GRANITA GRILLE - WESTWOOD, NJ
I have known about Granita Grille for years. I remember being a younger man walking through Westwood and looking into the windows of Granita Grille wondering what the food was like. Every time I walked passed it, it would be closed as they only open in the evening. I would hear different takes on their food. Some would tell me that the food was great while others would say that it was horrible Italian food. For whatever reason whether it be believing the naysayers or just not being adventurous, I never found myself opening that door to give them a shot. Then one night my wife would be the one to be the person wanting to take that journey into the unknown and try the Granita Grille. That first journey soon became many and we would visit the Granita Grille on a slightly more than regular basis with each time being better than the last. I have come to know the Granita Grille as a place that we can go to always have a great meal. Our last meal was no different.
(PHOTO PROVIDED VIA GOOGLE)
As you can see, the inside is simple but beautiful. I artwork on the walls give a nice Italian country side feel while the music of the solo act (seen in the background of the photo above) adds to the experience. All I would recommend is to dim the lights a little to give the ambiance more of an impact while dining.
What can be said about the first dish pictured above? Shrimp, mussels and clams in a light tomato sauce with fresh herbs and linguine. This dish brought me back to childhood eating at the dinner table with my parents and sisters. It's rare when a dish can bring you back like that. It was all in the sauce. It reminded me very much of my father's cooking and why I always look forward to it. Hats off to the chef for the time travel experience.
My wife's chicken dish was what she refers to as "yummy." The Chicken Arugula had a light Marsala sauce with mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomato, fresh carrots and greens beans accompanied by a crispy potato croquette. It was perfectly delightful.
We finished our meal with a rich and heavenly chocolate mousse. I had to watch myself to make sure my wife was able to have some. It was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.
From the moment we entered to the moment we left, we were treated with class. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and catered to our every need. We always felt that they truly wanted to make us happy. That's just great service. That's great hospitality. But it was not all perfect. Our server gave us a great experience, but at the end he did something that took me by surprise. When I paid, I gave him my debit card. He then took said debit card and processed payment. But then he didn't come right back with it. It pretty much took my card on tour around the restaurant. He even walked passed us with my card in hand and didn't stop to give it back. At one point his attention was called outside and what did he do, he took my card outside. You ask why I didn't immediately get up to get my card back. Because I wanted to see how long it took for him to bring the card back and what he would do with it. We were sitting right next to the window in front and I was able to see him the entire time. Eight minutes. In a place as small as Granita Grille and a quick payment process, this is way too long to keep the guest waiting for their card back let alone trek all over the restaurant with it. Always give the card back to the guest as quick as possible to make them feel safe about using their card in the first place.
Granita Grille has always left us satisfied. Our little issue with the server at the end of our meal was a first we have experienced there. I'm sure our server understands the error of his ways at this point. We will of course return and expect great food again. I recommend the Granita Grille to anyone and everyone and remember, it's BYOB which isn't a bad thing. I give the Granita Grille 4 out of 5 stars. Give them a go and enjoy.
Granita Grille is located:
Westwood, NJ 07675
Phone #: (201) 664-9846
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Sunday: 4pm - 10pm