Forrester's has a fantastic location, location, location, just feet from the Maumee River with a splendid view of downtown and the setting sun.
Open since December at The Docks in East Toledo, it fills the short-lived Admiral's American Grill and the longtime Navy Bistro space with little alteration. This stunning spot was snagged at auction by John McQueary, a career restaurant manager whose adult children work at the venture, for $198,000 in November.
I enjoyed dinner and lunch on the spacious patio; both were good, but there were scant other customers.
My mouth watered for steak at lunch, but alas, the grill isn't on for the midday meals. Nevertheless, considering the patio ambiance, the lunch menu is a deal, with 14 options ranging from $5 for a flatbread capri pizza to $12 for fish and chips. (Three are vegetarian friendly.)
RELATED: See Forrester's menu here
Address: 26 Main St. at The Docks
Category: Business casual
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are accepted.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average price: $$ to $$$
Credit cards: AE, Dis, MC, V
Web site: ForrestersOnTheRiver.com
A steakhouse burger ($10), French dip ($9), and reuben ($9) were delivered sans fries, the server reporting that he didn't want them to cool before the fries were ready. Consequently, the presentation on big white plates with nary a pickle or kale sprig, made for lonesome-looking sandwiches.
The warm reuben was delicious with good home-made sauerkraut. A cream-less tomato soup with croutons ($3) was thick and gently spiced; not for everyone but a pleasant companion to the reuben for the diner willing to eat outside the box (or in this case, outside the can).
Ordered medium, the burger was dry, and what our server said would be hand-cut steak fries seemed every bit the ubiquitous skinny, machine-cut variety. A French dip sandwich was good; the house salad ($4) was average but the blue cheese dressing was yum.
Our server was affable, a little cocky, and forgetful, failing to answer questions we had for the kitchen and depositing salads but no utensils. We wondered if Forrester's might have a salad-bobbing contest, similar to apples floating in a tub of water at Halloween, and were ready to clasp our hands behind our backs and attack the greens rabbit-like when we were able to flag him down. Mind you, business was slow on this spring afternoon.
We fared better at dinner.
The steaks are portioned from 6 to 16 ounces, $23 to $33. Tender rib-eye (12-ounce, $24), oozed with flavor and had a little more fat than typical. Fresh green beans crunched as they should. A baked sweet potato is a healthy, delish side but ask for it without the drenching of butter. For an extra $3, onions and mushrooms will be sauteed.
Jumbo shrimp picatta scampi ($15) had seven shrimp on pasta in a butter-garlic sauce with green peppers and sliced onions. It's mild, pleasant, and pedestrian; without sides, it's suited for a small appetite.
The most interesting entree was a bourbon pork chop topped with cinnamon butter (not quite enough of it to appreciate the gesture), topped with dried chutney, on a bit of sauteed cabbage which was slightly bitter ($18). Cabbage aside, it was a great melange.
And a white-wine, poached-pear salad with goat cheese ($12) was a pleasure to share. The single veggie entree at dinner is a ravioli ($10 with salad).
The Noise-ometer reads loudest in the bar just inside the entrance, registering "high" when a convivial group of friends or coworkers are letting loose.
An au courant lunch item I will try next time is the lemon-marinated capri (also called caprese) chicken-breast salad ($11, with tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic drizzle; in a wrap it's $7). And one sandwich features locally made Stanley's kielbasa ($8).
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org -83.5257
Restaurant admirably fills the short-lived Admiral's space.