Northborough – Wanting a nice place for that rare work day when I can share lunch with my husband, we headed to CJ's Steakloft on the Boston Post Road in Northborough.
Tucked behind a shopping plaza, the Steakloft is cool, comfortable and welcoming. We were seated immediately in one of the restaurant's cozy booths, and we each ordered unsweetened ice tea ($1.25). The tea came quickly, with plenty of ice and a lemon wedge. It was perfect for cooling off on a warm day.
Following our server's recommendation, we started with the appetizer special, dynamite shrimp ($6.95). The crispy fried shrimp was hot and terrific, and the spicy remoulade gave it an unusual kick that mixed a mild sweetness with a burst of heat. It was truly worth savoring every bite.
Selecting our main courses was a little tougher, as the menu has plenty of variety, including chicken, sandwiches and fish. Finally, we both decided on steak. I chose a steak Caesar salad ($11.95). The lettuce was crisp, fresh romaine, with large, crunchy croutons, grated parmesan cheese and a tangy dressing. Filling a large dish, the salad featured perfectly cooked steak, medium rare, with just enough pink to satisfy me. The steak melted in my mouth, and was a perfect protein complement for the salad.
My husband ordered an open-faced Steakloft sandwich. The presentation was lovely, with dark green kale and a wedge of pink watermelon. The steak fries, a favorite of mine, were hot and crisp. He enjoyed about the steak, which he ordered medium. It earned the kind of praise rarely heard from my husband in a restaurant. He shared the cole slaw, one of my weaknesses. Crisp and fresh, it had a touch of mayonnaise and vinegar, just the way I like it.
There's some thing about the rustic booths, the abundance of greenery, and the background of friendly conversation that makes the Steakloft the kind of place you want linger. And then there's the food: so we ordered the Grape-nut pudding ($4.25) to extend our meal before we headed back to our respective computers. The New England specialty is one I've come to enjoy, and the Steakloft's is worth the calories. Rich and creamy, it reminded me of a well-prepared créme brulée studded with Grape-nuts.
The Steakloft, at 369 West Main St., Northborough, is open Tuesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and Monday 4 to 11 p.m.
For more information, call 508-393-8134 or visit thesteakloft.tripod.com.
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