Overnight, it seems, a long-standing Brookside tradition, The Grapevine, is now A Bar & Kitchen. But not just any bar and kitchen, mind you.
It's the old place, with a new look, but under the same management, our server said; 'he (owner Don Elder)just needed a change,' was how he put it.
There is a slight change: walls are white (seems like this is the thing currently along this portion of Brookside--everything is white), but the coziness remains. The bottom dining area has the same layout while the upper level has been reversed--the bar is on the north side and tables and chairs are where the bar used to be.
My friend and I dined here on a Friday night, finding our repast most enjoyable. Good thing we had reservations, for the place was packed by 8:30pm. We ordered a bottle of Magnificent House Wine ($20) and reviewed the menu--while every now and then slipping in a few cards of Baby Boomer Trivial Pursuit, which were on the table.
Starters, Soups & Salads, Sandwiches, Entrees, Desserts, and even Breakfast are served on weekends. Starters ranged in price from $7.95 to $14.95 and dinners were from $6.95 for Grilled Cheese Sandwich to Filet of Beef $32.95.
Starters included Stuffed Mushrooms, Artichoke-Spinach Dip, A Nachos, Fried Chokes & Zucs, Crab Cakes, Goat Cheese & Potato Quesadilla and The Cheese Board. Soups & Salads interests include Tomato-Mozzarella Arugula Salad, Nine-O-Cups Chili, A Chili and Spinach Salad. Some Sandwiches selections include Hamburger, BLT, Cheese Steak, Southwest Sarape (a long colorful shawl)--this sandwich is a grilled chicken or beef fajita style in a sundried tomato wrap, Grilled Tuna and Smoked Chicken Salad.
We had our eyes set on an entrée from amongst a passel of offerings: Child's Platter of Chicken, Spa Grill, Roast Chicken, Shashlyck, Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna, Cowboy Cut Pork Chops, Fried Shrimp, Gotham Grill Salmon, Lollipop Lamb Chops and Filet of Beef.
Potatoes (Pommes Frites, Mashed, A Potatoes, Lyonaise) come with the meal, as well as a Vegetable (Sautéed Cabbage, Succotash, Larry's Green Beans, Steamed Vegetables, and Fresh Fruit--for a little extra $$.
We began with a Starter, the Goat Cheese Potato Quesadilla, a dish in which artisan goat cheese, potatoes, and hatch chilies are spread thickly between two flour tortillas.
The result is a very rich, thick, filling and flavorful quesadilla. Green onions, red bell peppers, red onions and cheddar cheese were also part of this delightful Starter. A chipotle sauce swizzled on top was a perfect addition to add zing to the taste.
Next, I had a bowl of the Taco Soup--it was a spicy item, as it naturally should be--a loose broth was filled with ground beef, yellow corn, black and pinto beans and cubed tomatoes.
From a Mexican opener to an Italian main, my entrée was a special this evening, Carbonara, which is a traditional Italian pasta dish.
The etymology of carbonara comes from carbone or coal in Italian; the tradition is that the name is derived from it's popularity among charcoal makers. Another thought is that the name came from the ample, freshly milled black pepper used in the dish.
This Anglo-American version (as others are) was a bit different than others I've had, with simply cream, eggs, parmesan cheese and pancetta (bacon). The version I had was a very rich and creamy, with peas, bacon, onions and blended through a penne pasta.
I found it quite good.
My friend had the Roast Chicken, which he, likewise, thoroughly enjoyed. This half chicken was comfort food, up a notch. This large serving included not only tender, juicy chicken, but also potatoes, carrots and celery. Under the skin of this bird, he found lemons and whole clove garlic--which was a special touch for seasoning. He had a side of Larry's Green Beans, and his only words for these were, 'Green beans shouldn't taste so good.'
Breakfasts on weekends will be my next trip here: Huevos Rancheros, The Rancher, Eggs Benedict, The Stack and Denver Sandwich are featured.
Great food, good live entertainment and an overall fun atmosphere made the evening one worth repeating.
A Bar & Kitchen
3509 S. Peoria
Share this article: