BY JASON PINTO – STAFF WRITER AND FOOD CRITIC
Jason Pinto continues his culinary exploration of the surrounding Danville area. This week’s adventure take’s him to ‘Nellie Burton’s Restaurant and Steakhouse’.
One afternoon this semester as I was making a visit to Jane Barleycorn’s, I saw a new establishment next door – a steakhouse and sports bar called Nellie Burton’s. The questionable combination of a steakhouse and a sports bar was the first red flag. Normally restaurants that offer a novelty or form of entertainment use it to excuse poor food quality or distract the customer from its bad quality.
I tried out Nellie Burton’s about a month ago and was overall unimpressed with the food. I ordered a roasted half-chicken recommended by my server and was served a bland, loveless piece of chicken with a raw sweet potato. I have not returned since, but I stopped by recently to try out a steak and see if Nellie Burton’s had improved since.
My friend and fellow foodie, Senior Davis Kinkel, joined me on a Sunday night for some overpriced entrees. I decided to give them a chance to live up their name of steakhouse and ordered a filet, while Davis ordered their specialty Chilean sea bass.
The restaurant is separated into a bar and a dining room. The dining room suffers from a disjointed, unfinished design. The room is square with one brick wall and one white one. There is no art on the walls and there are odd wooden struts on the ceiling reminiscent of a barn. I told Davis the one word I would use to describe the feel of the room was ‘sad’.
Quickly after we ordered, our Caesar salads arrived, which, to my surprise, were good. The lettuce was uniform and fresh and evenly coated with dressing. The croutons were just chunks of bread, which was perplexing. The lack of contrasting texture to the lettuce was unfortunate, but overall not terrible.
One issue, which I also experienced a month ago, was the service time. It was about thirty minutes after we received our salads before our entrees arrived, and there is no complementary bread. What makes this absurd is that we were the only people in the restaurant.
The filet, which I ordered medium-rare, was a definitive medium-well and dreadful. There was not a drop of moisture in the meat and the flavor was just not present. It was such a shame to see a piece of meat like a filet prepared so disrespectfully. Both of our baked potatoes were also dry and barely edible.
Davis said of his sea bass, “The Chilean sea bass tasted good —just good— the price of $41 considerably reduced my enthusiasm for the dish overall. The sauce and capers improved the flavor of the dish but the fillet failed to attain a melt-in-your-mouth consistency desired from a dish at its price point.”
I would stay as far away from this place as possible. Our meal came out to just over eighty dollars which was ludicrous for the quality of the food we received. I felt like calling the Danville Police and reporting a robbery after I left the restaurant. You would have to pay me to go back there and eat that food again.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately considering our overall experience, I was not old enough to critique the bar, but if it is anything like the restaurant, I would assume it is overpriced and utterly disappointing.
I give Nellie Burton’s 1.5/5, and the .5 is because I liked the salad.