The Grille On The Drive
The Grille On The Drive: 2000 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL
The Grille On The Drive, which we will call The Grille from now on, recently opened in the historic site of the old Tropics Piano Bar and Restaurant; which was one of the most famous gay bars in Wilton Manors. Paul Hugo leased the location and was known for his now closed EAT restaurant that was located just down the road in the Gables Apartments complex. Paul wanted to bring a steakhouse style restaurant to Wilton Drive as he felt is was something missing from the scene.
The Grille on the Drive hosts live music performances five nights a week, Wednesdays through Sundays, featuring covers of your favorite Pop, Rock and Broadway songs, while having a drink or dinner in the company of your friends or partner. The Grille opens at 4pm every day, except Sunday, which they open at 11am for Brunch. They have a specials menu on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4 – 6 pm and it features six entrees form the main menu for just $9.95 and the salad bar for an additional $3.95.
The main restaurant has been nicely appointed with comfortable seating around the large main bar area. The majority of the activity takes place in this section, and reservations for dinner are recommended. There is also another bar area where the live music performances are held. One thing to note is that even though this is still located in Wilton Manors and an LGBT Friendly restaurant, it is not really to be considered a gay bar. The clientele is mixed and but very open and friendly.
We decided to try it a few weeks after they had opened to allow any of the grand opening jitters to be gone and for them to work out the kinks. We joined six of our friends in the birdcage area of the restaurant. which allows you to see the whole restaurant.
Jerry went with the Skirt Steak, cooked medium rare. This was a perfectly cooked and marinated steak with Chimichurri sauce. He chose the mixed vegetables as his side which were cooked nicely on the grille. He said that the flavors of both the steak and the vegetables infused in his mouth as he ate them. It was so much food, that he had to take half of it home.
I on the other hand opted for my favorite steak, Filet Mignon. Unfortunately the chef is not as skilled as a high end steak house, for they had to butterfly it in order to get it well done, which is how I always order my steak. Some will say I am crazy for ordering it that way or that I am ruining a good piece of meat, but I do this for a few reasons. First I like it that way, second if a chef can make the steak still be tender when well done it proves that this is a good restaurant for steaks. And finally third, if they have to butterfly it, then you know they do not have the skill set to properly cook to the temperature you want. My dish was served with mashed potatoes as you only get to choose one side. I would have preferred to have a starch and a vegetable, but the steak had a very good flavor and the potatoes were freshly made.
We also were able to use the salad bar which came with our meals. There is a small but good selection on the salad bar that you can make a very robust side salad. It does get a bit messy and I am not really a fan of the location of it off the bar. It makes for a very tight fit if someone tried to sit in that section of the bar.
Our friends had a variety of other dishes as they were at the table next to us since we joined them late. From Meatloaf, to Chicken Dijon, and Pork Rib-eye, as they all were able to order off the early bird specials. Each and every one of them enjoyed the dished and also took some of it home because the portions are very big. Just remember that as soon as it turns 6pm you will not receive the special pricing.
We all thought our meals were good and would recommend that you try The Grille On The Drive at least once.
Pricing: $$-$$$ for Sunday Brunch, $$-$$$$ for dinner depending on what you order and drinks and if you get there early enough