Rave reviews from the media
Thanks to these restaurant reviewers for their kind comments.
We hope you'll enjoy your dining experience as much as they did!
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"...if you're a foodie and a lover of life, The Eclectic Wine Bar & Grille is absolutely Mecca."
"The food is fabulous, the service sensational, and the ambiance and attitude is a plus ten..."
"The Eclectic Wine Bar and Grille is a beacon of fine art and fine dining in the heart of the NoHo Arts District."
"The pastas...are generous
"The Eclectic Café would be a standout in any town - no matter what the competition."
"What's best...the fresh fish
"A must stop...delicious cuisine!"
"Pick of the Week - affordable feasts...Three stars!"
"The pasta dishes are ones any Italian restaurant in L.A. would be glad to claim as its own!"
"The light California eclectic cuisine is superb."
Dining - Reviews
As most of you know from my first review, the objective of this column is to educate the readership and NoHo Arts District subscribers on how to eat healthfully in the neighborhood's fabulous restaurants...if you're a foodie and a lover of life, The Eclectic Wine Bar & Grille is absolutely Mecca.
The Grille has been in North Hollywood since 1992 and is owned and managed by its very likeable and ebullient owner, Brian Patrick Sheehan. Brian got his start in the restaurant business when he was four years old. His father, David Sheehan, wrote a restaurant review column entitled "The Lamplighter" for a little Santa Monica newspaper, The Evening Outlook before eventually serving as the film critic for the same newspaper and CBS Television. (Yes, it is THE David Sheehan). Travels to Europe with his parents followed and while other families were being introduced to centuries old art and monuments, 12-year-old Brian was heading to the kitchens and becoming mesmerized with home made risotto. His love of food is reflected in the very eclectic menu. His love of the restaurant business is apparent in the way he greets and takes care of his customers, in his relationship with his staff and in the repeat business he generates.
The Eclectic Bar & Grille is a place for experimentation, curiosity, and venturing out of your comfort zone. The menu will seduce you, beckon you and tantalize you. (It will also torment you as everything on the menu is fabulous and it will be difficult to choose.) Take the time to read the menu, not glance over it. Peruse the wine list. Contemplate the delicate pairing of wine and flavors. Ask questions of your server. Ask the right questions, and stories unfold.
Start with Desne's Seafood Trio and you'll be paying homage to Brian's Australian wife, Desne after whom the dish is named, thanks to the power of observation of several customers. If you love the Chicken a la Madeira, you have the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to thank along with Brian's solution to the "What do I do now - now that I'm out of Port?" question. Another inspiration was the film, Big Night. Brian commented that upon seeing that movie, it brought back memories of those European kitchens with his parents and thus came the inspiration for the risottos. When he casually mentioned that the movie Like Water for Chocolate was one of his favs, I knew instantly I wanted him to be my guide on my own culinary adventure and that it would be one I'd want to repeat. Rent the movie before your next visit. It will tell you a lot about what to expect.
Brian's head chef, Carlos Najera, has been with him for over 11 years, and the variety of the menu is the result of a collaboration based on creativity and love of food and the sharing of that passion. There is no shortage of choices at the Eclectic Bar & Grille. You could eat there once a week and not get through the menu. The meat, chicken and fish entrees are generous, and come with a side of Chef's Steamed Mixed Vegetables and a choice of potatoes. Be prepared to make noises when you take your first bite of the garlic mashed potatoes. Be prepared to make SOUNDS when you have the oven roasted sweet potato "fries" tossed with organic sea salt.
But there is more than food to be experienced at the Eclectic Bar & Grille. The lighting is such that everywhere you look brings pleasure to your eye.
The artwork is hung in a way to accompany the sensuousness of the meal in front of you. Notice the way the seating is arranged, as a lot of thought went into it. It is intimate, private, and makes you feel it is &your regular table.& Once seated, you will find yourself deep in conversation, or lingering over a fabulous cappuccino and eventually, if you are present in this fabulous dining experience, connecting with your companion on a much deeper level. And if you dine alone as I do quite often, you will feel very as cared for and welcomed as a party of ten.
The Grille is now offering a champagne brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Free-flowing Champagne or Mimosas accompany - what else? - an eclectic menu proudly using local free-range organic eggs. It is a bargain for $21.00 but what most impresses me is why Brian enjoys having it. "People come together to sit, talk, celebrate, relax, maybe do a little business. It's a time they can renew themselves before the start of the week."
At the end of my dinner, Natasha, my very capable server, placed this Bordeaux wine glass in front of me. It was filled with my favorite variety -- chocolate. As she positioned my spoon and presented the homemade Chocolate Toffee Mousse, she bent over and said sotto voce "In my opinion, this is a girl's best friend - it's smooth, silky, creamy and rich. You'll want to take it to bed with you. Make sure you feel the emotion." I took a bite. Natasha was right. I had my own When Harry Met Sally moment.
So next time you're in the neighborhood, or in the mood for a pre- or after theatre dinner or light meal, give yourself enough time to experience this fabulous restaurant. And I mean really experience it. Feel the emotion - in the food and in yourself. It just might make the difference between a usual Saturday night out and a Saturday night that is one for the books.
© 2011 The Eclectic — Restaurant · Bar · Lounge
5156 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, California 91601 - 818.760.2233