Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night, starring this week’s host, PV II Restaurant with special guest star, Ben Lowery and featuring The Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome this week’s host, PV II Restaurant!
Our ride has arrived for the evening and the driver behind this ride is none other than Ben Lowery! Ben had the idea of trying out some vegetarian dishes at restaurants, so we decided that once a month for a year we’d devote our Saturday night dinner to a meatless meal and this is our second month in this vegetarian journey. If you missed the first episode you can click here and take a look at that one. Ben is a producer, musician and DJ and you can listen to his music and find out about upcoming gigs by clicking on these links: facecrack page, website and Soundcloud page. Okay, it’s off into the night we go to...
PV II Restaurant out on Allen Road! We’ve parked and as we approach the host station at the front of the restaurant we met Amy Utech, who owns the restaurant along with her husband Josh, who’s the chef here at PV II. It was really nice to meet her and she introduced us to..
Shallon who escorted us to our booth over here, just opposite the main dining room.
There’s lots of vegetarian dishes here at PV II. The menu has it’s own vegetarian selection section and there’s also meatless options available throughout the entire menu. Shallon took our orders and then I decided to take a quick look around with the MBIP Camera while the meal is being prepared. It’s what I do and Ben is already used to this after just one meal with me a month ago!
Behind our booth is the bar area and the bar has a nice marble top to it. The inventory is on display behind the bar and there’s some giant-sized bottles for those of you with a really powerful thirst! Sip Ahoy!
There’s tables opposite the bar for drinking and dining and there’s a shot from the back of the dining room. There’s another dining area to the very back with tables and booths and as you can see, there’s not only wine artwork on display, there’s a whole rack of wine bottles, they have a great selection of bottled vino here! At the bottom is a portrait of the entire Utech family!
Meanwhile, back at the booth, I have a feeling that our vegetarian Saturday night meal is about to begin, so let’s go join Ben and grab our seat!
Shallon appears right on cue as we take our seat with our appetizer for the evening: Spinach and artichoke dip!
I love spinach and artichoke dip and this is some of the best ever! It’s served warm with a melted layer of rich cheese on top and the spinach and artichokes are swimming in the rich and creamy dip. The warm dip is served with toasted garlic bread and this could be a meal unto itself!
After the appetizer, Shallon bought us our salads. I got the Caesar salad and Ben got the Raspberry Vinaigrette salad which was really a unique salad made with mixed greens, dried cranberries, white chocolate and raspberry dressing. You read that right, white chocolate on a salad! Ben said it was delicious!
Now it’s time for the main course! Ben got the Eggplant Parmesan. It’s fried eggplant and mozzarella cheese that’s topped with a homemade tomato sauce and fresh parmesan cheese. Ben said it was really tasty and I took his word for it as I’m not a big eggplant fan, but I have to admit it looked really great. The presentation here for all the food is wonderfully done!
I got the Vegetable Risotto and you can read more about it in my review below, but it was so tasty and satisfying, I forgot we were on a special vegetarian night out. It was really rich and creamy and it made for a great meatless meal. And it was a huge portion, I took half of it home for a vegetarian lunch the next day!
Even though both Ben and I were stuffed, we decided to split a dessert and Shallon suggested the Chocolate Sin, because all the desserts sounded so good we couldn’t pick one. The name to this dessert is appropriate because it’s sinfully decadent and delicious! A perfect end to a really wonderful meal and by the end I forgot we were even eating vegetarian and that’s the whole point to this, you can enjoy a meatless night out on the town, especially at PV II!
We closed the place and as we were leaving we got to meet Amy’s husband, Chef Josh, who’s the co-owner here and made the delicious vegetarian dinner we just devoured! And then their two sons, Shai and Tytan came into the picture! Amy and Josh have been serving fantastic Italian food here for over seven years now and if you haven’t tried the wonderful dishes here you really need to check it out! Thanks to everyone at PV II for a great meal and Saturday evening and to Ben for driving, joining me for dinner and for inspiring this vegetarian series! We’ll see you again in a month for another Saturday Night meatless meal and we’ll see all of you tomorrow!
Ben and I decided to start off with an appetizer of Spinach and Artichoke Dip and it arrived in a bowl surrounded by toasted garlic bread crostinis. At first glance, the dip looked a little like a bowl of French Onion Soup, because there was a layer of melted cheese covering the top. Once you dig below that you’ll find warm and rich dip with spinach, artichokes and a tasty blend of herbs mixed in. This was really a rich and wonderful way to start our vegetarian dinner for the evening.
Next up we had salads, I went for the Caesar Salad and Ben was a little more adventurous and had the Raspberry Vinaigrette salad. My salad was good but Ben’s was definitely the unique choice of the two as it was topped with dried cranberries and white chocolate! He said it was really a unique taste and really enjoyed it.
Both of us ordered off of the Vegetarian Entree section of the menu, although meatless items are available elsewhere on the menu as well. Ben got the Eggplant Parmesan and really enjoyed it. Eggplant is on a level equal to beans for me and I just can never eat it, so I didn’t sample it, but it did look very good and Ben thoroughly enjoyed it.
I got the Vegetable Risotto and I was more than happy with this meatless choice! It’s made with Arborio rice and the dish includes spinach, shtake mushrooms and red peppers. It’s topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and the meal is simmered in a vegetable broth. This is really a rich and creamy meal. Kind of a cross between a hearty soup and a layered casserole. When the Parmesan cheese melts into the rice it adds a deep richness and the vegetables really add a meat-like quality to the dish and if you didn’t know it was vegetarian, you wouldn’t even miss the meat.
We ended the meal by splitting an order of the Chocolate Sin which is a flourless chocolate torte topped with whipped cream and a chocolate sauce. This is really a rich and decadent dessert! It’s...sinfully delicious!
Three and a half Galloping Gourmets—This is a great spot to try out a vegetarian meal, but if you want meat, there’s plenty of that too. And they have a whole separate lunch menu which I’m going to come back for our “Year In The LIfe Of A Sandwich” tour in a few months, stay tuned for that!
My friend, Danielle sent in a nice donation while I was on vacation and I keep forgetting to thank her here, so thanks so much, Danielle! That was really nice and I really appreciate it and love you! Thanks for thinking of me during the MBIP break! If you’d like to make a donation to help with the expenses of keeping the MBIP blog afloat, you can click here for more information.