A stylish spot in Braintree
Granite Grill FX is a modern, contemporary restaurant that’s tucked away in a strip mall on Granite Street, about a half-mile south of Braintree Five Corners.
Once you get past the glass doors and step into the restaurant, it’s easy to forget that you’re in a strip mall.
A vase of colorful flowers sits in the front foyer. A wall of frosted glass encased in steel frames separates the entrance from the main dining area. Inside, the décor is stylish and modern, and tastefully decorated in hues of beiges and browns, black and white, and the occasional deep shade of red. Curtains hang in all the windows, blocking any views of the parking lot outside.
Granite Grill FX serves lunch and dinner every day of the week. The menu provides a variety of choices, including old suppertime favorites like chicken Parmesan, London broil, pork chops, and spaghetti and meatballs. It’s American fare served in a nice atmosphere (cloth napkins, check; artwork on walls, check; fancy martini drinks, check) at fairly reasonable prices.
On a recent Thursday night, Granite Grill FX was dimly lighted and very quiet, and the main dining area was mostly empty.
We strolled into the lounge and sat on comfy chairs at the long, dark mahogany bar. Three high-definition television sets were showing football and hockey games. The bartender was friendly and accommodating. She put down a plate of bread and hummus in front of us. We dug in right away, and it was delicious.
I started my meal with a spinach salad ($9) made of fresh spinach leaves, topped with crumbled egg, sliced radishes and bits of scallion that gave it a wonderfully mild, zesty flavor. I was pleased to see that they prepared the salad as I requested, and left out the bacon. (It’s amazing how often those requests go unheeded. Brownie point for Granite Grill FX!)
My dining companion ordered the sweet potato gnocchi ($16), which consisted of sweet potato dumplings and roasted butternut squash with crispy pancetta crumbles and Bechamel sauce. After sampling the dish, she nodded in approval. It was sweet and tender.
For my entrée, I had the balsamic salmon ($17), which came with roasted red bliss potatoes and grilled asparagus. The fish was pan-roasted and drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar, which proved to be a lovely, flavorful combination.
The salmon itself was rather well-done, which I didn’t mind - I like my seafood cooked thoroughly. But the potatoes and asparagus were, alas, very overcooked. While I nibbled on the asparagus, the charred flavor dominated my tastebuds. I couldn’t stop thinking, if only they had taken it off the grill earlier!
We also tried the margherita pizza ($11), which Granite Grill makes with thick slices of fresh tomato, homemade mozzarella cheese, basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and a thin, crispy crust. It was very tasty, even though the razor-thin crust was slightly overcooked on the bottom. I happily ate several slices, and finished off the rest later, at home.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Granite Grill FX. The whole place was impeccably clean (restrooms and all), and the interior design looks great. There’s a full bar offering all kinds of cocktails (the night we were there, the drink special was an acai-blueberry martini), and the lounge area provides different options for seating (taller tables, a long table with eight bar stools, etc.)
Granite Grill FX does take-out orders and can host private functions. It’s also a proud sponsor of Braintree High Football (another brownie point!).
The lunch menu is available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and includes panini, burgers and sandwiches. For $9 you can get a classic turkey club, grilled chicken Caesar roll-up, or a “B.A.T.’’ (which stands for bacon, arugula and tomato), served with your choice of french or sweet potato fries.
Most of the dinner entrees cost under $20. The most expensive items on the menu are the pan-seared coriander scallops (served with corn relish and sauteed hash browns), and the 16-ounce grilled ribeye steak (with charred spring onions and a sweet corn relish, deep-fried red bliss potatoes and caponata), each for $22.
The ambience at Granite Grill FX matches that of an upscale restaurant, but it’s not exactly the place to bring a first date, due to the rather generic strip-mall location. But the classy atmosphere and low-key volume level make it a perfect venue for a family gathering, a reunion with old friends, or any kind of business meeting. And while you’re there, you can watch sports on TV (yet another brownie point!).