Oct 15, 2021

Nauvoo Grill Club

By Lori Draz

Last month, we tried a brand spanking new restaurant, so this month we thought we would visit an established name, so off we went to the Nauvoo Grill Club. It has been there for years and still looks as fresh as they day it opened. The Nauvoo – with its woody interior, stone, central staircase, fireplace, earth-toned accents and leather furniture – really captures the essence of autumn. It has always been on my list of most attractive eateries on the shore. You feel like you’re in a ski lodge somewhere in Vermont or Colorado. It’s a familiar spot for the Rumson/Fair Haven crowd and worth your visit too. The Nauvoo also has a nice party space on the second floor which is booking holiday parties now along with a big, friendly bar with live entertainment on select evenings, so there are many ways to enjoy the casual yet sophisticated vibe of this beautiful space. 

The staff is welcoming and attentive, which is so nice to see in these days of stressed-out servers. They cheerfully got us to our table, and we settled into our comfortable seats for a relaxing evening of good conversation and, of course, food. We selected three appetizers. The first was the Firecracker Shrimp Tempura, in a pool of cucumber, sweet chili mayo and pineapple relish. These large shrimp were juicy, and the sweet chili mayo added a twang to their mild heat so everyone can enjoy. We also had the Mediterranean Mezze Plate, an assortment of hummus, eggplant caponata, baba ganoush, olives and toasted pita chips. The pita chips were fried hard and very crunchy, so ask for a light toast it you like them softer, and ask them to bring more if your party is more than two. Our third appetizer and my favorite were the Spring Rolls. The plump starters are stuffed with roasted chicken, corn, avocado, cheddar jack and chipotle aioli. Despite a southwestern line-up of ingredients, they were actually timid, but quite satisfying and large enough to share. 

We also had the Beet Salad, which was quite nice. It comes with purple and gold beets, goat cheese, walnuts and a honey balsamic dressing. Everything was cut just right for easy eating. The beet-niks at the table split the salad, and the chef was nice enough to serve it on two plates, making it even easier to dive in. 

Now for the entrées. Diner one picked the Mexican Burger, which is actually served as a wrap, stuffed with ground beef, avocado, pepper jack and spicy mayo. She paired hers with a generous side order of the steak fries which were really meaty and crispy. She loved the non-traditional wrap presentation of the burger, commenting that all the ingredients worked well together. She also noted that the beef was really juicy which means that any of the other burger selections, served on brioche buns, are sure to be just as good.

Diner two chose Cajun Mahi Mahi which comes with sliced avocado, rice, black beans and pico de gallo. It’s a colorful dish with pretty plating. This diner is a fish man, and he really enjoyed it. The rice was light and fluffy and a good side dish for the thick, meaty fish. Combined, all of components reminded him of a day out of the docks. It’s a nice pick if you like a hearty fish.

I picked the Herb and Parmesan Crusted Cod, in a crab and corn chowder sauce with Yukon gold potato cubes. I really loved that corn chowder sauce. I thought it was a clever and light-tasting companion to the cod. The fish was well-cooked and quite large. Cod is one of my favorite fishes, and this was a good piece. I thought it could have used a little more seasoning, but I must say it was well done. 

We ordered three scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry Gelato and two more desserts: a slice of a dense and moist Carrot Cake and a seasonally inspired Apple Cake. If you are looking for a traditional carrot cake experience, this one delivers – deep and spicy with a rich mouth feel. The apple cake was my favorite of the three. It had a homemade, farm stand kind of taste with little chunks of apple in a vanilla cake base with just a hint of spice. 

There is parking lot with valet available. 

Cost – Moderate 

What we liked- You can’t beat the décor, so warm and woodsy with its eye-catching views from each angle. The comfortable furniture and good acoustics. The sophisticated yet casually welcoming vibe. The friendly staff from Cynthia, our hostess, to Jeff, our bartender to Genisis, our server.  

What Could Be Better – A little more seasoning in general. 

We give it 4 and a half Js 

Nauvoo Grill Club is located at 121 Fair Haven Rd. in Fair Haven. 732-747-8777. NauvooGrillClub.com. They’re open Monday through Thursday 4:30 to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 4:30 to 11 pm, and Sunday 4:30 to 9 pm.