order our Filet!

The 8oz steak was absolutely PERFECT, the seasoning was great and it was cooked to the EXACT MEDIUM that we hoped for.  I'm sure you've had one or two incidents in your past dining experience when the "Medium" steak you ordered came out RARE or WELL DONE and it's always awkward to make a stink about it.  Similar to their upscale Boston restaurant, we were asked to cut the steak down the middle to ensure that it was to our liking.

8 oz Filet with loaded potato cake $ 34.00
Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
Del Frisco's Grille 8 oz filet

We couldn't eat a steak and not try one their delicious sides.  I couldn't decide so I went with the truffle mac and cheese.  Both the server and the managers assured us that it was a great decision.  Indeed, they were both correct! It was absolutely creamy and rice.  The cheesy consistency was just right, not too watery and not too heavy with a great balance of cheese and pasta.

Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
Truffle Mac & Cheese Side $ 7.50

The Mo and I were definitely stuffed at this point.  Not to mention all the WW "Free" points and "Activity" points that I've consumed.  I had to try a dessert.  I was a bit disappointed that the menu didn't offer any "Small bites" or tastings.  That seems to be the new trend at restaurants nowadays.  Since I do love lemon, I decided to indulge in the lemon cake.  

The presentation of the huge layered lemon cake was plain and ornamented.  Where's the mint and fruit garnish? Where's the powdered sugar? Where's the drizzle? It was just a huge lemon cake plated on a huge plate with lots of white space.  I mean come on now, the Chili's next door does a better job for half the price.

Another small inconvenience is that there are no umbrellas for the tables on the patio.  Granted, we requested outside seating but the sun kept melting all our ice in our drinks and now the lemon butter cream icing on the Lemon Doberge cake was melting even before we could stick a fork to it.

Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
Lemon Doberge Cake $ 10.50
I HAD to try the Adult Milk shake, it just looked too tempting to resist.  The "shake" more like a frappe blended with Nocello walnut liqueur, creme de cacao chocolate liqueur and vanilla ice cream, didn't come cheap at $ 10.50. It was rich and tasty.  I felt like a kid again! I could only get down a half of it before I couldn't continue.

Adult Milkshake and Lemon Cake at Del Frisco's Grille Burlington
$ 10.50 each
The final bill came to $ 117.18.  NOT BAD AT ALL! 
We had:
  • 1 appetizer
  • 2 entrees
  • 4 drinks
  • 1 side
  • 1 dessert
  • 1 dessert/drink (the adult milk shake, not sure what category that falls under)
The Mo and I enjoyed our meal very much and we will definitely be back.  The service exceed our expectations and the food was great.  

I am so happy about the opening of Del Frisco's Grille in Burlington.  Now, we don't have to make the pilgrimage to Boston and pay for parking for a great steak.  Also, my coworkers and I have a great place to eat in Burlington when we do birthdays, etc.  Of course, I'd still prefer the Mo take me to the waterfront location for our celebratory occasions.

*** UPDATED 8/21
We went there again with Christine for a Post Party Sunday Brunch  The three of us split deviled eggs and Steak and Cheese Egg Rolls for appetizers.

They were both really good. In fact, I'm going to start trying to make my steak and cheese eggrolls, JUST like that with the thick Chinese wrap and drizzled with sweet chili sauce.

Del Frisco Grille Cheesesteak Eggrolls $ 11.50

Del Frisco's Grille Deviled Eggs with Truffle Chive Vinaigrette $ 8.00

I got the usual Chicken & Waffles which was still delicious and perfect and the Mo went with the lobstahh roll. He said it was JUST OK.  I had a bite and the toasted buttery brioche roll was a bit on the hard side like it was toasted for too long.  We loved the cute ketchup squirt bottle that came on the plate.

Del Frisco's Grille Native Lobster Roll $ 19.50


The Bancroft in Burlington
Strega Prime Woburn