Warning: For those of you (like newsletter subscriber BY) who had apparently expected me to write reviews of venues that were strictly in the immediate Fox Valley Area, don’t read any further… it may bother you to find out that Walleye Grill is a ways from the Fox River – although it’s really not that far. For the rest of you – read on. It didn’t start out to be a night for a review, as Lauren and I had traveled north only to do a bit of impulse shopping at Prime Outlets in Huntley. Even with gasoline at a premium, the distance is closer than you might think (the mall is 11.4 miles from the intersection of Burlington Road and Route 47), and the trip is a lot easier than the one to Algonquin via Randall Road. But upon recalling an e-mail from K.B. several months ago, calling my attention to a few restaurants to the north, I figured that as long as we were this far already, I might as well check out one of her suggestions, located in the Del Webb Active Adult Community.
Paying a visit to a place advertising itself “for adults who are 55+” made me a tad uncomfortable – even if I am close to eligibility status – if only because we would all like to be younger than we are… at least numerically. But that is a topic for another day. I wasn’t even aware that there was a restaurant at the Del Webb Huntley location, let alone one that was available to the public. Boy have I been missing out! And judging by the emptiness of the dining room, there are many others out there missing out as well.
I was sorry that I didn’t have the camera with me; the venue is very pretty, immaculately landscaped and taken care of outside, and very comfortable inside. Walleye Grill is adjacent to the golf course Club House but otherwise it shares little with the golf aspect, other than a casual-looking bar/lounge area that is available near the entrance to the dining room. The dining room itself is appointed with much brick, a huge, centrally-located fireplace and an entire side that is fitted with picture windows facing part of the golf course; the view is green, serene and captivating. The tables are bare-topped, save for napkin-wrapped silver and an oil candle in an attractive glass container. We were seated near the fireplace (and unfortunately near a pair of very ornery, spoiled and unruly children who received a steady stream of “shushes” that fell on deaf ears – luckily they departed before we received our dinners…) and were immediately approached by a young lady who asked if we would like some bread. We replied yes, and she quickly brought some warm rolls and containers of whipped butter. Suddenly there appeared a tall, smiling and pleasant wait server who introduced himself as Paul and asked if we would care for something to drink… to which we obviously responded: “Yes”. Lauren selected a glass of house chardonnay (Copper River) and I asked for a Grey Goose on the rocks. We took our time perusing a menu that featured lots of appetizers (Chicken Potstickers, Shrimp Cocktail, Potato Skins, Hot Spinach & Cheese Dip, Crab Cakes and Calamari), a great selection of Steaks and chops (Medallions of Beef, Pork Chops, Rib Eye and Colorado Lamb Chops), tempting entrees (Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Roast Loin of Pork, Roast Duck and some comfort items like Pot Roast, Meatloaf, Rotisserie Chicken and Barbeque Ribs) and seafood (Macadamia Nut Encrusted Tilapia, Sugar Maple Planked Salmon, Fresh Fish of the Day and of course, Walleye). The menu also included sandwiches, soups and salads, a Design Your Burger section and Paninis. The most expensive item on the menu was the Rib Eye… but at a mere $23.95 for the 14-oz. serving, it was a very impressive and tempting item.
Paul was omnipresent but never obnoxiously so – just checking to make sure we were well taken care of – and maintained his smile throughout the evening. Not too hungry on this particular occasion, Lauren decided to get a Chopped Cobb Salad (Chicken breast, Bleu Cheese, Tomato, Avocado, Bacon, Fresh Egg, Chopped Greens and Choice of Dressing - $11.95). The Walleye was tempting, as was the Rib Eye, but I decided to try the “Fish of the Day” (Grilled filet of salmon, accompanied by a peach-mango salsa, wild rice pilaf and vegetable - $14.95), opting to add a house salad. Almost as if he knew my weakness… when I asked for a second cocktail – with an olive this time – Paul asked: “Would you like a Bleu cheese-stuffed olive?” He is the first to have ever asked that question regarding garnish for a Grey Goose on the rocks! On what seemed to be a slow night (usually when poor service is almost a given), Paul’s timing and service was flawless; he was polite, professional and had a great demeanor.
Lauren’s salad – bigger than it sounded; served in a large and stately, cut-glass bowl and a more-than-ample portion – was fresh and tasty with lots of chicken, ripe avocado and creamy Bleu cheese. My salmon, although just a tad over-cooked, was excellent as well and the peach-mango salsa was complimentary to the dish; the broccoli bright green and al dente and the rice velvety smooth. The plating was eye-appealing and the portion size was large enough to satisfy a hungry diner – I did not finish mine.
I was impressed on all counts: excellent service, eye-appealing plating, great food, a relaxing atmosphere and incredibly reasonable prices. Because of the combination of all these factors, I can easily and confidently give the Walleye Grill a solid Four Zins! I recommend that you head to Huntley soon to try the Walleye Grill! By the way, I recommended the place to some friends, who ended up visiting Walleye Grill about two weeks after Lauren and I and they said: “The place was jumping, including live music. We were seated immediately, had good service, good food and an all around good evening. I just want you to know what an influence you have on us. Thanks for the heads up!”
Enjoy a lunch or dinner at Walleye Grill… I am returning soon for what sounds like an outstanding Saturday or Sunday Brunch!
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