I cannot BELIEVE it is Thanksgiving tomorrow! I am so very excited, but not really because of the food. Thanksgiving dinner is tasty, but never really consists of any of my very favorite dishes. I’m more so excited to spend time with my immediate family, as well as close friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. I’m also not travelling (well, I do have to drive 5 minutes…) which I’m pretty ecstatic about. My dad, sister, and I will also be getting our run on in the morning at CT’s biggest race (15,000 registered runners this year, and plenty more don’t register), the Manchester Road Race, a 4.5 mile run that ALSO takes place only 5 minutes from my house! It’s one of those courses filled with runners in crazy costumes and bands playing along the side of the road. Even back when I never exercised, I did this race each year!
To get you hyped for the feasts coming your way tomorrow, I want to do a post on a delicious meal I had recently. J. Gilbert’s Wood-fired Steaks & Seafood just might be my favorite restaurant (I do know it’s the home of my favorite dessert, a chocolate velvet cake with banana liquer, as well as my favorite happy hour, which I have often mentioned). They also will be open on Thanksgiving and their special prix fixe menu for that evening (the regular menu will also be available) consists of both traditional and non-traditional foods!
Our family has celebrated many a special occasion there.
I used to get the same thing every single time: a 60z filet with asparagus and a baked potato. J. Gilbert’s has the best baked potatoes I’ve ever had because the skins come rubbed with plenty of sea salt. Their steaks are always cooked to perfection.
I have “revealed” the wonder of J. Gilbert’s to a lot of my friends, including several couples who have held dates there after I suggested it. That includes Jeff and Kim, some of my regular dining partners! I even have an “in” since I know the head hostess and her younger sister, who buses and is also a hostess. Yes, I’m a little smug right now. Sorry I’m not sorry!
However, since I started expanding my food horizons, I have taken to trying to order something different each time! I’m now at a foodie stage in which I love trying new things, so I was so happy to learn that J. Gilbert’s updated their menu last Wednesday – and that just so happened to be a day that Jeff, Kim, and another foodie friend, Evan, had a trip planned to use a coupon!
It took awhile for me to decide what to get. I knew I had to get a new item, but I also couldn’t deny the craving I was having for my usual filet/asparagus/baked potato. Easy solution: go with a surf n’ turf combo!
I’ve had the shrimp before, but it was of the BBQ variety. Now the shrimp on the menu is bourbon maple, which definitely called to me with a fall-feeling. Done and done!
Bad weather led to backed-up reservations and some slow service from the kitchen, but our server Sergio was extremely polite and apologetic, and we had some sourdough bread to hold us over. I opted out this time though, because I wasn’t that hungry yet.
Jeff and Evan also decided to start with an older menu item, but one that was new to them, the Chicken Tortilla Soup. What a fun presentation!
The food runner set each bowl down, and THEN poured the broth over its contents. Genius!
Evan doesn’t like guac (I know, what?) so he wasn’t a fan of that part of the soup, but other than that both boys seemed to really enjoy it. I’m sure adding the broth last-minute means the ingredients are less soggy and taste more fresh!
When the main portions of food finally made it out, I was ready to chow down.
How awesome does that baked potato skin look? I always save that for last. I asked for the filet medium rare, and it came back medium, which is rare for J. Gilb (as I so affectionately call it). However, I usually have filet medium, and went for medium rare today on a whim, so I still loved it as much as usual. But when I do get to have it medium rare, I think I’ll enjoy it more!
The maple bourbon shrimp was just as I’d imagine it’d be. The maple flavor was so pronounced and enhanced the shrimp SO much. 10/10!
Jeff went for the scallops with lobster risotto and champagne beurre blanc. He and I have had scallops from J. Gilbert’s before and were blown away, and he said nothing changed this time. Still blown away, still awesome. This was an old menu item, but it never gets old.
Kim ordered the salmon with yukon smashed potatoes and green beans with pecans (new side items). The older menu had salmon on it of course, but like the shrimp, it was a BBQ flavor. This salmon came on an actual plank of wood! She finished it all up and said the smashed potatoes were just as good as her usual go-to side, the cheddar mashed potatoes.
Last but not least, Evan ordered the wagyu (another word for kobe beef) burger with sweet potato fries. This selection is completely new to the menu and looked quite delicious, but Evan said the pretzel bun was too much for the beef and too overpowering. He’s also not the biggest sweet potato fry fan (I KNOW, first no guac, now no sweet potatoes, who is this guy?!) but Kim, Jeff, and I polished them off for him no problem.
After reading this post, or just looking at its photos, I’m sure you’re more than ready for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night (if you celebrate). Or just any dinner! If any CT residents out there try J. Gilbert’s, please let me know what you think – and I highly recommend a reservation!
Which dish in this post would you most want to order?