Tasting Top Chef Masters…
I had the pleasure of dining at North End Grill for lunch on a Monday of a holiday weekend. With reservations at noon, it was not busy at all so I basically had the choice of any seat in the restaurant. I opted for the open kitchen counter since you’re able to see the food being prepared, cooked, and assembled. Obviously it’s not quite the same experience of sitting at a sushi counter, but the experience was still great as you feel like you’re part of the kitchen and can strike up conversations with the chefs at any time (i.e. the grill master in my case).
As mentioned in many of the previous reviews, the service was phenomenal. My waiter was very knowledgeable regarding the menu, guiding me through the standouts and taking my preferences into consideration. I saw the head chef Floyd Cardoz numerous times throughout my meal walking around the kitchen inspecting the food being prepared, giving me the assurance that the food I was eating was how it was supposed to be. Chatting with the grill master, I was able to find out the more popular dishes and his recommendations about the newly added entrees on the menu as well. The manager even stopped by at one point to say hello and make sure I was enjoying my meal. I re-iterate, service was top notch.
Moving onto the most important part of the review now…simply put, the food was delicious. Each bite of the cod throats appetizer (as recommended by my waiter) was extremely tender and juicy. This was my first time eating cod throats, but it will definitely not be my last. The sauce underneath was tasty and did not overpower the dish. But the only complaint I have was that the lightly fried coating was on the salty side.
For my entree, the grilled sea bream was bursting with flavor in every mouthful, paired nicely with a crisp Greek white wine by my waiter. The salsa, cabbage, and bacon each added a new dimension to the perfectly cooked fish. Even with the abundance of flavor, the spotlight of the dish was still on the fish.
Finally, for dessert, the butterscotch pot de creme did not disappoint. Personally, I could eat the single “maltmallows” that topped the dessert all day. Subtle hints of aged whiskey in medium fluffy marshmallows are to die for. I’m not normally a fan of desserts because they are too sweet, but the chocolate streusel mixed with the butterscotch creme was decadent. And for those with a sweet tooth, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a sunken treasure pocket of caramel to sweeten the deal.
Overall, North End Grill is not perfect, but is on a very good track. Service is exceptional. Food is delectable, with just a bit to iron out. I will definitely be back to try the rest of the tempting menu.
One unfortunate note to add, but will not be held against them in this review, is that I did notice a few dishes ready to go out, sitting idle and cooling for 5 minutes or so. With more new employees coming in and given this establishment is still relatively new, I have no doubt these small kinks will be addressed.