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Entries in Red Rock (1)


Red Rock Grill and Bar

Red Rock Grill and Bar

66 West Main St (Rt 140)
Upton, MA 01568


Someone asked me if I go out with the same people for all these reviews. The answer is I mix it up. Sometimes these reviews are work related; some are with family, others with friends.

I do take suggestions, and head out to find a place as time permits. My friends taking me to Bocado friends raved about a place in Upton called Red Rock. Actually, they raved about it a couple times.

I’ll be honest; I didn’t immediately associate good food with Upton. I was wrong. And I’ve been missing out on some really good food!

One recent Sunday afternoon we saddled up for the trip to Upton, heading out Upton Road, to Westboro Road and onto 140 westbound.

After driving for a bit, we came upon Red Rock Grill on the left.  It was getting dark; the building had the external appearance of many old time roadside places….an original footprint extended over time.

I did a post to Foursquare, and on to Facebook and Twitter, announcing where I was. Foursquare is interesting….you announce where you are. Obviously criminals can then rob you. Haha.

Entering through the front porch, you have the option of going to the right, into the smallish bar, or to the left into the modest dining room. This place is to the small side, although all cleaned up, with nice hardwoods and paint. In fact, it looks very welcoming inside.

We headed over to the dining room, and were quickly seated. It was around 5, a bit to the early side, and still a “school night.” 

We got a bowl of popcorn, lightly seasoned. Hmm. The popcorn was tasty, not your normal bowl of popcorn.

We quickly ordered from the dinner menu.

I’m not normally a soup guy, and today their mushroom soup sounded great. It was different, marvelously sophisticated and to the thicker side. Delightful.

The lady had a grilled chicken salad, and her beau a BBQ Burger. I went for the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese.

There are many things where I consider myself an aficionado. A good steak, St Louis style ribs, and macaroni and cheese. My mom made macaroni and cheese every Friday night. She would make the top of the macaroni “crisp” (someone once said she burned it for me…I choose to describe it as “crisp”). No breadcrumbs, maybe a rare slice of bacon.

I’ve tried Lobster Macaroni and Cheese at dozens of restaurants. It is always the same. Macaroni and cheese with a piece of Lobster in it. For me, very reminiscent of finding the treat in Cracker Jack.

Not at Red Rock. Every fork had tasty lobster and fabulous macaroni and cheese. While they didn’t “crisp” the top (certainly for fear of harming the lobster meat,) this was a delicious dish of homemade mac and cheese. It was NOT something masquerading as mac and cheese.

This was macaroni and cheese fit for a King.

We found ourselves sharing parts of the meal, so everyone could taste.

And by 5:30, the place was mobbed with a line.

We observed some others’ deserts and ordered one. I was quickly corrected – everyone wanted their own desert. Yummy.

Soon after, a tweet came from a friend: @glkelley Re: Red Rock: hope you liked it. Close to our house, love all the activities they are bringing to area. A new favorite for us.

Wow. Am I the only one not knowing about this place?

I had to find out more, and chatted with Russ Berger, chef/owner. It turns out Russ comes from a family of restaurant owners, having had restaurants in Boston for 20 years. After moving to Upton 6.5 years ago, his wife came across the building with a for sale sign on it while riding her bike.

They opened 50 seat Red Rock Feb 14, 2011, having done all the interior construction and finish work (leaving the heavy stuff to the pros.) and selling the Boston restaurants.

Russ Berger describes Red Rock as city dining within “the little town of Upton.”   They are not a chain, and want to maintain a homey feeling.

For events, every two weeks they have a wine or beer dinner, with a scotch event premiering January 4. They serve a 4 course tapas style menu with matching beverages.

For activities, they have a large outdoor patio overlooking a volleyball court. They rent Kayaks for fun on Lake Wildwood. They are in the process of installing an Ice Skating Rink.

Adjacent to the main restaurant is Good 2 Go, serving sandwiches, ice cream and soon coffees.

Russ summed Red Rock up as specializing in made-from-scratch comfort food, creative cocktails and craft beers. They use fresh, seasonal ingredients purchased from as many local businesses and purveyors as possible. They are trying to “do it right,” including recycling, plans for solar, and even having food scraps go to a pig farmer. He summed it up as: homey.

This is a perfect description, in a modern kind of way.

This time of year begs for comfort food, and Red Rock has some of the best we’ve had. (Except for mom’s home cooking.)

It’s time for you to head to Upton and Red Rock Grill and Bar.


Tuesday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Brunch till 2 p.m.)

Red Rock Grill and Bar gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy.

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money