May 22, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 11:24
Past restaurants at the Bethel Opera House have offered a variety of finely tuned menus and the current occupant, Greenwood’s Grille and Ale House, appears to have the magic formula for success, especially on weekends when the waiting line goes out the door.
Greenwood’s Grille & Ale House owner is Matt Stein, executive chef/general manager at the historic Silvermine Tavern in Norwalk before it closed this year. His culinary talents and management skills were also displayed in the development of restaurants in New York City. Greenwood’s Grille and Ale House, Chef Stein’s first restaurant, features a variety of favorites, including a great crab cake with tomato-rosemary stew, lobster macaroni and cheese, roasted organic chicken and mashed potatoes, and fish and chips.My daughter Andrea and I enjoyed tasting of some of our personal favorites and we were not disappointed: the skinny onion rings and draft beers were great. We also agreed that Chef Stein’s crab cake recipe, loosely constructed and creamy, was like no other. I’ll order it as an entrée during the next visit. Assisting Chef Stein as general manager is Barbara Musser, former owner of Simply Seafood in Bethel, who describes each seafood dish in such detail that you will be tempted to order a combination seafood platter.
Soups of the day ($6 to $9) during our visit were corn with roasted red pepper-infused oil and a bowl of short rib chili with Vermont cheddar cheese. There’s also a good variety of entrée-size salads ($9 to $15); my daughter was happy with the chef salad topped with a honey Dijon balsamic vinaigrette.
My choice on the lunch specials was a delicious grilled chicken wrap with roasted red pepper and smoked Gouda and chipotle mayonnaise.
Sandwiches, $9 to $15, are served with handcut potato fries and housemade slaw. They include lobster roll, panko-crusted flounder with a housemade tartar sauc, Greenwood cheese steak, and vegetable panini with vegetables from local farms.
Lunch and dinner menus are the same, with daily specials. A well-rounded entrée menu ($13 to $19) includes marinated and grilled skirt steak with mashed potatoes, frizzled leeks and red wine sauce; babyback ribs from Berkshire Farms with house-made barbecue sauce, fries and slaw; Pecan-crusted brook trout; Atlantic salmon grilled with honey mustard glaze; and pan-seared jumbo shrimp.
Always popular are charcoal-grilled eight-ounce black Angus burgers ($9 to $12) served on a potato roll with fries and slaw.
Among the draft beers available at Greenwood’s are Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, and Delirium Tremens, all from Belgium; Lagunitas IPA from California; and Peak Organic IPA from Portland, Maine. Beer tastings and food pairings take place once a month
We didn’t hesitate in choosing a dessert ($5-$9): a melt-in-your-mouth sweet biscuit topped with strawberries and real whipped cream, enough for two. Apple crisp is also a favorite.
186 Greenwood Avenue
Bethel, CT 203-791-0408
Open every day for lunch and dinner from 11:30 to closing; dinner specials begin at 5. Sunday brunch coming soon.
Reservations accepted for six or more; handicap accessible; major credit cards; child-friendly; full bar, 21 mostly domestic wines by the glass, $5 to $10, by the bottle, $18 to $30; American comfort food; take-out, off-premises catering; casual dress; private functions; seasonal outdoor dining; free parking at the old railroad station across from the Opera House.
A new lunch menu has been introduced at the Georgetown Saloon, 8 Main Street, with half price lunches served Wednesday and Friday from 12 to 3. Wednesday international nights are also new with dinner for two and a bottle of Spanish wine. Reservations, 203-544-8003.
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