The Walnut Grille: new vegetarian dining spot in Newton
I was thrilled to learn about The Walnut Grille in Newton Highlands since our family of five includes people on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. We have been to the restaurant twice since it opened, and I am very excited about this place! The head chef, Shiva, has roots at The Garden Grille in Providence and at Red Lentil in Watertown, and it shows in the absolutely delicious food: beautifully seasoned and presented on both occasions. I was very impressed by the wide range of menu items; as a vegetarian, I am not accustomed to having so many choices.
I loved the Asian Tofu and the Polenta Napoleon that a friend and I shared for dinner, but I am looking forward to trying the many other options in the future (and my husband is so excited that he can get a vegan, gluten-free pizza if he wants one.) For brunch, I had a delicious vegan scramble with lots of fresh veggies, home fries and Iggy's whole grain toast (gluten-free toast available.) My husband really enjoyed the chance to eat a vegan, gluten-free belgian waffle with a tower of fresh fruit on top. The menu for kids is varied and reasonably priced, although many of the regular entrees could also work great for kids to split. The restaurant has a smoothie and juice bar and recently started serving alcohol (including gluten-free beer.) We didn't try the drinks, but they were a popular item both days we were there. I also heard through friends that the carrot cake is outstanding!
The Walnut Grille is a friendly atmosphere that can work for a casual meal or for something nicer. The restaurant has only been open for about ten days, and they are still working out some details. (For example, they didn't have jelly or jam for the toast yet, and the waitress wasn't fully familiar with which desserts were gluten-free.) However, I think this place is top notch on so many levels, and I can see it becoming a regular dining spot for us. I hope that others check it out as we could really use more delicious vegetarian restaurants in the area!
I went there Sunday evening. It was quite busy and I decided to get takeout instead of waiting for a table. As it turned out, it took even longer to get my takeout than it would have taken to be seated. (Also noticed my takeout sitting on the cold windowsill well before the person there did and had to ask for it.) Between that stuff and just watching awhile my sense is service still needs some sorting out.
The menu has all sorts of great options. I had the cauliflower app which was very yummy. Also the veggie lasagna, which was ok but way too heavy on lentils for my taste. The sauce had a nice flavor but the whole dish wasn't really what I think of as veggie lasagna.
Went there for lunch today. The ambiance is a bit more upscale than I was expecting -- not as laid back inside as Garden Grille, Red Lentil, or Veggie Galaxy, but not as stuffy as True Bistro. Some artsy touches, but it felt more like a place I'd take my parents than casually dine.
I can only speak for the Cajun Seitan sandwich that I had, but the food seemed up to par with Garden Grille and not as hippy-healthy as some of Red Lentil or formal-like of True Bistro. More healthy than Veggie Galaxy.
The only negative is that the service seemed a bit slow and awkward, but I have a lot of patience and things to read on my smartphone, so it was no big deal.
Overall, I'll be back. Might check it out for dinner next. Although it is on the way back from my gym (very close to Rt. 9 in Newton) so I might be there for lunch sooner than that.