Garden-variety lunch staples—soups, salads, and sandwiches—are a good value at less than $10, and even these quotidian offerings feel special when plated on white porcelain and eaten with heavy cutlery. The traditional hamburgers are made with Knight’s beef and expertly grilled to order with a few choice toppings like Maytag blue cheese and sautéed mushrooms. There are also panini and wraps, but the “Little Italy” panino I tried was a disappointment, despite quality prosciutto and capocollo—the lettuce melted to a mushy state, and the whole thing became something of a greasy muddle. All sandwiches come with either a mixed salad or thick fries dusted with an appealing salt-rosemary-Parmesan mixture, not bad though not made from fresh potatoes. My entree salad, a midsize Caesar, used good crisp lettuces, although the agreeably creamy dressing lacked the garlic-lemon-anchovy punch of a serious Caesar sauce. With those fresh local greens, though, it made for a fine lunch, bolstered by a trim fillet of salmon on the side.
If you have been good with the main course, you still have a chance to let loose at dessert with treats like the gigantic brownie sundae. Our waiter had the kitchen split one for us on two plates, where it was mounded with whipped cream and drizzled with dark chocolate; as the chocolaty brownie merged with vanilla ice cream, it was fully, gooily satisfying. My own favorite sweet is the understated lemon pound cake, baked here and served in slim slices topped with whipped cream and homemade peach jam.