Rapids Bar and Grill in Huntington offers dining with a view (review, photos)

Mar 16 2019

Taking its name from the white water that rushes by, the Rapids Bar and Grill in Huntington serves up contemporary American “eats” in a backwoods lodge setting.

Taking its name from the white water that rushes by, the Rapids Bar and Grill in Huntington serves up contemporary American “eats” in a backwoods¬†lodge setting.

The menu features pub grub-inspired starters such as Beef Tacos ($8.49) and “Lumpia” (spring rolls with pork filling – $9.49) as well as wings in both bone-in and boneless versions.

Main dish selections include the likes of Fire Braised Ribs ($26.99 for a full rack) and NY Strip Steak ($19.99).

Fish & Chips ($14.99) are available for seafood lovers, and pasta-bilities such as Spaghetti & Meatballs ($13.99) and Fettuccine Alfredo ($13.99) are available, as is an Asian Veggie Stir-fry ($14.99).

Burgers are also part of the Rapids repertoire, with options ranging from the Rapids Half-pound Burger ($9.99) and a hot pepper-enhanced “Heater Burger” ($12.99) to a meat-free Black Bean Burger ($10.49).

We began our meal with a small order of Boneless Wings ($9.79). Batter coated and deep-fried to the point of serious crunchiness, the “wings” (chicken breast strips, really) are served with celery and blue cheese as well as a patron-specified sauce. We chose golden barbecue and were rewarded with a mustard-inflected, not-too-spicy dip.

Tenderloin Tips ($19.99) are a popular option in the casual dining world. The version served at the Rapids Bar & Grill is uncomplicated- ten or so variously sized chunks of grilled beef arranged over rice.

The tips had been marinated before being broiled, and that pre-treatment lent them a hint of tart flavor that pleasantly counterbalanced their otherwise robust beefiness. As for texture, the beef chunks varied from fork-tender to rather chewy.
Broccoli florets, steamed and lightly buttered, occupied the balance of the plate real estate.

Our second entree choice, Shrimp Paprika ($19.49), featured a half dozen standard-sized shrimp that had been sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with paprika and other “undisclosed” seasonings. Presented in a ring over white rice with a small mound of sauteed baby spinach in the center, the effort was mostly successful. The shrimp were cooked to the proper point of doneness while the tender spinach had been lightly inflected with garlic.

One issue, however, was the kitchen’s practice of indiscriminately pouring all the cooking liquid over the rice, which meant the latter ended up ankle-deep in seasoned oil.

Entrees at the Rapids don’t include bread or salad, although the latter is available as a $2.99 add-on.

Offering full alcoholic beverage service, the Rapids stocks a list of fifteen different wines, most of which are priced around $20. Locally sourced microbrews are also available.

For dessert (all selections are $5.99) the restaurant features options like a Brownie Sundae and Strawberry Shortcake built with a buttermilk biscuit.
The Chocolate Mousse Cake and the New York Cheesecake we tried were made elsewhere treats, but both had been portioned and garnished with care.

Additional choices on the menu at the Rapids include “big” salads such as a Nacho Taco Salad ($16.79), sandwiches such as a Grilled Chicken Club ($9.79) and Pulled Pork ($9.99), and a selection of ten-inch “brick oven” pizza.

Intrigued by its menu description, we ordered a Big Macheeseburger Pizza ($13.29). The unusual (and surprisingly tasty) topping combination deserves high marks, bringing together ground beef, mozzarella, cheddar jack cheese, onions, and Thousand Island dressing as well as a garnish of chopped lettuce and minced pickle. The result was indeed suggestive the iconic fast food burger.

The pizza’s crust, however, needed work. Thin and quite chewy, it also lacked flavor.

As darkness now falls later in the evening, it’s increasingly possible to enjoy, along with dinner, the Grill’s dramatic setting. The restaurant’s primary dining space, a porch made into an all-weather option, features windows that looks out over the Westfield River tumbling past.

Such visual enticements, along with uncomplicated menu options, make the Rapids Bar & Grill an interesting choice for a low-key dinner “out.”

Name: The Rapids Bar and Grill
Address: 200 Worthington Road, Huntington
Telephone: (413) 667-3300
Website: therapidsbar.com
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and  Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., bar open later
Entree prices: $13.99 – $26.99
Credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Handicapped access: Accessible, but rest rooms not equipped for wheelchairs
Reservations: Accepted




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