J. Carter's Tavern Grill opened in Murrieta only a couple of months ago, yet already attracts a crowd worthy of an old friend in the neighborhood.
The menu boasts just about whatever you desire with an original list of starters, great salads, beef, chicken, fish, pizza, pasta and fantastic sandwiches. The food is reminiscent of the great restaurants, while the atmosphere is of a tavern that says, "Welcome home, how can we help you relax."
When I stepped through the entrance the owner greeted me. I asked for a small menu to show my wife so that we may decide whether to eat at the new establishment. Bob took it a step farther and showed me around the place, telling me how excited he was to be opened in Murrieta. He explained that Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights have been doing quite well, and they have live music on those nights. As he spoke, I found myself appreciating the three large flat-screen televisions behind the full bar, plus four more televisions in strategic locations around the tavern, tuned into a variety of sports.
Booths lined a couple of the walls, with tables filling the center of the room. Brick and wood paneling decorates the restaurant, and the high ceiling adds to the vision of spaciousness. The smell of the fantastic food, however, is what convinced me to fetch my wife and give this new place a chance to serve us.
From the courteous host, attentive waitress and smiling bartender, I was immediately impressed by the professional attitude of the staff. Glancing over the menu I noticed a wonderful variety of beers on tap, and an incredible list of bottled beer.
I ordered a margarita and an 8-ounce cut of prime rib. With the meat I also got a bowl of loaded potato soup. My wife ordered tilapia with rice and vegetables. Our starters were Firecracker Shrimp and salads.
The margarita, blended, turned out to be one of the better margaritas I have had in quite a while. The Firecracker Shrimp, with a little bit of a spicy kick, knocked my socks off. Coated with a creamy, mild spicy sauce, the tender shrimp became an item my wife and I battled over as we realized how quickly we were devouring the tender, yet crispy, shrimp. My soup was silky and was definitely the kind of soup one finds themself scraping the spoon across the bottom of the bowl to get every last drop.
The tilapia was seasoned to perfection and served fresh. The prime rib, however, stole the show. Tender and seasoned to perfection, I found myself wishing I had ordered a larger cut simply because of how delicious it was.
Considering the high quality of the meal, the price was fairly reasonable. The owner's experience of owning a steakhouse in Hemet prior to opening this location was apparent. The staff of J. Carter's understands how to operate a restaurant, because as far as I am concerned, they have it down to a science.
If you are looking for good prime rib, steaks, chicken and a variety of other original dishes, J. Carter's is the place Murrieta has been waiting for.
As for those of you who like a good wine, a fantastic wine list is available as well.
Visit J. Carter's website at Jcarterstaverngrill.com.
J. Carter's is located at 40365 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Suite C-14, off Alta Murrieta Road. You may call for reservations at 951-894-2700.