No, it is not a hard-to-find restaurant, but a column for AdVantage News! Each week the Secret Diner will post a review of a River Bend eating establishment. The Secret Diner will not review chain or franchise restaurants, only privately owned ones. About the rating system: zero stars would mean avoid at all costs, one star is pretty bad, two stars is merely fair, three stars is OK, four stars is good, and five stars is perfect! Before posting a negative review, the Secret Diner will give the establishment a second chance at a different time of day. See if you can determine the name and location of the restaurant under review! The answer will appear in next week’s column.
Did you guess what restaurant I reviewed last time? It was 1818 Chophouse at 210 S. Buchanan St. in Edwardsville. My grilled Chophouse burger cost $11, and my companion’s triple-decker club was $10. We had delicious, large portions in a relaxing, elegant atmosphere.
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There was a new establishment in town, and I was very interested in checking it out. Walking in, I immediately noticed a large glass panel with the business logo etched into it, sheathed in an ever-falling wall of water. We were greeted by a hostess as soon as we entered and were invited to sit anywhere. Feeling overheated, I requested “the coldest seat you have.” I was directed to an area that was quite cool. After about a half hour, I actually longed for a sweater! I think this will become my favorite seat.
Several half-walls gave the impression of small private rooms, even though no area was completely separated from the rest. One central room held the bar, and the establishment brews an impressive selection of ale, lager and stout. My friend and I perused the menu while relaxing to satellite radio selections from our past.
We both noticed that the menu here had no dollar signs, so we made our selections carefully. We each chose an 8-ounce sirloin for $13, which included soup or salad and one side item. My friend ordered the soup of the day, which was roasted red pepper, and garlic mashed potatoes. I ordered the salad and roasted cauliflower.
The restrooms were very clean and elegantly designed. The water flowed down a disk that directed it into a waterfall so one could wash his or her hands. Both the hostess and our server were very friendly. They gave us the history of the establishment, how it came to be located where it is and why it has its uncommon name.
Our server brought us a small loaf of beer bread with butter and honey butter. Too bad we were unable to save some, but by the time our soup and salad arrived, every crumb had disappeared. My companion was very pleased with the red pepper soup, and my salad was fine. The steaks were perfect medium-rare, and my friend enthused over the garlic mashed potatoes.
We paid from the table, but I noticed mints and toothpicks were both available at the hostess’ stand. We were both quite happy with our dining experience and plan to return before long.
Do you think you know the name and location of this restaurant? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you guessed correctly!