17 April 2013
The Shops at Stonefield
2010 Bond Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Monday - Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 11p.m.
Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m
By now, everyone has watched Charlottesville’s expansion of stores, restaurants and a multiplex movie theater (finally) at the Shops at Stonefield on the corner of Hydraulic Road and Rt. 29. This is what you call an abundance of riches for someone like myself as I look for good places to eat lunch and write about in the Let’s Do Lunch column. So expect to see some reviews of new restaurants at Stonefield in 2013, starting with Burtons Grill. Recently, two people approached me about reviewing Burtons Grill and I am so glad they did.
The original founder of Burtons Grill was an executive for Legal Seafood and it is evident by how well the fish was cooked (more about that later). With three other owners and investors who shared his vision for “contemporary American cuisine and ambience“, the first Burtons Grill opened in Boston and they currently have restaurants in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Virginia (Virginia Beach and Charlottesville), opening five of their ten locations in the last 18 months. Their attention has now turned from expanding to training their new staff and fine tuning the newer restaurants.
Just a few comments before I start to describe what was a wonderful afternoon out with friends. Burtons Grill has a sophisticated and contemporary look while still feeling inviting and comfortable. There is seating for 200 people inside, including a separate room that seats 24 and an outside patio with a fire place that seats 34. Although the lunch prices are a little higher than some other places in the area, the quality and preparation of the food makes eating there a good value. The service is attentive and knowledgeable.
We lunched on a Tuesday afternoon and were seated in an elevated booth. Large enough for eight people and close to the open kitchen where we could watch the colorful dishes as they were taken to other diners. The lunch menu offers soups and appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches and entrees as well as a large cocktail, beer and wine selection.
Don and I ordered the soup of the day, She-crab soup which was $3.95 for a cup. I don’t know how the soup could be both so light and creamy. It was flavored with a hint of sherry, a good amount of crab and a little pepper that provided a tiny bite to each spoonful.
Three friends ordered salmon for $13.95 from the entrée section of the menu. Bonnie and Art ordered the salmon bronzed, grilled with a light blend of cajun style seasonings and two sides. They found the salmon moist and tasty, not spicy. Linda ordered the salmon grilled with a light coating of lemon thyme butter and found the salmon fresh tasting and moist. Later we learned that the salmon is first grilled and then finished off in a pan of water in the oven - a technique that is used at Legal Seafood. All three chose broccoli that was cooked perfectly in a light seasoned sauce. Other sides chosen and enjoyed were rice with cilantro, a very different coleslaw with a mix of greens, carrots, and peppers in a sweet sauce and spinach sautéed in a touch of olive oil and bits of garlic.
Don also chose seafood, ordering the haddock imperial which was light and flakey and covered with lump crabmeat, shrimp stuffing and panko breadcrumbs for $14.95. He also thought the onion rings were excellent. Dick ordered from the entrée part of the menu and he could not stop raving about the Mediterranean chicken for $11.95. Pan seared chicken, topped with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and provolone served over spinach risotto with a light lemon butter sauce was a success. He felt the chicken was prepared perfectly, nice and moist and the risotto was creamy and tasty.
I ordered the harvest salad for $9.95 and added chicken for $5. The large bowl was filled with fresh greens, roasted butternut squash, sliced apples, pickled onions, almonds, goat cheese and a large piece of grilled chicken all tossed with maple vinaigrette. It was an unusual and delicious combination consisting of fresh ingredients, making it even better.
It just so happened that I saw a group of friends at Burtons Grill who were celebrating a birthday in the private dining room. I asked them what they ordered and how did they like their choices? Here are a few of their comments:
Kay and Sylvia enjoyed perfectly prepared fish tacos for $10.95. Small pieces of rockfish, tomato jalapeno relish, avocado, chipotle lime crema and shredded lettuce were served in two warm tortillas and accompanied by fiesta rice that they found flavorful.
Sonja really liked the California chicken for $11.50 that combined bronzed chicken breast, ham, chipotle mayo, avocado crème and pepper jack cheese on grilled ciabatta bread and was served with hand cut french fries. The portion was large enough to take half home.
Sandy thought her steak sandwich at $15.95 was delicious and also took half of her lunch home. She was impressed that the steak was thick pieces of grilled sirloin served on grilled ciabatta bread. Pesto cheese spread, roasted red peppers, arugula and cheese completed the sandwich which was then drizzled with balsamic reduction and served with french fries.
Marilyn thought the short rib shepherd’s pie for $13.95 was delicious and different. The ribs were lean and tasty, vegetables fresh and all were topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese.
Iscella was impressed by the presentation and taste of the chopped blue cheese salad for $8.95 which consisted of chopped (easy to eat) iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onion and “perfect” buttermilk blue cheese dressing, topped with bacon, smooth blue cheese crumbles and balsamic reduction.
DESSERT! OMG - let me just say that my friends and I experienced some of the most amazing desserts which are $5.95 to $6.95. Key lime pie is on the regular dessert menu and is made with real key limes, cream cheese, graham cracker crust and is light and creamy (almost like a light cheese cake) but explodes with flavor. One of the chef choices that day was a blondie a la mode, a light brownie with heath bar crumbles in the brownie, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and more crumbles around the plate - absolutely delicious. The other chef choice was a pecan praline tart with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce that was so good it is literally indescribable. All desserts are made on premises.