Paul Martin's American Grill

Reviewed By: Andy
I love when people say stuff like, "Lynyrd Skynyrd is a really good singer" and you think to yourself, um, that is the name of the band, not the name of a guy... do I tell them? Well don't expect to go into the kitchen and find Paul Martin either because I can't figure out how the name came about. Paul Flemming and Brian Bennett the founders of Paul Martin's, must have some story behind the name, but I may never know.

I picked this restaurant for Leslie's birthday and thought (from the times I had passed by) that it was a perfect date scene. Maybe not so much a parlor of romance, but it did make for a pleasant night out.

Ambience: The Paul Martin's Scottsdale location is an attractive building that looks like a lot of fun. Big patio, big light fixtures (always a sign of fun if you are a Sia fan) and generally a nice contemporary dining room with a ton of activity. I picked this restaurant for Leslie's birthday and I would say it made for a nice evening out. We were seated on the patio and it was surprisingly loud from all of the table banter. We noticed that they had 3 or 4 different tables and chairs. Our chairs were about an inch too short which made us feel like we were strapping on the feedbag when leaning over our plates.

Quality: They advertise as an American Grill so the menu is predominantly burgers, chicken, steak and ribs. We began by ordering a couple of cocktails. I ordered your basic gin and tonic and was shocked when I was brought a low ball glass with gin almost to the top, and a bottle of tonic on the side. There was no room left in the glass to add the tonic, so I basically got a martini on the rocks. We started out with an order of Spinach & Artichoke Dip and were very pleased. Usually you run out of dip really quick, but in our case we ran out of flatbread too quick. More flatbread sir! I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Leslie got the Steakhouse Cobb Salad. The chicken was delicious but it was a dangerous, hacked up bird. Reminded me of the first time I had authentic chicken tandoori, where you have to be careful about digging-in because the chopped up chicken bones will stab you through the face. Leslie's salad was attractive but the large cubes of steak were a bit rubbery and tough for her to chew.

Service: Our server, Manny, was excellent. I don't recall waiting for anything at any point. When a plate needed cleared--gone. When we were ready for the check--voila. The service overall seemed pretty good by the pace the employees were moving about.

Value: This was a bit tricky for a place like Paul Martin's. I felt it was up-scale, but maybe not $30 chicken up-scale. Since their entrees have sides included the bill does not get too out of line, and the portions were plenty large enough. We did get a bottle of wine (Silver Oak Alexander Valley) with dinner and I felt their wine prices were fantastic. They have a large selection of high end California wines and many were not priced much over retail.

Overall I think it was a successful date night out. With the high ceilings and generally loud ambience I would say it is the ideal place to meet up with friends or a nice extended family dinner. I will find something a bit quieter for Leslie's next birthday;)