The Vine is more than just a martini bar
By Tina Johansson Special to The News-Sun January 3, 2013 4:00PM
Mike Pruitt of Hainesville holds a Gorgonzola pork chop plate with Chef Steve Anderson of Round Lake Beach at The Vine restaurant in Grayslake. Pruitt is owner of the restaurant. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
101 Center St., Grayslake
Updated: January 3, 2013 4:00PM
Swing into The Vine martini and wine bar in downtown Grayslake for a special lunch or a delicious dinner.
Mike Pruitt, 29, a 2001 graduate of Grayslake High School, owns the place with his father, Jerry Pruitt. The two bought out their business partners in June.
The younger Pruitt studied hospitality at Kendall College in Evanston, and also received an associate degree from the College of Lake County.
Diners love the sandwiches here, as well as the homemade soups. “Since Last Chance (Saloon) closed down a month or two ago, the lunches here have been crazy,” said Pruitt.
Some of the popular sandwiches include a barbecue pulled pork served on a pretzel roll topped with coleslaw and onion straws; grilled beef filet sandwich with medallions of beef topped with a signature raspberry sauce and gorgonzola cheese on a toasted French roll; California chicken sandwich; jerk chicken sandwich; and Italian BLT with bacon, lettuce and tomato served on sun-
dried tomato focaccia topped with fresh avocado cheese and mayo, among others.
Burgers are a big draw, too, featuring items like the crab cake burger served on pretzel roll with pico de gallo, and chipotle mayo; Asian tuna burger; smoked berry turkey burger served on a pretzel roll with smoked gouda cheese and signature raspberry sauce; a barbecue bacon burger; southwest burger; and Swiss burger.
Initially the place was a small tapas bar when it opened in 2006, said Pruitt. The business became so popular, within two years it expanded into a full operation focusing on using fresh and local ingredients. Everything from food to drinks is made in-house and prepared to order.
Dinners feature entrees such as the popular filet mignon medallions, and fresh fish including salmon piccata.
The upscale fare is produced by experienced head chef Steve Anderson. Talented pasty maker Mary Rakowski churns out homemade after-dinner delights including apple tarts, and cheesecakes in various flavors including peanut butter, and a seasonal white chocolate with peppermint.
If it’s a good cocktail or libation you’re looking for, look no more. The Vine offers more than 75 different martinis, a host of wines and micro-brew beers, as well as domestic and imported in bottles and on tap.
The restaurant, with its warm wood décor and relaxing atmosphere, seats 125 people with 80 on the outside in the summer. It also has a party room for 40.