You've probably seen it as you drive on the fly-over bridge to get to 114 from 121. It's the restaurant on the left with the plants growing in the roof - you know it. I think it used to be a Carraba's or a Johnny Carino's or one of those types of restaurants. And they left, so what makes you think that the restaurant to replace it is going to be any good, right?
Well, we arrived at Great Scott Restaurant
at 5:20 on a Thursday (we have young kids), and right away I noticed fresh vegetables and herbs growing on the patio, a good sign already. We were hopeful.
When we entered we were told by the hostess that the dining room doesn't open until 6:00 but that the bar was open. The bar area was lovely, but we had a 5 year old with us, so we opted to leave and return later.
At around 6:20, the restaurant was still pretty bare, but we gave it the benefit of the doubt because it had only been open for 2 weeks. We asked the server if she could get a Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza (the mozzarella is from Italian water buffalo) started for my son right away while we decided what we wanted. It was basic and delicious - just perfect for my son.
In the interim, I looked around and noticed that they have a pretty big table in a private room which would be great for a get-together (Glade Crossing Mommies' night out - shout out!)
We then decided to order a bottle of wine, which our server told us they only mark up once, which apparently is less than most restaurants. I don't know how accurate that is, but the bottle was good nonetheless, and the server seemed knowledgeable about their list, even when we threw some complicated questions her way.
the Rabbit Saddle (left) and the Cervena Venison (right). If I'm honest, I didn't have great expectations. The pizza was pretty basic, and the highway was right out the window of our booth so...you know. When the food was served to us, however, I was in for quite a treat.
The first bite of venison melted in my mouth. The venison apparently comes from a protected area of New Zealand where deer run around stress-free and happy until, of course... The venison is served with blackberries and mashed potatoes which compliment the meat quite flavorfully and interestingly in an unexpected way. On the side is a spicy and pickled serving of greens which balances out the plate perfectly.
The rabbit, as well, was amazing. The chef Norman Grimm
, who we asked to speak to and he graciously obliged, explained to us that his sous-chef meticulously de-bones it perfectly, creating a tender and juicy cut of meat in which he's able to wrap around a mixture of veg that is bursting with flavor. Every bite was juicy and perfect.
Both meals, too, were not too big or too small. We could have even shared one entree and one small plate if we had wanted to.
After the deliciousness of dinner, I had to try for dessert, and I'm glad I did. We ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding (left) and a pineapple pistachio dessert that is not listed on the menu. When the chef was describing to us all of the steps that go into these desserts, I was shocked. Each dessert takes a few days of preparation to conceive, and you can taste the care that goes into each one. My personal favorite was the pineapple one with its flaky phylo base and heavy vanilla bean cream.
When we were speaking to the chef, he was telling us of the driving philosophy that he holds in his kitchen is that it always be a teaching kitchen. His cooks are learning new techniques, recipes, etc. each day. And as long as they're continually learning, they're growing and they'll continue to make good food.
Sounds good to me!
All in all - I highly recommend this place because I want it to be around for a long time! It's a great asset to our community.