by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine
My next tasting experience takes me over to the island side of Vero Beach again, and this time to the Polo Grill. It’s located on Ocean Drive and in the Portales de Vero center. This wonderful upscale eatery definitely has a loyal following and has some classic dishes, with a few out of the ordinary ones too. This was my first time dining here so let’s jump in and see what this place has to offer.
Parking is located off of Flamevine Lane on the west side of the building, or you can park on the street closer to the entrance at the east side of the building. As I entered the restaurant, I was promptly greeted by the host, Kenny and shown to my table. The crystal chandeliers and wall sconces were dimly lit, with wainscoting on the walls, dark stained wood, leather chairs and tufted backs of the booths it felt very elegant, kind of like a private club. Artwork throughout kept up with the name and was very equestrian.
Now on to the food! Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat and drink!
Oyster Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – ($9.95) – I chose this wine at random, and coming from a wine newbie, I think it was an excellent choice. It was crisp, slightly tropical in flavor, and definitely refreshing.
Shrimp Scampi – ($20.95) – Before I dined here, I looked at the menu and was having a hard time deciding which appetizer to have, so I asked my waiter Hector, which one he would recommend between the crab cakes or the scampi. He recommended the scampi, so that is what I ordered. It contained 4 large shrimp, with sautéed tomato, garlic, and herbed scampi butter. I squeezed the lemon over the top and took a bite. The shrimp were perfectly cooked, and the sauce had a little different twist with the addition of the tomatoes, which was a nice change of pace. They were really good!
The Bleu Wedge – ($8.95) – This is my very first wedge salad I have had. I’ve avoided them in the past because I thought that they would be too difficult and messy to eat. It consists of nearly 1/3 of a head of iceberg lettuce, a creamy bleu cheese dressing, and some bacon crumbled over the top. It was easier to eat than I thought, and kind of fun too. I cut it up into manageable bite size pieces and it was really good. The lettuce was fresh and crisp, the dressing had lots of flavor and was very creamy.
Caesar Salad – ($8.95) – With the two entrees that I ordered, each one came with a salad, so I got one of each of the salads they offer. This is your classic Caesar with romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, grated parmesan cheese, garlic croutons, and I got the optional anchovies on top. The lettuce was very fresh and crisp, and was coated lightly with the dressing. The anchovies were nice and salty. A true classic and very nicely done.
Pork Schnitzel with Cherries -($29.95) – This was one of the more unusual dishes that caught my eye while I was browsing the menu, so I had to try it. It’s made from pork tenderloin pounded almost paper thin, breaded, deep fried, then a cherry sauce is spooned over the top. The pork was very tender, the coating had a nice crunch to it, and the cherry sauce was more tart than sweet. It was a great flavor combination with the pork. Sides were a potato gratin, sliced carrots, and asparagus. The potato gratin was the star of the side dishes. The potatoes were thinly sliced and were layered with parmesan and cheddar cheeses. A fantastic dish, and a top seller at Polo Grill.
Black Angus Short Rib – ($29.95) – Short ribs are becoming a new favorite of mine, so I knew that when I saw it on the menu, that I would have to try it. This is a boneless short rib that had been slow cooked for hours and served with a rich brown gravy over the top. The short rib portion was quite large, and was fork tender. The rich gravy added a wonderful richness to the dish. Sides were the same as I had with the pork schnitzel and were just as good a second time around.
Creme Brulee – ($5.95) – This is one of my all time favorite desserts, so when my waiter mentioned this was an option, my selection was a no brainer. A soft custard, baked, then sugared and torched on top to finish is always good, and this one is no exception. The sugar on top was nice and thin, and broke easily with the spoon. The custard was set perfectly and was smooth and creamy. A great way to round out a fantastic meal!
What a fantastic dining experience I had while visiting the Polo Grill! From the host, to the very professional wait staff, they all took great care of me while I was there. While slightly off the beaten path at the south end of the shopping district on Ocean Drive, this is a place that is definitely worth seeking out. If you are looking for that exclusive club feel, with excellent service, and fantastic food without the membership fees, then Polo Grill is definitely your place!
Have you tried Polo Grill? What has your experience been with them? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments.
Atmosphere – 5 Forks
Service – 5 Forks
Food – 4 Forks
Ratings Scale Legend:
1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent