The Gladly has tasty food and drinks, eye candy

If you’re a single lady looking for a guy with a job, head to happy hour at The Gladly. On a recent Saturday night when I went to the American restaurant for dinner, there were dozens of good-looking guys who seemed to have it together – lots wearing suits and like they just came back from the country club.

The Gladly interiorNot that the eye candy is the only reason you should give The Gladly a try. It’s a beautiful restaurant with tasty good food and drinks, that’s conducive to wiling away the night. Our two-and-a-half dinner and cocktail rendezvous went by in a breeze, and thankfully, we never felt pressure from the wait staff to hurry up. Lingering and enjoying every sip and savory moment is encouraged here.

The Gladly Elle NickiIt’s no surprise the spot, like Blue Hound Kitchen in downtown Phoenix, is filled with chicness – it’s in the Biltmore area, a stone’s throw away from Senator John McCain’s rumored penthouse mansion. The menu is definitely pricey, but I made a meal out of an appetizer and still left full. You could split some of the less expensive dishes and walk away satisfied, for sure.

I had a Farmer’s Punch cocktail ($11), made with Absolut Pear vodka, Calvados brandy, lemon juice, honey and quince syrup, Fee Brothers barrel-aged bitters, and lemon peel. It was really refreshing and a little sweet. It didn’t taste overly alcohol-y, and I’d recommend it.

The Gladly cocktailFor appetizers, our table ordered the Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($10), with corn grits and truffle oil. Like the EVO salad I recently tried at EVO in Scottsdale, this dish will make anyone a Brussels sprouts believer. I liked them on top of the grits, which gave the dish a variety of textures and flavors. It was a really generous and filling portion, too.

The Gladly Brussels sproutsMy pal also got the Vietnamese Pepper Shrimp ($16), with tomato and a sticky rice cake. It looked and smelled great.

The Gladly shrimpHis fiancée got the Original Chopped Salad ($12), which I’ve already tried at Cowboy Ciao and Citizen Public House — it’s by The Gladly chef (and Citizen Public House chef/owner) Bernie Kantak. My friend subbed the salmon for chicken, and the rest of it looked the exact same as I’ve had before. There’s a reason this legendary salad is on so many Valley menus – try it at least once to see what the hype is about. It even has its own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theoriginalchoppedsalad.

The Gladly chopped saladFor my meal, I ordered the Burrata Caprese ($12), with Burrata mozzarella. I have to say, I’m not as big of a fan of Burrata as I am traditional mozzarella, simply because of the texture. Burrata is made with cream, so it’s a much softer texture than traditional mozzarella and almost has a sweeter taste. I did love the fresh greens and tomatoes, though, and the balsamic vinaigrette was delicious, too.

The Gladly capreseMy pal also got the Honey Glazed Steelhead ($26), which seemed to be drool-worthy if you love meat and a generous portion, pictured below.

The Gladly Honey Glazed SteelheadWe tried a tasty dessert, an apple tart topped with ice cream. It was more than enough to share with three people after that massive feast, and the tart was cooked to perfection. I’d say it’s worth the splurge, for sure.

The Gladly dessertThe main menu items range from $15-$36, with salads and appetizers up to $16. Head there for happy hour daily from 3-6 p.m. for half-priced beer and appetizers, and $5 glasses of wine. It’s a fun place for people watching and gives Phoenix a New York City vibe (just like nearby bar Merc Bar, one of my favorites in the Valley for its cozy lighting and romantic atmosphere.) For more information on The Gladly, go here.