A few months ago I was glad to hear that a chef from Ponté Vecchio was planning to open a restaurant, along with his wife, in the former Chiliworks site on Allen Road in Peoria and feature some of the same recipes.
This week I met my mom at the new PV II Restaurant for lunch.
We arrived at noon and were greeted right away and taken to a table in the busy dining room.
The room was pretty full, and the noises from those visiting and dining were bouncing off the high ceilings, much different than the quiet atmosphere of Ponté Vecchio, yet nice in its own way.
The decor seemed similar to what it was like when Chiliworks occupied the space, but it works for this restaurant also.
The lunch menu included pasta, salads, soups and sandwiches. The salads were also available in half portions, which was nice on the pocketbook and the belly.
I also noticed a table tent advertising Thursdays as half price bottle night, so there are wine bargains to be had as well.
Our waiter brought waters and took our drink order right off the bat.
I decided to try the half portion of chicken pear salad with parmesan dressing and a cup of a spinach egg soup made with parmesan dumplings. This soup and salad combo was priced at $9, or the half salad alone was $4.
The waiter brought us a basket of bread and then stopped by and told us that the food for a party of 20 was just coming up in the kitchen, and that ours would be out right after. He was quite apologetic.
The bread was perfectly warmed, dense and moist inside with a nice crisp crust.
Lunch did take a bit longer than would have been comfortable to arrive, but with all of the communication throughout by our waiter, we were relaxed and aware of what was going on.
The dressing on my salad was subtle but good, the pear crisp and the chicken breast nicely seasoned.
I especially enjoyed the parmesan dumplings in the broth-based soup. Heck, if they offered a plate of those dumplings as an appetizer, I would be all over them.
I heard a couple nearby compliment the waiter on everything, and I would have to agree. Service was great, the food was great and the prices were reasonable.
I look forward to trying dinner at PV II.