As a lover of Barnacle Bill's in Rumson, I felt the need to go inspect the competition. A different atmosphere from the get go, of course, as it has the interior design of any traditional fine dining lounge and restaurant. You could go there to treat yourself to a nice fine dining experience if you don't have to worry about the wallet, but you can also go here and enjoy a lot of their menu items and still not break the bank.
They have a separate lunch menu, which of course would be the most cost efficient, offering an array of mouth watering salads, wraps, soups, sandwiches and a selection of their "signature" burgers, but we were there for dinner hour.
My little brother ordered the French Onion Soup, topped with Nauvoo onion rings and melted Gruyere cheese (one of my favorite cheeses might I add), and my Dad ordered a minestrone soup of the day. I refrained from the appetizers as I had my eyes on a huge burger, but showed interest in the Grilled Thai and Vegetable Skewers served with a sweet chili glaze and napa cabbage-pecan slaw, Lobster Mac and Cheese featuring Maine Lobster baked with penne pasta in a three cheese sauce with roasted breadcrumbs, and the Crispy Santa Fe Spring Rolls with marinated chicken, black beans, roasted corn and cheddar cheese topped with avocado cream.
The salads looked good as well, like the arugula and shaved fennel served with poached pear, Manchego cheese, roasted pistachio nuts and green apple vinaigrette. If you like seafood, trty the Lobster salad with Maine lobster meat, baby arugula, avocados, ruby red grapefruit and a low fat Asian Sesame vinaigrette.
Their entrees boast great selections like the grilled 16 oz Center Cut Pork Chop served with cheddar mashed potatoes and roasted apple compote, Wild Salmon cooked with a touch of cajun spice served over arugula salad, diced tomatoes, capers, red onion, basil, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, and pan seared Scallops with sundried tomato risotto and lemon oil.
Considering I was told by numerous sources that Nauvoo had a decent burger, that was, of course, the focus of our evening. I think I looked at the menu a million times, deciding which one of the 8 burger options to choose from. I went with the Nauvoo burger, figuring if they want to name it after their restaurant, it must be something to write home about -- and I wasn't disappointed. Juicy and delectable, it was topped with barbeque sauce, provolone cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
My Dad ordered another item I was considering -- the Short Rib Burger with grilled ground short ribs of beef topped with carmelized onions and roasted mushrooms. My Mom ordered the Mexican Burger which she found to enjoy, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with red onions, tomatoes, avocado, jack cheese and chipotle sauce, served with sweet potato fries as opposed to the traditional fry they serve with the rest of the burgers. My brother ordered the class 10 oz cheeseburger with cheddar cheese -- a classic to say the least.
Vegetarians, have no fear, as they offer a Portobello burger cooked with smoked mozzarella, pesto sauce and served on a brioche roll.
If you are not in the mood for beef, try the Turkey burger grilled with provolone cheese, sundried tomato mayo and served on a brioche roll with sweet potato fries. If you like tuna burgers, which I do, and I almost ordered it -- the Ahi tuna burger is grilled and served with alfalfa sprouts and ginger on a brioche roll.
For more information visit www.nauvoogrillclub.com or call 732 747 8777.