on July 26, 2009
On my last evening in Massachusetts, I was the only one left from the Wisconsin group left fending for myself for dinner on a Sunday night. I had enjoyed my past three evening meals of seafood but for this time, I felt more like a good steak.Noticing that many places in the area were not open on Sundays, I stopped by the front desk to seek a recommendation from the desk clerk. Once we got past the "No I really don't feel like the chains in town like Applebees (horrible steaks) or Chilis (not much better). I really wanted to do something more unique and representative of the area. Reiterating that I was thinking of steak and not New England seafood (which had been great all weekend!), the young lady said . . . "Well if you don't mind the 15 to 20 minute drive, my favorite place is the Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton."Well good enough for me; I have a car!The village of Groton felt "very New England" with a tall church spire in view as you enter the town, with plenty of rolling hills throughout. The local shopping area had a very low profile and could hardly be recognized as stores other than the CVC sign on the main road through town.As I turned into the farm that is now home to The Gibbet Hill Grill and The Barn (a reception and banquet hall facility owned by the same folks), I knew I had accomplished my goal of finding something with local flair.Inside, the century old barn had been restored to her beautiful glory and now served as an elegant yet casually comfortable restaurant just five years ago. Upon entry, you are first in the bar area that has a large stone fireplace . . . probably a great place to enjoy good friends and beverages during the winter . . . or any time of the year I suppose.One seated, I couldn't stop looking around and up at the construction of the barn. It was really exquisite in every detail. My server Sue greeted me and was most cordial. I probably just looked like a tourist because I was spending more time looking around than at my menu. With an iced tea on its way, it was time for me to figure out which steak I would have for dinner.Known for the locally grown angus beef, they were running low on the weekend house specialty prime rib which was mine by me. I had my sights on the filet, which was offered in two sizes. I opted for the smaller of the two at six ounces ($23.50). With your choice of two sides, I rounded out my meal with a dinner salad ($2 add-on) and baked potato.To be fair, they are also known for entrees brought to New England centuries ago by British settlers. Chicken pot pie, meatloaf and shepherd's pie as well as a breaded haddock and free range chicken are house specialties here. Other entree sides include butternut squash prepared in pure Vermont maple syrup, glazed carrots, brussel sprouts, yukon mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms. Just before the salad was brought out, Sue delivered a bucket of breads including some really good yellow cornbread. Sweet and slightly crumbly, it hit the spot. The salad was equally delicious and pleasing to the eye.Shortly after I had completed my salad, my entree arrived. I must admit while it was delicious, I was surprised at the plainness of the presentation. I suppose there might not be a lot you can do with a chuck of meat and potato but they were served on a plate that was a bit large for the size of meat making the filet look even more dwarfed by the gigantic baker. Delicious might not even be fair as the flavor of the steak was really outstanding!After my meal, I was offered dessert but I was really not interested in adding late evening calories so I passed. At the table next to me, they ordered the rhubarb pie which sounded good, but still, I took a pass. One of the ladies at the neighboring tables also had a cup of coffee. When she requested cream, they brought out to her a small "milk bottle" of cream. Very cool . . . take a look at the photo attached.My dinner included tax and gratuity came to just under $34. I found the restaurant to be very comfortable for dining alone and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and server. She learned more about youth soccer than she was probably really interested in but she was nice to ask me about my travels and what had brought me to the Boston area.More information about The Gibbet Hill Grill and The Barn may be found at their web site: www.gibbethillgrill.com.
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