May 062012
 

Cuisine: Asian Variety, Chinese, Thai
Restaurant Features: Bar, Gluten-Free Menu
Locations: Edina, Minnetonka and Roseville
Addresses and Maps:
Roseville (Rosedale Center) – 1705 Highway 36 West  Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-7173
Edina – 3669 Galleria Edina, MN 55435 (952) 928-7888
Minnetonka (Ridgedale Center)-  12649 Wayzata Blvd Minnetonka, MN 55305 (952) 797-9888
Hours:Mon-Thurs 11am-9:30pm * Fri-Sat 11am-10pm * Sun 11:30am-9pm
Links: Big Bowl Website * Big Bowl Facebook PageGoogle Map

Atmosphere: There are several Big Bowl locations in the areas of Minneapolis and Chicago.  The Roseville location is found inside Rosedale Center on the same side of the mall as AMC Theaters, Granite City and Flame. The dining room is big and decorated with a contemporary Asian flair.  There are tables in various shapes and sizes, as well as booths along the outer walls.  There is also a bar area to the left of the entrance.


Menu: Appetizers include Chicken Potstickers, Veggie Potstickers, Chicken Dumplings, Veggie Dumplings, Spicy Sichuan Green Beans, Crispy Garlic Tofu, Grilled Chicken Satay, Chicken and Shrimp Eggroll,  Barbeque Spareribs, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps, Thai Herb Calamari, Spicy Sichuan Eggplant, and Summer Rolls (Chicken, shrimp or Veggie).

Soups and Salads include Dumpling Noodle Soup, Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho), Chinese Hot & Sour Soup, Tom Yum Shrimp Soup, Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles, House Mixed Salad Greens, Asian Chicken Salad, Mandarin Chicken Salad, and Lucky 8 Vegetables & Tofu.

Chinese Chicken dishes include Kung Pao, Ginger Chicken, Spicy Cashew, Orange, and Sesame Chicken.  Beef Dishes include Kung Pao, Spicy Sichuan Beef, Beef & Broccoli, Mongolian Beef, and Seven Flavor Crispy Beef.  Seafood Dishes include Sweet Ginger Sea Scallops & Shrimp, Shanghai Shrimp & Scallops, Teriyaki Glazed Salmon, and Black Pepper Scallops.

Fried Rice options include Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Shrimp, and Barbeque Pork.  There is also an Unfried Jasmine Rice dish.  Chinese Noodle Dishes include Kung Pao Tofu and Spinach, Kung Pao Chicken and Noodles, Steak & Noodles, and Sichuan Pork Belly with Noodles.

Thai Specialties include Red Hot Pepper Chicken Noodles, Thai Hot Pepper Chicken (or Shrimp) with Basil & Peanuts, Bangkok Shrimp & Scallops and Thai Shrimp Fried Rice.  Pad Thai is Big Bowl’s signature dish, try it with Vegetables/Tofu, Chicken, Shrimp or Salmon.  Big Bowl also has a make-it-yourself Stir-Fry bar option.  You choose your vegetables, meat, sauce, and noodles and they will cook it for you.

There are also a number of Curries including  Spicy Thai Green Vegetable Curry, Yellow Curry Vegetables, Yellow Curry Chicken with Sweet Green Beans, and Claypot Shrimp Panang, and Claypot Panang Curry Chicken.

Big Bowl also offers a Gluten-Free Menu, which includes many of the above items.

Desserts include Coconut Tapioca Pudding, Mango Cheesecake, Honey Apple Crisp, Homemade Double Chocolate Brownie, Lucky Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, and Mochi of the Moment (ice cream and sweet rice).
Price guide: Appetizers $5-7 Entrees $12-18

What we ordered: We started with a round of drinks, I had a Mai Tai, with a traditional mix of light and dark rum, pineapple and lime juices.  Delicious, albeit on the short side.

Later I tried a Margarita, a mix of Sauza white tequila, cointreau, and Yuzu sour.

One of my companions ordered the Ginger Jameson, made with fresh Ginger.

One of us had the Red Sangria

Another companion had the Passion Fruit White Sangria.

For the inconvenience of seating out party of twelve at two different tables, they sent out some complimentary appetizers, including these Steamed Veggie Dumplings ($5.95) served in the house soy-ginger sauce.  The order came with five plump dumplings.

We also tried the Pork Potstickers ($5.95), which also came with five in the order.  These were pan fried to give them a crispy, golden brown crust.  They were served with the soy-ginger sauce, hot mustard and sweet plum sauce for dipping.

For my entree I asked for a recommendation of something spicy and the server suggested the Claypot Chicken Panang Curry ($12.95), so that is what I ended up ordering.  The base of this dish was the delicious, thick peanut-coconut curry, stuffed with pieces of all natural white meat chicken, red bell pepper and snow pea pods.  It had a lot of flavor but only a slight kick to it as far as spice goes.

One of my companions ordered the Pad Thai with Pork ($12.95).  This was a big pile of rice noodles, stir fried with big pieces of barbeque pork, basil, eggs, bean sprouts, peanuts and fresh lemon and herbs.  It looked and smelled great!

One of my companions had the Mongolian Beef ($14.95), a traditional Chinese dish with big tender chunks of beef, shitake and button mushrooms, shredded carrot and green onions in a sauce made with hoisin and soy.

Another companion had the Veggie Stir Fry with tofu, broccoli, green beans, carrots, peppers and onions with Chinese rice noodles.

For dessert we shared a Double Chocolate Lava Brownie

Service: Our visit to Big Bowl was on a busy Saturday night, with a reservation for 12 people made a month in advance.  We had to wait 30 minutes past the reservation time before they could arrange space for us.  When we were seated, they put four of us in a booth and the other eight were seated at two nearby tables that had been put together.  It was very awkward and completely separated our party into two.  For this “inconvenience” they brought us complimentary appetizers.  While we were sitting, the hostess had sat a table fo two at the booth next to ours and three minutes later another employee came rushing over to their table where we overheard her telling that could sitting there that they had to be moved, that that particular table was reserved for someone else and they didn’t seem very apologetic about it. My companions and I were appalled by it. As for the rest of our service, drinks took some time coming from the bar but once we put in our dinner orders, they didn’t seem to take any longer for our party of twelve than it would’ve for a much smaller group.
Overall Impression: This was my second time ever visiting Big Bowl, the first was about five years ago.  Big Bowl is a chain restaurant that prides themselves on using fresh ingredients sourced locally and naturally raised meats.  I liked the fresh ingredients and overall our food was pretty good but the service was less than stellar.  I personally won’t be rushing back anytime soon.
Big Bowl on Urbanspoon

Oct 232011
 

Cuisine: American, Italian, Pizza, Pasta, Ice Cream, Dessert
Restaurant Features: On-Site Parking, Gluten-Free Menu
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Address: 2692 East County Road E  White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-777-9199
Links: Donatelli’s Website * Donatelli’s on FacebookGoogle Map

Atmosphere: Donatelli’s is a popular family restaurant located within a strip mall on the south end of White Bear, right next to JJ’s Bierstube.  The restaurant itself is long and narrow, with a main dining room and a smaller dining area used for bigger parties or on busy nights.  Along the outer walls of the dining area there are several private booths (topped with seasonal decorations), with tables in the middle of the restaurant which can easily be adjoined for larger parties.

Menu: Appetizers include Bruschetta, Chicken Strips, Chicken Wings, White Cheddar Cheese Curds, Onion Rings, Donatelli’s Caprese, Cheesy Fries, Bread Sticks, Garlic Toast, Donatelli’s Haystack Fries (covered with cheese and bacon), Fried Ravioli, Hot Chips, Seasoned Fries, Meatball Sliders, Italian Fries and Italian Dunkers.

Salads at Donatellis include Antipasta, Chef Salad, Oriental Chicken, NLT Grilled Chicken Breast, Spinach Salad, Caesar, Blue Apple, Blue Burger, Grilled Veggie Salad, and Crispy Chicken Salad.

Soups offered are Chili and Minestrone.

Donatelli’s also has a number of Sandwiches, all are served with chips or you can upgrade to seasoned fries for $1.  Options include Chicken or Veal Parmigiana, Meatball, Italian Sausage, Hot Dago, Submarine Sandwich, Grilled Chicken, Beer Battered Fish, Turkey, Donatelli Reuben, Grilled Ham and Cheese, BLT, Turkey Club, Club Wrap, Steak or Chicken Caesar Wrap, BLT Chicken Wrap, and Grilled Salmon Caesar Wrap.

Donatelli’s also has a number of Specialty Burgers  including Plain Burger, Luigi Burger, Cheeseburger, Pizza Burger, Mama Mia Burger, Honey Mustard Ham Burger, Jack Burger, One Eyed Jack, Patty Melt, Chili Cheese Burger, Donatelli Burger, Philly Burger, Blue Bacon Burger and Red Portabella Burger

Pasta selections are numerous and include Spaghetti, Spaghetti Supreme, Rigatoni, Linguini with Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken or Veal Parmigiana, Baked Mostaccioli, Baked Manicotti, Baked Tortellini, Baked Ravioli, Baked Gnocchi, Baked Spaghetti, Baked Lasagna, Baked Rigatoni,  and Baked Linguini Carbonara, Tortellini Alfredo, Butternut Squash Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach and Roasted Garlic Tortelloni, Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli, Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni, Stuffed Shells, Seafood Cannelloni, Linguini with Shrimp and Pesto, Cajun Chicken Alfredo, Fettuccine with Steak and Alfredo, Italian Jambalaya, Linguini with Chicken and Pesto, and Spaghetti Pie.

Donatelli’s also has a variety of Pizza Turnovers (stuffed pizza pockets) and Specialty Pizzas (deep-dish or thin crust) including Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato, Veggie Delight, Heartburn Deluxe, Super Heartburn Deluxe, Heart Stopper, Bacon Cheeseburger, Taco, Donatelli’s White Pizza, Margherita, BBQ Chicken, and the Upside Down Pizza.

**Gluten-Free Menu*** Items include Gluten Free versions of all of the following: Caprese, Italian Fries, Blue Apple Salad, Spinach Salad, Chicken and Pesto, Baked Cheese Ravioli, Stuffed Shells, Ravioli, Baked Rigatoni, and Gluten-Free Pizza.

Donatelli’s also has a selection of Old-Fashioned Ice Creams.  Other Desserts include Milk Shake, Malts, Ice Cream Soda, Turtle Sundae, Root Beer Float, Hot Fudge Sundae, Scrumptious Sundae, Old Fashioned Banana Split, Hot Fudge Cake, Turtle Fudge Cake, Black Forest Cake, Tiramisu, Berramisu, Chocolate Flourless Torte, and Death by Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-11 Sandwiches $7-12 Pasta $8-17 Desserts $3-7

What we ordered: Our party was dining on borrow time on the night of our visit, so we went straight to our entrees instead of ordering an appetizer as I normally would. Although I didn’t order Italian Fries on this visit, I highly recommend them.

There are so many awesome past choices at Donatelli’s and I have had the pleasure of sampling many of them over the years but on this night I ordered the Spaghetti with Meatballs.  I typically never order spaghetti at restaurants but Donatelli’s makes their spaghetti from scratch and it is perfect.  The noodles are fresh and cooked slightly al dente with a generous amount of the hearty house red sauce.

One of my companions had the Seafood Cannelloni.  This was delicious, but extremely rich.  There were three shells stuffed with a blend of lobster, scallops, and shrimp in a lobster sherry cream sauce.  It had several cheeses baked on top until just melted.  It was served with a slice of garlic toast that was great for dunking in the sauce.  Take the cannelloni shells out of this dish and you have yourself a wonderful seafood dip.

Another companion ordered the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, which was fettuccine mixed with several bite sized pieces of grilled Cajun chicken breast, and sauteed green and red bell peppers.

Another companion started with the Antipasto Salad followed by the Rigatoni.  The Antipasta salad looked wonderful with ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, cheddar, onions, mushrooms and black olives.  Tossed in Donatelli’s homemade Italian dressing.

The Rigatoni was a bowl of standard rigatoni topped with Donatelli’s red sauce.

One person in our party had the Steak Caesar Wrap.  This wrap had a substantial amount of beef in relation to lettuce.  Tasty and filling.

Service: Our visit was early evening on a Saturday night and it was already busy at Donatelli’s.  We were able to get a table big enough for the six of us with a few minutes of arriving and were greeted by our server shortly thereafter.  Drinks were refilled quickly and food was prepared reasonably fast for how busy it was. Six of us were in and out in about an hour.  Our server, as well as the staff in general,  seemed very friendly.

Overall Impression: A true institution in the White Bear Lake area, Donatelli’s has something that will appeal to everyone.  The menu is huge and the service is very friendly.

This was a review of Donatelli’s Restaurant originally published on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
Donatelli's on Urbanspoon
Donatelli Bros Family Rstrnt Reviews in White Bear Lake

Oct 092011
 

Cuisine: American, Fish, Pasta, Steaks, Ribs, Pizza, Southwestern
Restaurant Features: Bar, Gluten-Free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night Happy Hour
Locations: Blaine, Eagan, MSP Airport, Plymouth, Savage, St Paul, Woodbury
Addresses & Maps:
Blaine– 4365 Pheasant Ridge Dr NE Suite 102  Blaine, MN 55449  (763) 398-2475
Eagan– 1555 Cliff Road  Eagan, MN 55121 (651) 452-0200
Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport 4300 Gluemac Drive RMLT3256  St. Paul, MN 55111 (612) 726-5360 x4633
Plymouth– 3000 Harbor Lane  Plymouth, MN 55447  (763) 398-7408
St Paul– 850 Grand Ave.  Saint Paul, MN 55105 (651) 312-1299
Savage–  14120 South Highway 13  Savage, MN 55378  (952) 447-1122
Woodbury– 1424 Weir Dr.  Woodbury, MN 55125  (651) 735-0085
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-12am  Fri-Sat 11am-2am  Sun 10:30am-10pm
Links: Axel’s Bonfire Website * Axel’s Bonfire on Facebook

Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Axel’s Bonfire is at the intersection of Grand Ave and Victoria St, in the same building as Cafe Latte.  The restaurant is divided into a bar area and a dining room; the latter of which has several tables in the bigger, open section, as well as a number of booths off to the right side of the dining room.  The walls are painted a rich, deep red and the lighting is very soft.  Casual and somewhat trendy.

One feature of the decor that is hard to miss is the giant Bull sculpture hanging from the ceiling over the dining room near the hostess stand.

The bar is also a dominant space with Axel’s Bonfire, a giant island seating at least twenty guests with an additional number of tables near the windows looking out onto Grand Ave.

Menu: Appetizers at Bonfire include Axel’s signature Bullbites, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Colossal trip (wings, bontons and teriyaki green beans), Tripe Dips and Chips, Alamo Nachos, Walleye Fingers, Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas, Bonfire Sticky Wings, Fire Roasted Peppers, Calamari and Bontons (chicken, gorgonzola and buffalo sauce in a wonton).

Soups include Tortilla, Chicken White Bean Chili, and a Soup du Jour.

Salads include House, Caesar, Bonfire Chopped, Blackened Walleye, Tempe Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken, and Baby Bleu.

Wood Fired Pizzas include Four Cheese, Three Sausages, Bella Roma (artichoke, spinach, tomato), Margherita, and BBQ Chicken.

Burger and Sandwich options at Bonfire include Cowboy Burger, Bacon Bleu, Be Bold Burger (two half-lb burgers with sauteed mushrooms, onions, peppers and four cheese, 1000 island dressing), and the Hickory Burger.  Sandwiches include Arizona Chicken Wrap, Chicago-Style French Dip, Mango Chicken, Bistro Chicken Club, Rotisserie Turkey Ciabatta, Texas Pulled Pork, and Walleye Sandwich.

Bonfire’s Southwestern items include Chicken Fajitas, Steak or Walleye Fajitas, Veggie Fajitas, Chicken Enchiladas, Walleye Tacos, Chimichanga and Baja Burrito.

Woodgrilled Meats include Bacon Wrapped Medallions, 8 oz Sirloin, 14 oz New York Strip, Drunk and Dirty Sirloin, and 8 oz Filet

Entrees include Rotisserie Chicken, St Louis Style Ribs, Prime Rib, BBQ Beef Brisket, and Brick Oven Kabobs, Blackened Grouper Tacos, Pan-Fried Walleye, Grilled Salon, Grilled Roughy, Fettuccine Alfredo and Broccoli, Fire-Roasted Baked Spaghetti, Cajun Chicken Penne, and Bonfire Fettuccine.

Dessert options at Axel’s Bonfire include Towering Carrot Cake, Death by Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Deep-Fried Cheesecake, Kids Sundae and Seasonal Dessert.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-13 Salads $6-14 Sandwiches $10-15 Entrees $12-27

Happy Hour:

  • Daily 3-6pm
  • Sun-Thurs 9pm-close
  • $2 off cocktails
  • 1/2 priced Appetizers

Weekly Specials:

Sunday Limited Brunch Menu 11am-2pm Brunch Menu with Hand-crafted Bloody Mary’s and Screwdrivers $4 and $.99 mimosas.
Sunday Night– 4-9pm Kids build their own pizza and sundae for FREE with the purchase of each adult entree.

Mondays- 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine (1/2 price on bottles that are sold by the glass & 20% off our reserve bottles)

Wednesday & Tuesday Evenings- Dinner for Two: Your four course culinary adventure includes an appetizer to share, two entrées with sides, shared dessert for $49 per couple

What we ordered: My visit happened to be during Happy Hour so I enjoyed the $2/off on cocktails and got myself a Margarita for just $4.  Just the right mix of tart and tangy with sweet and sour and Don Julio tequila.

A couple of my companions ordered the Dirty Martini, which came with a shaker full for $8 at the Happy Hour price.  Such a deal!

Dirty Martini at Axel's Bonfire ~ St Paul, MN

Appetizers were half off during Happy Hour so we started with the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  I love artichokes and get this dip at many restaurants but Bonfire’s version was one of the most boring I have tried to date.  It had several decent sized chunks of artichoke but the sauce was very thin and didn’t have a lot of flavor.  It was served with tri-colored tortilla chips (which also happen to be my least favorite accompaniment to artichoke dip).  The good news is that we paid half-price for this during Happy Hour.

We also got the Triple Dips and Chips, which came with salsa, guacamole and jalapeno cheddar dip.  The salsa was very good, spicy and slightly sweet.  The guacamole was decent as well, but the serving was very small.  The third dip didn’t look very appetizing to me so I didn’t try it at all. The dips were served with tri-colored tortilla chips.

As usual, I had a hard time making up my mind about what I wanted to eat for dinner.  I was leaning toward fish tacos and since Axel’s has both Walleye or Grouper,  I asked the server his opinion.  He didn’t hesitate to recommend the walleye, so that is what I ended up getting.  There were three flour tortilla tacos, each piled with hand-battered Shore Lunch walleye fingers topped with pico de gallo, cilantro and shredded lettuce.  The walleye was good, crispy and not at all fishy.  One of the pieces of walleye still had a small bone in it which wasn’t very appealing but not unheard of.  I wish I would’ve asked for a side of salsa to spice up these tacos because while they were good, they were kind of bland.  The pico didn’t have as many jalapenos or cilantro as it could’ve. The order was served with burracho beans and tomatillo rice, both of which were full of flavor.

One of my companions ordered the Chicago French Dip.  This sandwich looked wonderful and was at least eight inches long, thinly shaved prime rib on top of a fresh ciabatta roll.  The beef was complimented by homemade giardiniera with spicy pickled peppers, onions, carrots, and caulifower.  My companion thought this sandwich was wonderful but wished there was more beef then what it came with.  Also, ketchup is preferred to be self-serve from a bottle instead of partitioned into a little dish.Chicago French Dip at Axel's Bonfire ~ St Paul, MN

Another companion ordered the Veggie Fajitas as a vegan option.  These were wonderful! There was a very large pile of seasoned and sauteed broccoli, green beans, baby carrots, portabella mushrooms and onions.  Hot tortillas, beans and rice were served on the side.

Another companion ordered the Mango Chicken Sandwich, a grilled chicken breast topped with fresh mango salsa served on a grilled bun with french fries on the side.

The last of us ordered the Margherita Pizza, light on the cheese.  This pizza looked really good but I think it would’ve been better with the standard amount of cheese.  It was topped with plenty of tomatoes and fresh basil.  This was also half price during Happy Hour.

Service: My five of us in my party all arrived at different times and met in the bar until we were all present.  We had made an advance reservation and our table was ready for us when we wanted to sit down.  Our server was patient with us while we perused the menu, and offered suggestions that were vegan-friendly for one of the members in our party.  The food was prepared reasonably fast so we decided to wait until our appetizers were served before ordering our entrees.  When presented with the bill, our server had taken the liberty of giving us separate checks with the appetizers split five ways…. so easy and convenient!

Overall Impression: This was my first visit to Axel’s Bonfire in many years and I had forgotten what a hassle it can be to park near Grand Ave.  I highly suggest parking in the ramp on the southwest corner of Grand and Victoria, as parking on the nearby residential streets is likely to get you a parking ticket for around $30.  You may also want to make a reservation, especially on the weekend evenings.  We had very good service during our visit.  The atmosphere is contemporary and somewhat artsy and the menu has a lot of variety.  The portion sizes were well sized.

This is an original review of Axel’s Bonfire on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
Axel's Bonfire on Urbanspoon
Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking Reviews in St Paul

Mar 272011
 

Cuisine: Italian, Fish & Seafood, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, Gluten Free Menu, Happy Hour (Bar only), On-Site Parking, Sunday Brunch
Locations: Burnsville & Roseville, MN
Addresses & Maps:
Burnsville– 14296 Plymouth Ave  Burnsville, MN 55337  952-892-7555
Roseville– 2050 North Snelling Ave Roseville, MN 55113  651-644-2808
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-12am  Sun 10am-10pm
Links: Chianti Grill Website * Chianti Grill on Facebook

Atmosphere: The new home of the Chianti Grill in Roseville is on Snelling Ave next to Har Mar Mall.  This newly constructed restaurant has been open for about two years now and is a much larger and more modern version of its former home.  The main dining room is large and seems even bigger with the tall ceilings.  The room is divided into sections of high backed booths, which help to keep noise levels under control and also offer some privacy for the guests.

The bar area is another large seating area, with seating at the bar as well as booths along the wall.  The bar is beautiful and runs the entire length of the room.

There is also a little lounge area in the bar near the entrance; a great place to have a cocktail and wait for a table when it gets busy on the weekends.

Menu: Appetizers at Chianti Grill include Spicy Tenderloin Tips, Calamari, Mozzarella Caprese, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Seared Ahi Tuna, Crab Claws, Bruschetta, and Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Flatbread options include Prosciutto Arugula, Mediterranean, Margarita, and Grilled Chicken.

Pastas include Seafood Canneloni, Lasagna Bolognese, Mostaccioli, Manicotti, Tortellini (ham, mushrooms and peas), Spinach Ravioli, Cappellini al Fresco, Spaghetti with Meatballs, Cappellini al Gamberetti, Spicy Chicken Penne, Seafood Linguini, Chicken Cappellini, Fettuccine Alfredo, Gnocchi alla Crema di Campagna, and Shrimp and Lobster Linguini.

Seafood options include Grilled Tiger Prawns, Walleye Impanato, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Salmon Taormina, and Crab Claws.  Steaks include 8 oz Filet Mignon, 16 oz Sirloin, 16 oz Ribeye, 14oz NY Strip.  Chicken and Veal options include Marsala, Sorrento, and Parmigiana.

House Specialties include Zuppa de Pesce, Lobster Ravioli, Grilled beef Skewers, Lobster Oscar Filet.

Gluten-Free items include Chicken Spicy Penne, Lobster & Shrimp Spaghetti, Chicken Spaghetti, Penne Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti and Mostaccioli, as well as all of the steaks and many of the seafoods from the dinner menu.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-13  Flatbread $8-10  Pasta $14-20  Entrees $16-28 (items on lunch menu considerably less)

Happy Hour:

  • Served in the Lounge only

Sunday Brunch:

  • $12.95/Adults $6.95/ Kids 4-11  Free/ Kids 3 and under
  • 10am-2pm
  • a variety of homemade pastas, fresh fruit, pastries, salads, an omelet bar, traditional breakfast items and delicious desserts.

What we ordered: What do you do when two different appetizers sound really good and you can’t decide which to get? Order Both!! At least that’s what I do ;) First on that list is the Spinach Artichoke Dip.  This was a large portion of cheeses, artichoke, spinach and onion blended then baked in a ramekin.  It was served with a sliced, toasted baguette.  Delicious! The dip was very flavorful, partially because it had a lot of onions in it, which I thought was great.  You might not love it as much if you aren’t a fan of onions.

We also tried the calamari.  This was good, but nothing out of the ordinary.  The calamari was cooked just right so it was still tender but the breading wasn’t too crispy and was kind of boring in the flavor department.  It was served with marinara and also a  horseradish dip, which were both good and definitely helped spice up the flavor.

Then came the basket of bread with our meals.  We didn’t have any room for this at dinner so I brought it home and had it later.  It was very good and kind of dense.

Our meals also came with a house salad, I got mine with ranch.  I just love fresh buttermilk ranch dressing and this one was really good!

For my meal I ordered the Mostaccioli.  Although this is kind of an ordinary meal for me and I usually order pastas that are more adventurous, I was in the mood for red sauce.  I was too full to eat more than a few bites while we were still at the restaurant, but it was very good.  The noodles were tossed with a zesty red sauce, ground Italian sausage, chunks of mushrooms, sauteed onions, garlic and other spices.  It was topped with a ton of mozzarella then baked.  I also had it topped with freshly grated parmesan.  This was yummy (although I know I could easily make something similar at home) and hit the spot.  The leftovers were just as good the next day.

My companion wanted to have something with seafood and after much deliberation and suggestions from the server, ordered the Crab Ravioli, one of the daily specials.  This was a unique dish; there were about five raviolis stuffed with shredded crab meat.  The bell pepper cream sauce that it was served with was very sweet and contained pieces of the tri-colored peppers.  We both liked it but I admit I think I would like it better with a more savory sauce.

Service: We had good service at Chianti Grill.  We visited at an odd time (3:30pm) on a Saturday and had no problem getting a table without a reservation.  Our server was both friendly and also had a funny sense of humor.  She had several recommendations on the menu and did a good job timing our food so that everything was staggered.  Most of the time our drinks were refilled as soon as needed but there were a couple of times while we were eating that I waited for several minutes without anything to drink.

Overall Impression: I am glad I finally had the opportunity to try Chianti Grill.  I thought the food was decent, as was the service.  Items from the lunch menu are considerably less expensive, so if you want to save a few bucks, visit before 4pm.  Happy Hour offered in the Lounge only.

Chianti Grill on Urbanspoon