The Springfield Grille, a part of the Springfield Restaurant Group has two locations in western Pennsylvania and one in Ohio. On a whim, Ross and I decided to pay a visit to the Mars, PA location.We arrived without reservations, and had a 45 minute wait for a table. I feel like this is a good sign - whenever there is a wait, you have to assume there is something worth waiting for. We found a seat at the bar where I had a great glass of red wine. Bad Dog Ranch pinot noir had a medium body and was incredibly smooth. This is worth looking for during your next trip the wine store. The atmosphere and decor are warm and inviting from the dark wood and dim lighting, to the friendly and courteous wait staff. White table cloths and nice silverware make the experience feel special even if you aren't dining for celebratory reasons.
The appetizer we ordered was a home run - a small wheel of grilled brie cheese topped with sauteed granny smith apples and homemade caramel sauce. Served with toasted crostinis, this dish was an impressive junction of rich flavors. The menu advertised a homemade caramel sauce which did not disappoint - it was definitely freshly homemade.
For the main course, I ordered the Filet Oscar. The perfect size, 6 oz. portion of steak arrive atop grilled asparagus made a bed for the hearty jumbo lump crab meat on top. A pretty silver boat of hollandaise sauce accompanied the food on my plate and acted as a lovely finishing touch to the already flavorful ingredients. The featured side dish of the day was loaded smashed red skin potatoes. I've never met a smashed potato that I didn't like, and with the addition of cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives to boot, I was sure these taters wouldn't disappoint. Unfortunately, the bacon may have been a misstep for whatever reason. The potatoes had an overwhelming taste of beef jerky rather than bacon, which overpowered the rest of the promised flavors. Bummer. Ross ordered a sirloin steak which although good, was nothing to write home about. (We're both spoiled by Bob Boswell steaks - they're hard to beat, even at fancy steakhouses) For his side dish, he chose his favorite: baked sweet potato which came with a delicious cinnamon butter.
No dessert on this trip, although the dessert tray that arrived at our table looked awfully appetizing. Ross and I both scored the Springfield Grille with a silver medal. The appetizer however, stands alone with a gold medal. While there certainly are good steaks and bad steaks, I think it is the quality and cut of the beef that makes or breaks meal no matter how well you dress it up. The next time I visit the restaurant, I plan to order something from the pasta section of the menu, as this seems to be an avenue for the chef to show off his/her culinary creativity. For example, there is a caramelized onion and prosciutto ravioli in a squash scream sauce that sounds positively delectable.