Hours: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; closed Sun. Prices: Dinner for two with appetizers, drinks and desserts costs $70 to $80 including tax and tip. Cards: Mastercard, Visa, Choice, American Express, Diners Club, Carte Blanche.
The Grill is attractive in that prepackaged hotel way, all dressed in rustic colonial. The waiters are superfriendly as they try to make this a "dining experience." When you sit down they'll bring complimentary hors d'oeuvres to the table -- the creamy spread, tasting of chives, is delicious, but the rolls are humdrum and the pate in a small pottery crock tastes more like smoky cheese spread than liver.
For appetizers, go simple -- a platter of smoked salmon (a good piece of lox) is best, although there's nary a cracker or slice of bread to go with it. Beef Sate tastes like plain, unseasoned meat served with a sauce that resembles creamy peanut butter spiked with hot pepper. Caesar salad is okay, although the dressing tastes anemic.
When you're ready to order the main course, the waiter will wheel a cart to your table with great fanfare to present the evening's bounty o' the grill -- raw steaks and chops and fishes wrapped in see-through plastic wrap. (It's a nice thought, but if government regulations require them to shroud the meat in plastic, it's better left in the kitchen.) Since the restaurant is called "The Grill," it's odd that little of the food really tastes grilled. The pretty grill marks are there, but there's little of that wonderful crusty grill texture and smoky taste.
On one visit, the T-bone came overcooked (medium-well instead of rare); another time the steak came rare as ordered but was unexceptional. At a recent dinner a whole baby salmon, the special, looked beautiful -- skillfully skinned, fragile pink -- but it tasted old. A swordfish steak was good, very good, nicely seasoned, but it was way too thin for $16.95 -- that's an a-la-carte $16.95, by the way, without any salad or vegetable to appease you. The best dish on this small menu has been the veal chop, big and thick and pink and juicy; you can order it Sicilian style, topped with a crust of parmesan cheese and herbs, but we recommend the plain, unadulterated version. Even a good veal chop, though, isn't worth $19.95.
The waiter returns with a new cart, this one bearing desserts from a local bakery -- moist and well-made. But the quality dips again when the waiter offers a silver bowl of "whipped cream" for coffee: it's technological whipped cream, that bounces like a yo-yo in coffee. The stuff is so tenacious, in fact, that it sits in an indestructible lump on the bottom of your cup long after you've swallowed the last drop.