Restaurant Spotlight: Idylwood Grill & Wine Bar

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

their creed.

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.

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