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Wide, tasty selection at Grille

There’s something old and something new in the Village these days: the Village Grille.

The restaurant is in an old cottage on Kline Street. The bungalow itself has been a casual eatery for years, most recently, The Village Bungalow. When Executive Chef Chuck Downes took over ownership of the cottage recently, he was determined to make it something very special.

“It’s such a nice place,” he observed. “I wanted people to love the food.”

Chef Downes did some refurbishing before opening his doors for business in July, adding marble tables inside. He moved the reception desk indoors to allow for a large table on the front porch, added attractive Venetian-style glass fixtures and added more outdoor seating.

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The chef even added an herb garden in the back so he could come out in the morning to select fresh herbs for his recipes.

Chef Downes had an ambitious vision for the Village Grille. He wanted to create a restaurant in the village where diners could get a meal worthy of the finest restaurants in the country.

That’s a tall order, but the cuisine and the well-chosen wine list at the Grille reach impressively high standards for a casual dining establishment.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. Breakfast and brunch are coming soon.

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There are six items on the early bird menu, and they’re all half price. The Village Grille offers daily wine specials during that period as well, so check out the restaurant between 4 and 7 p.m. for value-packed dining.

Chef Downes offers several exciting starters to go with dinner. They include a crispy crab spring roll with baby arugula and strawberry-jalapeno puree ($9) and prosciutto-wrapped sea scallops with summer herb salad and balsamic glaze ($11).

The Village Grille is the perfect place for a casual lunch.

Included among the many fine lunch choices are blackened halibut sandwich with marinated tomatoes, baby greens, and house aioli on a poppy seed roll ($9), chipotle grilled chicken sandwich with smoked bacon, avocado, jack cheese, and house aioli on a toasted buttermilk roll ($7), Asian grilled chicken salad with stir-fried vegetables and crispy wontons in a ginger-sesame vinaigrette ($9), and pan seared salmon salad with arugula and spinach, gorgonzola cheese, and sherry pancetta vinaigrette ($10).

We loved the farfalle pasta ($8). It comes with diced chicken and oven dried tomatoes, and a velvety lemon cream sauce. The salmon salad was another favorite, and Chef Downes prepares the salmon beautifully, then props it up atop the salad.

The Village Grille is at 830 Kline St. Call (858) 454-1389.