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Ol’Vine Brings Quality Food, Wine to Brookside

Local Dining By BLAKE AUSTYN
Contributing Writer

NEW RESTAURANT: Ol’Vine, 3523 S. Peoria Ave., opened in February in Brookside, taking over the space formerly occupied by Sonoma Bistro and Wine Bar. The restaurant offers reasonably-priced Italian dishes and an extensive wine list.


BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers


Ol’Vine, 3523 S. Peoria Ave., opened in February in the former space of Sonoma Bistro and Wine Bar in Brookside.

While the new owners created a menu largely reminiscent of Sonoma’s offerings, there are still a number of new dishes to be discovered as well as a heightened food quality, noted our server Samuel, when our party dined their recently.

The menu follows an Italian theme with salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and entrees.

“Ol’Vine upped the food quality with higher-quality cuts of meat, added a grilled element and offers one of the most reasonably-priced wine lists around,” he continued.

We began with the Wood Grilled Meatballs. We received five meatballs in an iron skillet, cooked in marinara and parmesan. The meatballs sat in a thick tomato bisque that added a unique flavor, leaving me wanting another round.

I then ordered the House Field Greens Salad, which is a gluten- free option. The salad features a generous amount of field greens, topped with pears, walnuts and goat cheese. I would have preferred a bit more of the toppings, but when I got a fork-full of all of the ingredients, the taste was bright and flavorful.

My tablemate ordered the Chicken and Avocado Panini, which came with one side order. She chose grilled asparagus.

Sides are included with sandwiches and a few entrees. There are 12 wide-ranging sides to choose from: mac n cheese, sweet potato fries, jicama cole slaw, herbed mashed potatoes, cheese grits, to name a few.

The asparagus was plump and nicely cooked, not stringy; the sandwich came with a thick piece of chicken breast topped with slices of avocado, but not so much avocado that the sandwich was overwhelmed with the flavor. Although, I would have preferred a bit more because I am avocado obsessed.

To share, our group ordered the Steak Pizza. For the steak, filet is used, paired with just the right amount of blue cheese. Because the blue cheese was not overpowering, the filet is allowed to be the star. The pizza also came topped with carmelized onion and balsamic drizzle. The pizza was particularly delicious combined with a dark beer, accentuating both the pizza and the beer flavors.

For my entree, I ordered the Chicken Piccata, panko crusted chicken breast with a slew of veggies all on a bed of angel hair pasta. The veggies included spinach, artichokes, asparagus and tomatoes. This is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes and for good reason. Its creaminess combined with the ample vegetables and the just right amount of pasta created a refreshing springtime dish.

Another popular dish, said our server, is the Cast-Iron Red Fish, which comes over creamed spinach and cheese grits.

The menu’s price range is very reasonable, very comparable to Sonoma’s. That is especially welcome when one considers the restaurant’s location on Brookside among many higher-priced restaurants. I appreciate the moderate pricing that they bring to the district.

Ol’Vine also boasts a mixologist who oversees the seasonal cocktail list.

Ol’Vine is open seven days a week, Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Updated 04-24-2017

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