POINCIANA – Ambiance can be delivered in a variety of ways.
A restaurant can have a fairly extravagant and eye-catching décor that aims to be considerably more interesting than the meals, for example.
Now, at The Grille, the restaurant located inside the Solivita development in Poinciana, the décor is tastefully conservative. There was paintings on the wall of men playing golf, a bar to relax at before your table is ready, flat screen TVs in every corner, and a view of the golf course right outside.
Sometimes the ambiance is set through the menu – oddly sounding and exotic plates that you might not have heard of before, which are most likely to tempt you on evenings when you’re feeling adventurous.
The Grille, on the other hand, has a menu as large as it is traditional. You can dine on griddle cakes for breakfast ($5.95), with a plate of Steel Cut Oatmeal on the side (a cup for $1.95), or come back for lunch and either indulge in a Solivita Burger (served on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato and Bermuda onion for $7.95), or try to be a bit more health-conscious with a Chicken Caesar deli-style sandwich, complete with shredded romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese on Caesar dressing (also $7.95).
Everything on the menu looks and sounds comfortably familiar, save perhaps for the special way that The Grille’s chefs opt to prepare it.
For me, the real ambiance of The Grille actually starts outside. Located as part of Solivita’s Stonegate Golf Club, you drive right past the sign that reads “Thank you for visiting Solivita” right outside – not to mention the sign in front of the parking lot that reads “Residents and golf parking.”
The first building you walk past from the parking lot is the Stonegate Pro Shop, where everything you need for a successful round of teeing off awaits you.
Golf, of course, is big business in sunny Florida with its mild winters, and none more so than with the retirees and snowbirds and tossed aside their snow shovels, defrosters and windshield ice scrapers a long time ago to spend afternoons on a golf course in a t-shirt, no matter what time of year. Solivita, of course, is an active adults development.
August, though, is a notoriously hot and humid month in Central Florida, and as this summer has reminded the locals, heavy afternoon downpours arrive with remarkable speed and unpredictability.
And that, of course, is where a fine establishment like The Grille comes in. It’s a safe refuge from the heat, humidity, and afternoon showers, a place to relax in, have a drink, and enjoy the company around you. The fact that their meals are quite good is a pretty nice bonus as well.
The Grille is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Breakfast is served daily until 11 a.m., and you have some good selections to pick from, including the Solivita Slam (two eggs any style, with a choice of bacon or sausage, skillet potatoes, and griddle pancakes, all for $6.95), to the Bagel and Lox – smoked salmon with capers, onions, chopped egg, slice tomatoes, on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, for $8.95.
Breakfast sides include Southern Grits for $1.95 or fruit and yogurt for $4.95.
For lunch – served from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. – there are starters like Coconut Shrimp in orange tequila sauce ($6.95), a Hummus Platter on grilled Naan bread ($8.95), or Onion Straws – tender strips of sweet onion fried with chipotle aioli ($5.95).
You can also get soups (like the Chef’s Soup Du Jour, or some Homemade Chili), salads (starting with the Stonegate Greens for $5.95), and either deli-style or hot sandwiches. The Par Three, for example, offers chicken salad, egg salad, and tuna salad served with lettuce and tomatoes on toasted mini rolls, for $8.95.
Entrees include the Grilled Chicken Platter for $7.95, the Chicken Penne Primavera for $11.95, or Seafood of the Day.
Desserts include the Pumpkin Crème Brulee, a Double Chocolate Sundae, and the Sweet Italian Style Panna Cotta.
The Grille serves as the perfect escape from the summer sweats and Mother Nature’s afternoon thunderstorms, times when the golf course is no longer as inviting as it was just minutes ago. But happily, this is also the kind of place where you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the fine meals, friendly and fast service, and comfy atmosphere.
To learn more, call 863-427-7150.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@gmail.com.