Bites Nearby: Springfield Grille
Excellent steaks, succulent lamb and attentive service combine for a special night out in Adams Township.
Overview: Springfield Grille is just off Route 228 on Crider Road in Adams Township. Its bright and attractive exterior gives way to a rich, dark, almost English-manor themed interior.
The food is upscale, and the specialty is steaks cooked to order. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday featuring half-priced bar appetizers and drink specials. There is a champagne brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
A private dining room seats 36. Reservations are suggested for dinner. It's a pleasant place for lunch and a nice choice for a special dinner.
Décor: The interior is dim, with dark panels, rich leathers and ornate paintings. Mounted deer heads suggest an upscale English hunting lodge. The bar is busy, with quite a few comfortable booths. The bar area is so popular that during our visit several patrons requested dinner seating at the bar. The restaurant is a bit noisy, but the booths do a good job of canceling the noise. Some diners were dressed casually in jeans and polo shirts while others wore suits and dresses.
The Drinks: Springfield Grille offers a full wine list, a full bar menu and beer. The wine selection is a cut above what is often found in this area, and we enjoyed our white Parducci and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines cost $7 to $13 per glass.
Appetizers: Called "Small Plates," the appetizers were surprisingly on the common side -- calamari ($9), stuffed peppers ($8), artichoke spinach dip ($8) and nachos ($9).
We opted for one of the appetizer specials, Oysters Rockefeller ($9), and were glad we did. They were excellent. We're always a bit leery about ordering oysters Rockefeller-style because the topping often overwhelms the oysters. Not in this case. They were perfectly cooked and not overdressed. The most interesting appetizer we didn't order was the Char-Seasoned New Zealand Lamb ($12), but more about that in the entrée section.
A selection of soups and appetizer salads includes turtle soup, a specialty. Two other soups usually are offered as well.
Entrees: Springfield Grille specializes in steak. One bite of one of its cooked-to-order steaks, and you'll see why.
I had the Filet Mignon (6 ounce $19, 10 ounce, $27) with an a la carte topping of the Forest Mushroom Blend. My dining partner ordered the Char-Seasoned Lamb Rack ($24), cut into chops and served with roasted garlic orzo and French green beans.
There are not enough superlatives to describe the lamb, and I will order it next time I'm at the Springfield Grille. The smaller portion of this dish is on the appetizer menu, so I highly recommend it for anyone who isn't prepared to polish off the entrée-sized portion. Steaks come with a soup or salad and choice of a side. Sides include potatoes and vegetables.
Other entrees include seafood selections such as Ahi Tuna ($20) and Chilean Sea Bass ($24), seafood and chicken pastas ranging from $14 to $19, Pot Roast ($13), Pork Chops ($14) and a few other chef-inspired entrees. There also is a full selection of meal-sized salads as well as burgers and sandwiches. Daily specials are listed on the website.
Desserts: We were completely stuffed, but the desserts were tempting nonetheless, particularly the Carrot Cake, Praline Pie and Kentucky Derby Pie. We did not get the prices on those, and they aren't listed on the online menu, so they probably vary.
Service: It is with great joy that I can report the service was excellent. I could write a book about how often poor service ruins an otherwise good dining experience even at the best restaurants. That was not the case at the Springfield Grille. Our waitress was efficient, knowledgeable and friendly without being overly familiar. This restaurant could give classes to other establishments.
Signature Dish: Steak.
Address: 7001 Crider Road.
Cost: $$ to $$$
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.