Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grill One Eleven, 111 Courtland, Rockford - 6/15/11

We missed it on our first drive-by but found it on the back end off the parking lot. Look for Marinades Pizza on Courtland and you might see the Grill sign as well. But no matter; they share ownership and entrances.
We spotted the second floor outdoor patio from the parking lot. When we entered the restaurant the hostess asked us to seat ourselves, indicating the first floor. We inquired about upstairs but she informed us that it was “pretty full up there.” As she spoke, a couple descended the stairs and we mentioned that fact.

She then said it may take a few minutes to clean up and she headed upstairs. A short while later she reluctantly led us up where we found two tables occupied inside, and one outside on the patio. It was almost empty! With her subterfuge exposed, she did not reappear.  
The restaurant is not big but both floors are nicely appointed, warm and comfortable. The first floor features an attractive bar and the second story has sofas along with table seating and the patio. Our server made up for the hostess as he was very personable  and friendly.
The menu is seasonal and includes a comprehensive martini and wine list. Beer is available as well but is not on the menu, printed or on-line.

We started with the Three Happiness Spring Rolls: marinated chicken, roasted portabella, onions, bell peppers, and savoy cabbage neatly wrapped in crispy wontons. They were beautifully presented and were well balanced and delicious. Of the two sauces, we preferred the soy plum peanut sauce over the spicy mustard but concluded that if the plum sauce wasn’t there, we would have been perfectly satisfied with the mustard sauce.
We bypassed the sandwiches and wraps because the list of main entrees was irresistible. The chef’s creative take on chicken wellington was our first item. Fresh mozzarella, roasted portabella and baby spinach were layered around the chicken breast, and a bacon wrapped pastry enclosed it all. The pastry was light and flaky and the tasty red pepper hollandaise sauce was a flavorful and necessary accompaniment; the dish would have been slightly dry without it.
The orange-glazed salmon was grilled to order, medium rare, and retained moisture and flavor but still easily broke apart. A lovely, fresh citrus salad topped it off for a perfectly balanced dish. We were both very satisfied with our selections and everything was finely presented.  
Our server disappeared for a while after our appetizer was delivered but was otherwise very helpful and knowledgeable. The menu is interesting and innovative, the setting is very pleasant, and it's just a 20-minute drive from Grand Rapids, and well worth your time. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Grill One Eleven on Urbanspoon

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