1369 Boston Providence Turnpike (Route 1), Norwood
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
It’s been almost 10 years since Sky opened on Route 1 in Norwood. There’s something to be said about reaching that milestone: The kitchen and waitstaff prepare and serve up dishes flawlessly, with the casual flair of experienced industry veterans, yet the stylish interior of the restaurant still sparkles as if it were brand new.
The décor at Sky is sleek and modern, and the ambience is upscale and cosmopolitan. The dining room walls are accentuated in lush tones of deep red and dark mahogany. A wall of water flows down the back wall of the restaurant. An eye-catching, artsy-looking chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the lounge and casts a warm glow on the long, dark mahogany bar.
The fireplace in the front provides a cozy feel to the room, as do the flickering tea-light candles scattered throughout. The noise level at Sky is perfect for dinner conversation, which makes it a great place to have a business meeting or bring a date.
The bathrooms are immaculate and furnished with big mirrors and extra thick, super-soft paper towels folded neatly on the sink. It’s the little details like those that matter.
Upon our arrival, the hostess greeted us with a friendly smile. It was Friday night and most of the tables were occupied, but after we waited a few minutes in the lounge, seats freed up at the bar. A graciously attentive waiter thoroughly wiped down the bar for us - as well as the stools - before we sat down to order.
The small plates menu at Sky features seven appetizers that won’t break the bank: garlic-butter chips ($2), sirloin slider ($2), lobster slider ($4), sweet-potato fries ($4), southern-fried pickles ($4), loaded potato-skin poppers ($5), and artisan olives ($5).
We decided to start with an order of garlic-butter chips ($2). They were essentially browned potato chips served in a cone of waxed paper held by a chrome spiral holder. The chips were tasty enough, but a tad on the greasy side.
The sirloin slider was a beautiful miniature sandwich pierced with a toothpick, garnished with shreds of lettuce, a slice of pickle, and a bright red cherry tomato, and accompanied by a handful of the garlic-butter chips. My dining companion called it “the perfect little bite-sized meal.’’
I hesitated to try the lobster slider, because I’m not a fan of mayonnaise. In writing our order for the kitchen, our waitress asked for a slider with lobster meat only. Alas, no such luck. Instead of finding plain lobster on my cute Lilliputian sandwich bun, I got a dollop of lobster salad.
But as the waitress had told me, the lobster wasn’t totally swimming in mayo, and the pieces of meat that I picked out and rescued were tender and delicious.
The garden salad ($7) consisted of chopped romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and tasty sourdough croutons. All of the ingredients were fresh and presented nicely on a square plate.
In the mood for a seafood entree, I was torn between several options: pan-seared scallops with five-cheese tortellini, cherry tomatoes, scallions and onions ($27); grilled mahi mahi with roasted sweet-potato wedges, peach butter sauce and peach salsa ($23); miso-glazed salmon with sesame scallion rice cake and stir-fried Asian vegetables ($26); or grilled Atlantic swordfish with caper butter sauce, lobster risotto, and grilled asparagus ($28). They all sounded good.
I ended up ordering the Thai shrimp stir fry ($22), and it turned out to be one of the best shrimp dishes I’ve ever eaten. The shrimp were perfectly tender, and there were lots of them. The stir-fried veggies - bright red peppers, mushrooms, sprouts, shredded carrots - were mixed with brown rice, a grain that I adore, and drenched in coconut soy sauce.
My dining companion chose the mac ’n’ cheese ($15), which is her favorite comfort food of all time. The pasta was covered in sauce made with three types of cheese and topped with buttery breadcrumbs. She gave it a thumbs up.
By the time we finished our meal, we were too full to try anything from Sky’s dessert menu, which features freshly made apple strudel, lemon chiffon cake, and yummy-sounding drinks like the Milky Way martini and Irish cosmo.
Even the most finicky diner should find something to like. The menu includes chicken, baby back ribs, filet mignon, steak tips, slow-roasted prime rib, fire-grilled pizzas, pasta dishes, veggie burgers, and gluten-free pizza and pasta. There’s a wine list and a full bar.
The lunch menu is shorter, focusing more on sandwiches and pizza. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features live jazz.
Sky offers special discounts at certain times of the week. On Monday, burgers are half price, which means you get an 8-ounce charbroiled top-sirloin burger with fries for $6.
Every day from 4 to 6 p.m., all appetizers are half price. Oysters can be had for $1 apiece during those hours, and all day on Sunday.
The best day for families with younger children to eat is Sunday, because diners under the age of 10 can eat free from 2 to 9 p.m. (But be sure to read the fine print: one adult has to order a dinner entree for every free children’s meal, and holidays are excluded.)
Sky opened in Sudbury in 1997, with the goal of bringing sophisticated, “city-style’’ dining to the suburbs. The Sudbury location closed two years ago, but the Norwood outpost is carrying on with the original mission, with style and flair, just as it has since it opened in June 2002.