Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tops American Grill in Rotterdam

Prompted by the Metroland Restaurant Review, we went to Tops American Grill in Rotterdam the other day. The Metroland review is far more thorough (he's a professional and I'm a rank amateur, after all), and I generally agree that it's a good place to eat.

Our experience was not quite as good as Mr. Nilsson's. There was some unspecified problem in the kitchen that delayed our food - not a good thing when you have small children with you. Our waitress seemed a bit distracted but was pleasant.

My French Onion soup was good. Maybe a little too much cheese, but that's hard to complain about and is really my cholesterol fears talking. Also it was made with salad croutons instead of a more robust bread, but it was still delicious. Speaking of bread, the bread that came out first was also very nice.

I also ordered a Tuscan bean bruschetta. This was one of the delayed items, and it wasn't great. The bread was a bit overcooked (okay, burned), and the flavors just didn't quite work. I think it had a goat cheese on it and somehow that didn't fit. Could have been a kitchen problem though.

My entree was half great and half mediocre. I had a 5-ounce tenderloin with shrimp scampi and grilled asparagus. The steak was really fantastic. It was so tender I literally was cutting it with my fork. Great flavor with an appropriately small amount of sauce (marsala wine based?). The asparagus was fair, but I expect better from a restaurant. I do better on my own grill. And the shrimp was mediocre. I did eat it, so I'm not saying it was foul or anything like that, but I expected something more. I suspect again this was a kitchen problem. It came out on a skewer which would suggest grilling, but it did not taste or feel like it had been grilled, or perhaps not long enough. I also had a side of sauteed greens that was just okay.

My wife had a roast turkey platter, a hold-over from the restaurant's diner history. She did not seem to like it and did not eat much of it, but that may have been the kids distracting her. I tried it and wasn't impressed - seemed a bit better than something from a school lunch cafeteria - but I'm not a roast turkey guy.

We split a cheesecake and it was good, not great, but I would say better than average and better than a lot of places in the area. As Metroland noted, there is a very broad selection of desserts.

As I write it this review seems more negative than I remember the experience. We will likely go back, as we both liked it. There are some intangible positives -- a pleasant atmosphere, family feeling, sense that many of the customers know and like each other, well designed interior ... something like that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That has to be one of the least helpful reviews I've ever read...