We had a very enjoyable lunch on a recent weekday at the Palm Tree Grille & Bar in beautiful Mount Dora. We had a generous gift certificate from a friend and so we were able to go all-out and have a wonderful lunch.
It was a Monday holiday and downtown Mount Dora was somewhat busy. I'm glad nearly all the shops were open. We were tired after walking around a bit, and so the stop for lunch was very welcome. The restaurant was not very busy and we were quickly seated and waited upon. We each started with a glass of wine and soon decided on some appetizers.
For our first appetizer, we chose the Artichoke Gorgonzola. This was whole artichoke hearts stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, breaded and fried and served in an alfredo sauce with spinach. They were good, quite good. I will say that I could have used a bit more gorgonzola. Though it's a strong cheese, it was very light here, so a bit more would have been welcome. Also, the alfredo sauce needed salt and was a bit thin and watery, I think it should have been thicker which would have made it more rich and creamy. And more salt, definitely. But the artichokes themselves were wonderful, I loved them.
Next we had the Stuffed Mushroom Caps. Large mushroom caps were stuffed with crabmeat, topped with garlic butter and provolone cheese and then baked. They were very good. The cheese was nice and gooey, the mushroom flavor came through, and the chunks of crab in them rather nice. I liked these a lot.
As a prelude to my lunch I had a salad, and it was a delicious salad, chock-full of good things like roasted carrots, garbanzo beans, black olives, mixed romaine and spinach, some red onion, tomato, and home-made croutons. The raspberry vinaigrette served on the side as requested, was delightful, thick and rich yet light in flavor.
For his main course, Tommy had one of the day's specials, the Fish Sandwich. It was a nice piece of mahi-mahi that was nicely breaded and fried, served over a nice semi-hard roll with the requisite LTO (lettuce, tomato, and onion). The sandwich was very good, hot and tasty. The fish cooked perfectly, moist, tender, and delicious. The accompanying fries were exceptionally good as well, they were perfect and came out piping hot. This was a great lunch.
For my main dish I chose Penne Alla Vodka. If a restaurant kitchen can make this dish properly, they will get my vote and I'll be a fan. They get my vote and I'm a fan. It was very good. The pasta was a wonderful al-dente... perfectly cooked. The flavors of the peas, tomato and smoky prosciutto blended well with the pink cream sauce. The romano cheese added the perfect sharpness. I could tell that this dish was cooked properly, with a bit of love and care, not just "stuff" thrown together as in some restaurants. This was cooked to perfection. And, lucky for me, the portion was huge and I had some to take home for another meal--which I enjoyed just as much as the first time.
We had a great lunch dining experience here at the Palm Tree Grille & Bar, and I'd certainly recommend them, and certainly return. Nice job!