By Andrew Sailer
Thursday, June 18 2009 02:00:01 PM
Idylwood Grill & Wine Bar is a gem located in the shopping center behind the
Subway off Pimmit Drive. Though largely hidden from view, if you can find
the Subway, you can find what Tunisian-born owner Hedi Ben-Abdallah calls
“a grade A restaurant in a grade B location” which specializes in Italian cuisine.
When you walk in the door, the friendly owner greets most diners with a smile
and a handshake. When you walk out the door, he is there again with a flashy
smile and outstretched hand. Customer service is their hallmark, politeness is
The walls are heavily decorated with art work, including a giant painted map
of Italy over the wine bar. No wall is left bare; the few areas that are not
decorated by art show off the restaurant’s more than 100 wine selections.
The dimmed lights and soft music set an intimate, yet lively atmosphere.
The menu includes a healthy selection of specials, each presented with a
complementary wine suggestion. Among the daily specials are fresh
Chilean sea bass, salmon and tilapia, each served with one of the many
home made sauces on which the Idylwood Grill prides itself. As they
should; they have a wide range of many fantastic dishes that include,
but are not limited to, the half-pound Idylwood burger ($14.95) served
on a toasted sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and
pickles, and lobster ravioli ($25.95) sautéed with rock shrimp and served
with a nantua pernod cream sauce.
The entrees run the gamut, from dinner salads, poultry, beef and a good
selection of pastas and seafood. For the lighter appetite, the Idylwood
Grill also offers pasta bowls and sandwiches during their lunch hours.
Appetizers should not go unaccounted for. The lamb sausage merguez
($7.95) is served over navy beans in a tomato harissa sauce that will
leave you licking your plate. The Idylwood calamari ($8.95) is sautéed
with herbs, garlic and shallots with a tomato beurre blanc sauce that
delights the taste buds.
A particularly fine dish is the fresh-caught Chilean sea bass ($27.95),
served with crusted potato buds, tri-colored peppers and hearts of palm
in a light vinaigrette. Another must-try is the pork loin ($19.95), which
is topped with caramelized apples and accompanied by mashed potatoes,
onions and a tomato ragout sauce.
Good food, of course, is best with good drink, and the Idylwood Grill has
a plethora of wines to choose from. The wine list includes 44 white wines
and nearly 70 red wines, with origins hailing from California, Oregon and
Washington among the U.S. wines, as well as international wines from
Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy and Spain.
For wine lovers, the restaurant has a cozy wine bar that welcomes any
person of age at any time within the restaurant hours.
At Idylwood Grill & Wine Bar, the only sauciness you will experience
will be in the food. For fine flavor, fun and fermentation, Idylwood Grill &
Bar is an excellent choice.