From the outward appearance to the interior decor, Winston’s Grille has ‘fine dining’ written all over it. However, it still gives off enough of a casual presence so as to not be as intimidating. While Winston’s Grille does have a Kid-friendly menu, you may want to leave the kiddos at home as this restaurant primarily caters to a more mature crowd.
Winston’s Grille is a standalone restaurant located in a busy shopping plaza, at the intersection of Falls of Neuse Road and Spring Forest Road. Parking is a bit hairy during the lunch rush hour, so be prepared to circle the lot a few times, or plan to park in an adjacent parking lot.
The exterior of the restaurant is well kept with manicured landscaping and clean surroundings. We were only inside of the restaurant briefly before being seated on the patio. However, the interior decor reflected the outside of the restaurant; you could see the attention to detail.
Prior to the appetizers and entrées, the waitress brought out fresh baked buns with whipped butter. The butter and bread were incredibly delicious. The bread had a nice crust on the outside, and it was soft on the inside. The butter, because it was whipped, was easy to spread on the bread. The flavor of the bread had just the slightest hint of sweetness to it.
Dish #1 – Seared Tuna
The Seared Tuna is one of the featured appetizers on the menu. It consisted of sashimi tuna topped with sesame seeds, seared and served with wasabi, pickled ginger and a teriyaki sauce. I didn’t realize that the wasabi was going to be mixed into the sauce. I’m not a fan of wasabi, and when I read the menu, I thought it would be on the side. Despite this, the tuna was good.
Dish #2 – Chicken Caesar Salad
I ordered this with extra chicken. It was A LOT of chicken, but I preferred it that way. The caesar dressing was a mild caesar flavor- not too overbearing. The bread was AH-mazing. The service was a little slow. We were seated outside, but we weren’t seated where we wanted. I felt that the wait staff didn’t communicate the outdoor seating situation very well, especially since it was a cool day and we were seated in the shade. The service was not overly friendly or attentive.
Dish #3 – Health Nut Salad with Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
I ordered lemonade with my meal, and it did not disappoint. It was served in a glass with a straw and a fresh lemon wedge on the rim. The lemonade was freshly made at the restaurant, and contained the perfect balance of lemon to water to sugar – not too much sugar, but rather, just enough to satisfy any sweet tooth (like mine). It was so good that I actually wound up ordering a second one (There are no free refills on lemonades).
The Health Nut Salad was also delicious. It consisted of fresh spinach leaves, mixed with a lemon-champagne vinaigrette, strawberries, bananas, almonds, cantaloupe, craisins, goat cheese and grilled chicken. The flavors blended together were incredible. I’m not usually a fan of dressings on my salads, but the lemon-champagne vinaigrette was light and airy and infused the salad with just the right balance of flavor. Everything blended well together to create a satiating dish.
Had I skipped the bread and the drinks, I might have been able to make more headway into my salad.
The service was excellent. The presentation of the food was excellent. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. Water glasses and fountain beverages were promptly refilled before anyone needed to request it. Dishes were cleared immediately in preparation for the next round of food, and all food orders were placed and executed without error.
The atmosphere was a little on the chilly side (sitting in the shade on the patio), but the table cloth, chairs and utensils were clean, the decor was on point, and the other restaurant patrons were respectful and on the quieter side. Overall, Winston’s Grille is a great spot for a more upscale dining experience, but what you pay for you most certainly get back tenfold in the quality of the food and in the quality of the service.