by Alice Levitt
1355 Williston Road, South Burlington, 802-658-1838
Usually I'm the one telling my co-workers about great restaurant deals. Not this time. I'm giving credit for this particular discovery to Robyn Birgisson, an account executive here at Seven Days.
A few months ago, I tried the Rotisserie for the first time. The place's forty-year history and old school Burlingtonian-clubhouse feel drew me in. The bacon-wrapped filet I tried was very satisfying, too. But when I told Robyn about my meal, she looked at me like I was an idiot. Then she explained the wonders of the Rotisserie steak sandwich. Eight ounces of prime rib or New York strip over bread, with gravy on the side, all for less than $14. Brilliant. Why drop more than $20 for a steak, when I could get almost the same amount of meat for so much less?
To get even better value, I eschewed notoriously blubbery prime rib in favor of the strip. I may not be paying what I would have in the 1970s, but I was presented with a lot of steak. A few veins of fat ran through the meat, but they were easy to trim, and likely only amounted to about an ounce.
I requested that my steak be cooked medium rare. Its uneven thickness resulted in parts that were medium and parts that were well-done. Some lubrication from the dark brown — but only slightly beefy-tasting — gravy helped. The meat still had a pleasant hint of iron, but I wanted to see red. The beef was very lightly seasoned, but really didn't need more punch — the garlic and butter-rubbed baguette on which it rested took care of that nicely. The rice pilaf on the side was pleasant, too.
The one thing that I really missed was the presence of any vegetable matter. Luckily, the chicken Cordon Bleu, from the "entrée" section of the menu, took care of that. Along with a basket of home-baked but slightly dry rolls and Cabot butter, entrées come with a choice of soup or salad. The latter, a basic combination of greens, reds and oranges, was average, but did its nutritional job.
The Cordon Bleu was adorable. Perfectly round, it made me think of a snow ball. It was delicious too, with sweet 'n' salty ham and gooey cheese blanketed by moist chicken breast and a crisp crust. The icing on the meat cake was creamy and slightly herbaceous suprême sauce. I just wish there had been more, so I could have dipped every bite into the delightful pool. For that mighty meal — including some slightly woody asparagus spears I would rather not write home about — I paid just less than $15.
We finished with a brownie sundae — French vanilla ice cream perched atop a warm, pillowy pastry. It was $3.95 and far too big to finish.
Thanks to Robyn, I have a new place to warm up (and get stuffed) on a cold night, for a very reasonable price.