From surf and turf to happy hour, Garfield’s offers solid dining experience

QUICKREAD

If you go

WHAT: Garfield’s Off Broadway.

WHERE: 2148 Broadway, on the Redlands.

HOURS: Opens at 5 p.m. all week (lounge at 4 p.m.); breakfast and lunch served on weekends only.

CONTACT: 245-8080.

COST: Dinner entrees, $12–$20; steak and seafood combos, about $25; bar menu, most items under $10.



My parents would love a restaurant like Garfield’s. I like it, too.

Think of a place that serves steak and seafood in dark-lit and comfortable surroundings. Servers wear white tuxedo shirts and black slacks. Add an old-fashioned, or a Manhattan or a green stinger and the vision is complete.

Garfield’s, which opened in 1986, is an old-timer in restaurant years. It has been overshadowed in the recent decade by trendier nouveau and ethnic cuisine spots, but keeps its solid reputation as a purveyor of fine food.

Perusing the menu, there is more than meets the eye, because you’ll be presented tableside with a specials chalkboard menu.

Along with several daily items, diners may select a variety of surf and turf combinations. On our first visit, the fruit de mer offerings were mahi-mahi, walleye, cod, calamari, river trout, oysters, Ahi tuna, catfish, coconut shrimp and a few more I can’t remember. The fish can be prepared in a number of ways, including fried, pan-seared with garlic butter and blackened. Pair it with a rib-eye steak or filet mignon and you’ve got yourself a combo.

Many of the appetizers were tempting — crab cakes in cream caper sauce, crab Oscar and fried clams — but we ordered and relished the oysters Rockefeller. A child of the Gulf Coast, I often return to my roots.

Next up was a ho-hum house salad but a very good clam chowder.

After much waffling, I ordered the Colorado lamb chops, and my husband chose a rib-eye steak and salmon combo. Therein came the only disappointment of the evening. Although we arrived early, and lamb was listed as a daily special, we were informed that no lamb was available because they were between switching cuts and suppliers. Drats. Yet there were plenty of other choices.

The entrees arrived and both of us were pleased with the charred-outside and pink-inside of the rib-eye steaks, and he with his salmon and me with my trout.

Since that first visit, I went back with three friends on a Sunday night to order appetizers and sandwiches from the bar menu.

Garfield’s has a devoted clientele who come early for happy hour and a light dinner. The restaurant offers discounts on well drinks, beers and appetizers from 4–6 p.m.

The Garfield’s menu-light features seafood-heavy appetizers, salads and bar standards, plus the house favorite: pork tenderloin sandwich. Personally, I liked the Cajun black-bean soup with andouille sausage and the cold boiled shrimp. My three friends gave a yums-up to the blackened chicken sandwich, Philly cheesesteak and Ahi tuna.

I can’t vouch for it, but our server told us the restaurant makes its own crème brulee and serves tiramisu, chocolate cake and New York-style cheesecake.

Garfield’s has created its own niché in the Grand Valley restaurant scene with 20-plus years of experience, and the staff does what it does, well. The place might not be the “it” restaurant of the moment, but the quality of food and service is noteworthy.

I don’t know of another place around here where you can live the high life with chateaubriand and Beef Wellington.

I only wish ... Garfield’s could exploit the fantastic view on the Redlands. A rooftop alfresco dining deck facing Colorado National Monument would be superb.

QUOTE: “The Italians were eating with forks when the French were still eating each other.” — Mario Batali, chef

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Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@ gjsentinel.com.



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