Stephanie Sampsonis of Chelmsford, owner of the Glenview Pub & Grill, remembers her late father in many ways. Especially when it comes to food.
“He was a man who loved seeing a big plate of food. If he didn’t get enough, he’d order another steak,’’ she said of Steven Sampsonis, a Chelmsford resident who owned the Glenview from 1996 until his death in December.
“My father had a passion for food and a work ethic that was second to none. He wouldn’t think of skimping on quality or size,’’ she added, noting that all of the Glenview’s meats and seafood are delivered daily and hand-cut on the premises. “I don’t want to fix what isn’t broken.’’ It’s the combination of portion size and reasonable price that keeps regulars coming back. But it is also a sense of familiarity.
During the 45-minute wait after arriving at 7:30 p.m. on a recent Friday, our four-person party observed a playful camaraderie between the staff and patrons. William Ferdinand, a regular from Lowell, walked in and inquired about the wait time. “For you, two hours,’’ the hostess said, joking.
Ferdinand, who has dined at the Glenview weekly for about five years, was asked for a recommendation: “Everything is good,’’ he said.
We understood his hesitation when we were presented with three menus: a six-page regular menu, a five-page menu of regular dinner specials, and two pages of specials available on Fridays and Saturdays.
We selected two appetizers. The six buffalo fingers ($7) were moist, plump pieces of chicken so tender that we cut them with a fork. They were dripping with hot sauce and accompanied by celery sticks and homemade bleu cheese dressing.
The nachos with the works ($7) were colossal, weighing three pounds, according to Sampsonis. They were loaded with mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes, scallions, and jalapenos and served with sides of guacamole and sour cream.
We also enjoyed our entrees, even though the appetizers had severely dented our appetites. A full pound of teriyaki sirloin tips with baked scallops ($20) was served piping hot. The tender steak was cooked precisely according to the diner’s medium specification, with a pleasing seasoning that did not overpower the taste of the meat. The seafood was deliciously sweet.
The fresh broiled haddock dinner ($15) was a massive piece of flaky fish that was a little dry, but still quite tasty. It was served with rice pilaf and a medley of well-seasoned green beans, broccoli, carrots, and red peppers.
From the selection of regular specials, the chicken Florentine ($15) consisted of two cutlets sautéed in butter, lemon, and dry vermouth. They were served in a thin, light, lemon butter cream sauce and topped with fresh spinach, tomatoes, garlic butter, and dry vermouth, along with a heaping pile of linguini.
The fourth diner created her own meal, a 10-ounce Glennie Burger ($6.25) of aged Angus ground sirloin atop a large, crisp house salad ($4) of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and mushrooms. Although the burger was slightly overcooked, the bacon was perfectly crisp and the peppers and onions were flavorful.
Sampsonis said several dessert selections are homemade, including the grapenut custard, chocolate mousse, strawberry shortcake, fudge brownie sundae, and four-inch high cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce. Prices range from $5 to $9, the most expensive being the chocolate tower cake: five layers of moist cake between rich chocolate ganache frosting.
Beginning at 9 p.m., a band plays on Fridays and Sundays while karaoke takes center stage on Thursday and Saturday nights. The staff is currently preparing for a St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza, which Sampsonis said will include 4,000 pounds of corned beef, green beer, and entertainment from noon until closing time.
“I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see so many of the same customers from the beginning,’’ said Sampsonis. “They’re my extended family, and I always want to give them a little something extra.’’