Remlik’s Grille & Oyster Bar — like many other restaurants in Downtown Binghamton — offered a $30 three-course prix fixe dinner experience for Restaurant Week. Located at 31 Lewis St., Remlik’s Grille & Oyster Bar is a well-known hub for fine dining in Binghamton. Although its offer comes in on the pricier end of Restaurant Week deals, I assure you, your meal will be worth every penny.
Upon entering the restaurant, I was already impressed by the lavish atmosphere of the historic Kilmer Building. It felt as glamorous and classy as being in a top-tier, five-star restaurant — most likely because we were.
For the appetizer, I ordered the soup du jour, which was a Manhattan clam chowder, and my photographer, Sarah, ordered the bruschetta. From the beginning, Sarah and I resolved to split the dishes so we could try each thing, and it was the best decision we could have made. Manhattan clam chowder is normally not my favorite soup in the world, but this one was absolutely delicious. The tomato base was well-seasoned and had just the right amount of thickness, while the carrots, potatoes and pieces of clam had great flavor and the perfect texture. The bruschetta was also quite tasty, consisting of fresh tomatoes, arugula and onions on top of perfectly toasted pieces of crostini. I enjoyed the small bites I had tried of the bruschetta, and Sarah said she really enjoyed it as well. Our waitress came around a few times with baskets of fresh, warm bread and butter, which went very nicely with the soup.
After a wonderful first impression from our appetizers, dinner did not disappoint by any means. I ordered the penne ala vodka with fresh ricotta, peas and chicken, and Sarah ordered the prime sirloin, served with seasoned green beans, whipped potatoes and a mushroom burgundy sauce. Both entrees were absolutely delicious. I firmly believe the pasta was some of the best penne ala vodka I’ve ever tasted — the sauce was savory and creamy without being heavy, the chicken was full of juicy flavor and you could simply taste how fresh the ricotta was. The steak was also highly enjoyable, cooked to perfection at medium-rare. Sarah and I could just not get over how delicious everything was, thoroughly enjoying every last bite.
I did not think the meal could get any better than it already was, but as I write this review, I am still salivating over the dessert options which were available for the third course. According to the menu, the desserts may rotate as a “Chef’s selection,” but Sarah and I were lucky enough to be there the night when slices of pumpkin cheesecake and flourless chocolate torte were served. Cheesecake is probably one of my favorite things in the whole world, and I must say that my “favorite” has now been narrowed down to Remlik’s Grille & Oyster Bar’s pumpkin cheesecake. The dessert was sweet and fluffy, drizzled with a butterscotch sauce and served with fresh whipped cream. The flourless chocolate cake, though much denser in texture than the cheesecake, was fudgy, rich and mouth-wateringly good. Despite being absolutely stuffed from our first two courses, Sarah and I finished both desserts — they were just way too good to give up on for such a reason as being “full.”
Our overall experience at Remlik’s Grille & Oyster Bar was wonderful. The waitstaff was incredibly kind and attentive — our water glasses were always kept full and the exquisite ambiance of the restaurant created the epitome of a “treat yourself” outing. The owner had even rushed out to us as we were leaving the restaurant to ensure we didn’t forget our leftovers at the table! Though the price tags at Remlik’s Grille & Oyster Bar are notably steeper than many other restaurants in the area — even during Restaurant Week — it is a place everyone should try at least once before graduating or leaving Binghamton.