Restaurant: Main Street Grill – 663 Main Street, Watertown, CT
Aside from family, friends, and of course presents, being back home for the holidays means a nice family meal out. Main Street Grill in Watertown, opened earlier in 2012, seemed to be just the right place for a nice relaxing evening. My parents had heard great things about this restaurant and I was excited to give it a try.
We had a 6:30 p.m. reservation the Saturday night before Christmas. When we arrived, Main Street Grill was fairly deserted. There were a few tables quietly dining and as we progressed through dinner, tables slowly began to fill up. The interior of Main Street Grill is unlike any restaurant I’ve ever experienced. There are only a few tables lined against exposed brick walls with area rugs covering a wooden floor and placed under a larger table in the middle of the room for groups. With limited seating and minimally decorated exposed brick leading up to a wooden rafter ceiling, Main Street Grill does a tremendous job of giving off the impression of space (and lots of it). For someone who is used to restaurants trying to cram as many tables into a small space as possible, this was a refreshing change. I also loved the menus. They came enclosed in a corkboard cover – reminding me of wine corks and getting me thinking about upcoming wine selections.
My one criticism would be the chairs. The chairs are hard plastic chairs that reminded me of the chairs you would find in an elementary school. We were seated in a booth so I didn’t get to sit in one but they looked like they may become uncomfortable after a while.
Main Street Grill classifies itself as a “new American restaurant with an eclectic menu and wine list.” I ordered:
- Tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons
- Chicken and black bean nachos
- Pork tenderloin filled with chorizo sausage, fire roasted poblano peppers and Arethusa’s Mt. Tom cheese with grilled asparagus and truffled mashed potato
- Croissant bread pudding
All is can say is wow. Based on my impressions of the interior of the restaurant and menu, I had high hopes the food was going to be good but didn’t expect this level of awesomeness.
The tomato soup had a slight spiciness to it which I loved and the grilled cheese croutons were just that – tiny pieces of cut up grilled cheese placed in the soup. Why have a grilled cheese on the side when you can put it right in the soup? A larger serving of this could almost have made up a full meal.
The chicken and black bean nachos were fairly straightforward and just that – nachos with chicken and black beans. The main difference between this dish and what you’d get at any sports bar were that instead of a pile of tortilla chips with mounds of cheese and diced chicken, Main Street Grill opted for a minimalistic approach. Six large tortilla chips are laid out in a skillet and topped with enormous pieces of chicken. These nachos were good and a twist on a traditional favorite, but in the end, nachos taste like nachos and I could have gotten the same flavors eating the nachos at the bar down the street.
Onto the main course – pork tenderloin. Once again, wow. Four thick cuts of pork tenderloin came out sitting on a bed of truffled mashed potatoes with grilled asparagus. A sweet cream sauce accompanied the perfectly cooked, pink pork. The sauce was very sweet but with the spiciness of the chopped chorizo sausage, it did a good job contrasting the flavors and kept me coming back for more. The mashed potatoes with truffle oil were equally as delicious, and along with the grilled asparagus, I was very disappointed when I finished everything on my plate.
We somehow managed to find room for dessert and I’m glad we did. The croissant bread pudding was divine. Topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce, it was quickly finished. Taking a line from my mom (avid bread pudding aficionado), “that was one of the best bread puddings I’ve ever had.”
Prices were in the mid-20s for entrees and low teens for appetizers. Wine was reasonably priced. For the service, quality of food and atmosphere, I think this was a great value.
In case you couldn’t tell, I loved Main Street Grill. On my way out, I had the opportunity to briefly meet John Bourdeau, owner and executive chef, as well as overheard him talking to a few customers throughout the meal. He is definitely very passionate about this restaurant and the food coming out of his kitchen. I definitely will be back to see what new additions he has on the menu and highly recommend Main Street Grill to anyone looking for a nice, relaxing night out.