Grinnell’s, located in the Twelve Corners area, has been a Brighton favorite since the 60’s. Upon entering, it is easy to understand why. There may be a wait at the door, as the owner, David, personally thanks a line of departing guests, who obviously are not visiting for the first or even the 10th time, but in short time his gracious attention is completely focused on you. He acknowledges the delay and hurries to settle you comfortably at an available table.
Settling into the comfort of the room, and glancing around it is interesting to find an eclectic mix of styles. Older couples in dresses and suits, some even with hats and gloves, obviously prepared for a formal dinner are seated among a half-dozen obvious long-time friends wearing deck shoes, khakis and shorts, where one of the group is heard to remark to another, “I thought we should come here because I knew you would want to be casual.”
Despite the seeming disconnect between the types of diners, one thing remains a binding force drawing these people to Grinnell’s, a tradition of formal and gracious service and style to truly complement the delicious food.
The menu is traditional, fine American cuisine focused around hearty beef entrées which can be cooked to taste and topped with Grinnell’s special fromage sauce, sautéed mushrooms or Bernaise sauce. The appetizers define elegance – stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktails, and mouth-watering artichokes French that is perfectly prepared and proudly presented by the waiter offering to serve it on the waiting plates. The seafood offerings are varied and fresh and Grinnell’s has a special for each night of the week. Meals are served with salad, choice of potato and the vegetable of the day. A choice of ice cream or sherbet completes the meal.
The service throughout is proper. The crisp linen tables are set with every appropriate piece of silver. The waiters, elegantly attired in black and white with formal vests and ties, present themselves the correct blend of formality and graciousness. The busboys wear crisp white shirts and aprons and discretely go about their duties clearing tables and refilling water glasses. Clearly great effort has been taken in tutoring these young men in the fine art of dinner service. The atmosphere is comfortable elegance and David personally circles the restaurant to see that each person is enjoying the experience.
The prices seem high, but not when considering that the full meal is included, in comparison with so many local restaurants that have moved to a la carte menus. The food is delicious, the servings are generous and the experience is worth every penny.
1696 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
Monday – Thursday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sunday: 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
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