Tarentum Station as good as ever under new ownership
The historic train station building in Tarentum is back in business.
The Lunch Bunch couldn’t wait to visit the new J.G’s Tarentum Station Grille after hearing good reviews from family and friends. New owner John Greco remodeled the interior and reopened in January after the former owner lost his leases.
We showed some restraint and gave the new Tarentum Station Grille a chance to get up an running before we paid a visit.
It was worth the wait.
Our crew was escorted to a table on the second floor of the large restaurant, where we had a cozy corner and a bit of privacy. The first floor, conversely, appeared to be bustling with lunchers.
The converted 1800s train station has maintained an upscale presence under new ownership.
The lunch menu of the Station is different than the dinner menu.
We began by ordering soup. The special was Roasted Red Pepper Crab Bisque ($2.79). A warm and inviting start to a delicious lunch, the spicy soup had a thick consistency with lots of clams in every spoonful.
The bread basket was a big hit, too. Fresh, chewy wheat rolls and Italian rolls hit the spot.
While everyone else enjoyed the soup du jour, one member of the crew opted for the classic French Onion Au Gratin ($4.29). It was the envy of the table when it arrived with cheese bubbling over the edge of a large crock. Under that thick layer we spooned out bits of sweet caramelized onions and croutons in a rich beef broth.
The Florentine Salad ($8.59) was a beauty. Fresh baby spinach leaves were topped with grilled, tender chicken-breast strips. Atop the salad were dried cranberries and walnuts and a zippy citrus vinaigrette.
We also enjoyed a Cajun Chicken Salad ($10.49). There was plenty of tender, juicy meat, which was seasoned just right. The lettuce, onions, cucumbers, shredded red cabbage and carrot slivers were fresh and crisp. The salad also was topped with fries, cherry tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese that was partially melted by the hot chicken.
The Chicken Monterey Sandwich ($8.79) special of the day was an excellent choice. It featured a generous portion of tender chicken breast with melted Jack cheese and sweet roasted red peppers. The chicken stretched across a fresh wheat Kaiser roll.
Another lunch special was Lemon Pepper Swordfish ($9.99). A thick filet was covered in a tangy lemon-pepper sauce to make an otherwise regular tasting piece of fish much more tasty. A generous portion of steamed vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and carrots accompanied the dish.
The Crabcake Sandwich ($8.59) got a thumbs-up, too. The homemade lump crabcake made for a thick, open-wide sandwich. Lettuce, tomato and a large pickle spear came on the side, as well as a generous serving of fries and a dish of creamy coleslaw.
We shared two delicious desserts. The Creme Brulee ($4.99) was a to-die-for cup of thick, rich, vanilla-infused pudding with the customary layer of caramelized sugar. A few fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream later, and we were in heaven. This dessert alone is worth going back for.
The presentation award went to the eye-catching plate of Cheesecake ($6). The rich, creamy slice was topped with whipped cream, well-placed strawberries and blueberries, and dollops of a strawberry cream sauce.
Compiled by Rebecca Killian, Sis Reola, Donna Domin, Barbara Ruk and Barbara Santorella. Meals are paid for by the Valley News Dispatch and are unrelated to advertising.
J.G.’s Tarentum Station Grille
Address: 101 Station Drive, Tarentum
Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Friday; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 4-8 p.m. Sunday
Credit cards: Accepted
Smoking: Permitted in lounge
Prices: Sides, $1.99-$2.49; salads, $3.49-$11.59; sandwiches and hoagies, $5.95-$11.99.