Anyone living in the Metrowest area knows that a night out usually means heading into Boston, or making your way to the “Golden Triangle” section along Rt. 9 in Framingham and Natick. The city lacks a serious convenience element, and Rt. 9 offers little more than chain restaurants and fast food. But for a nice change of pace, take a quick drive down Rt. 20 in Marlborough to Wildwood Steakhouse.
Entering the restaurant, guests are treated to a view of the wine cellar through a section of glass flooring, leaving guests desiring to know more. As you are being led to your table, you pass by the open-air kitchen, adding more intrigue and anticipation. Finally, the raw bar, with its selection of fresh oysters and littlenecks, make it clear that this isn’t going to be just another dining experience.
After greeting us, the maître d’ ushered us to our seats, introduced us to our waitress and promptly returned with fresh baked bread. For our appetizers we decided on baked spinach and artichoke dip, and a traditional steakhouse wedge salad with diced tomatoes, onions, and bacon, served with a creamy blue cheese dressing. The spinach and artichoke dip came straight from the oven still boiling around the edges. The accompanying pita chips were slighted toasted, and a wonderful vessel for the dip. The dip had chopped green and red bell peppers, which at first seemed out of place, but actually added a cool element and a sweetness that offset the saltiness of the cheese in the dip.
Our dinner selections included Honey Mustard Chicken with butternut squash ravioli, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and crispy onions. Additionally, we ordered the roasted Spring Rack of Lamb with sautéed spinach, portabella mushroom demi-glace, and garlic mashed potatoes. The chicken was tender, and the honey mustard provided a unique, yet desirable, tanginess. The butternut squash ravioli was perfectly cooked, and the filling was sweet, and balanced the savory chicken. The mashed potatoes were good, but honestly they overwhelmed the dish, and were an unnecessary element as the ravioli could stand alone. Topping off the dish were the crispy fried onion rings, which were a simple, yet satisfying finishing touch.
The highlight of the meal was the Roasted Spring Lamb, and being a steakhouse, the expectations were admittedly high. Wildwood Steakhouse did not disappoint, as the dish was cooked to perfection. The portabella mushroom demi-glace added a hearty earthiness to the dish that really worked in concert with the lamb. The sautéed spinach was a well-thought out pairing, as it provided a freshness to the dish, rather than adding another hearty component that would take away from the true star of this dish, the lamb. Lamb is difficult to master, but this dish was tender and perfectly cooked, and truly could have stood alone, but the mastery of the crew at Wildwood worked to provide pairings that simply worked.
Overall, Wildwood Steakhouse provides a true steakhouse feel at an affordable price, in a suburban setting. The extensive menu has options for all appetites, with a nice selection of seafood, “serious beef” options including great steaks and chops, and other specialty selections sure to please. The bar provides a wide range of drinks for those in the dining room, but also is a great place for a casual dinner or happy hour with friends. And don’t forget the famous “mile high” chocolate cake for dessert!