A revolutionary experience

. September 26, 2012.

My children have seen the likes of far more restaurants than my husband and I ever experienced growing up. Times are different these days, and going out to eat is a norm for many families. However, it’s still something special for my kids when we treat ourselves to an upscale dining experience.   

Taking it up a notch
I gathered from Revolution Grille’s website that it was a step up from the usual eateries we frequent. When we arrived, luck was on my side and we were seated in a semi private dining area. After the diners at the table next to us had finished, we had the room to ourselves. Out of the flow is the way I LOVE to dine in nicer restaurants when I have children in tow.
Now that my youngest is six years old, however, I’m less skittish about taking the kids to nicer venues. That new calm didn’t keep me from immediately removing all the sparkling stemware from our pre-set table before one of my little ones inadvertently sent glass shattering across the floor. The atmosphere was welcoming, with the open all-made-from-scratch kitchen as a focal point. There are even seats available that put you nearly in the kitchen with the chef.

Ready for a revolution
Proprietor and Chef Rob Campbell opened Revolution Grille in June. After years of working in top notch restaurants, Chef Rob was ready to do it his way. ‘His way,’ it should be conveyed, is not conventional, but that’s exactly why you’ll love it. “My goal is for it to be completely spontaneous,” Chef Rob says. He best describes the food as ‘eclectic American cuisine with ethnic influences.’  

Our attentive waitress Beccie handed each of us an Android tablet (which looks a lot like an iPad) that served as our menu. My kids’ eyes grew wide. Revolution Grille is the first and only restaurant in the area to use Menuvative, an interactive electronic menu that provides detailed information and fabulous photos about every dish. It even uses a pairing program to assist guests in choosing the best wines to complement each offered entrée. This is most definitely less conventional, as our waitress said most upscale restaurants never have photos on the menu. For the record, my camp loved the tablet menus and I’m certain my children looked at every picture available. Admittedly, I did too.

Awaken your taste buds
They aren’t just cooking at Revolution Grille; rather, they are constantly creating. Trying new things is half the adventure there. I have experienced a variety of ravioli dishes, but nothing quite like the eclectic goat cheese ravioli at Revolution. With roasted plum tomatoes, grilled eggplant, arugula and oregano it was delicious and exciting.

Our waitress could see my daughter’s hesitation to try anything other than the cheese flatbread. She brought up the picture and description of the Chicken Schnitzel a la Holstein for $13.95. With chicken, prosciutto, asparagus, red onion, lemon beurre blanc sauce, and a fried egg, I thought, ‘No way would she try that.’ She also offered ways my daughter could alter the dish if there was something that didn’t sound appealing. My daughter embraced the dining adventure and ate every last morsel, including the egg on top! Unfortunately, my husband devoured his sautéed walleye before I ever got a bite. He assured me it was delicious.

They do offer kids’ entrees such as mini cheeseburgers, cheese flatbread, and grilled chicken for $4.95 plus drink. The children’s menu and kids’ beverage cups are available. That evening my boys enjoyed a tasty flatbread pizza and cheeseburger with homemade chips from the kids’ menu. Fun dessert items, like a bacon and marshmallow covered fudge cupcake, are creative finishes to a meal.
Our trip to Revolution was a fun treat for our entire family. We were fortunate to meet Chef Rob personally and talk to him about his restaurant. As you might guess, my kids really enjoyed chatting it up with him.

Bottom Line: Revolution Grille is a welcome adventure in dining. Guests will love the unique combinations of flavors throughout the menu and the wide variety of entrees. Though a bit more upscale, it is still family friendly should you decide to bring the kids along. You might even want to request the semi-private area where you can relax a bit while dining with the younger set.

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, Oh. She can be reached in c/o editor@toledoparent.com.