Live, from Peoria Heights, it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, Joe’s Original Italian & Martini Bar with special guest stars, Andrew, the two Michelles, Kayla, Kate and of course, Joe! Now please welcome this week’s host, Joe’s Original Italian & Martini Bar!
Here we are at the newest restaurant in Peoria Heights, Joe’s Original Italian & Martini Bar. They wear their Italian pride on the outside as you can see from the flags flying in front of the building.
The front door leads into a foyer where there’s a nice wine display along with some framed vintage photos. I’m meeting my friend Michelle but as usual, I’m early, so let’s go inside and take a look around inside of Joe’s.
The bar in here is very nice. Light’s hang overhead illuminating it and I saw a familiar face behind the bar. It’s the former owner of Joe’s Sports Grille, Andrew! Andrew sold Joe's, so he’s taken up bartending in another Joe’s restaurant. We last saw Andrew back in 2013 when we were doing our Hot Dog Wars on MBIP. Back then I thought it was funny he owned a restaurant named, Joe's, yet his name is Andrew. Andrew assured there was an owner here named Joe, so we’ll be on the lookout for Joe tonight!
The decor and atmosphere in here is low-lit and comfortable and as you can see from the red checked table cloths and candles, it’s old-school Italian in here! Bello!
There’s a beautiful wooden wine display on the wall and nearby is a table with glasses waiting to be filled.
I love the vintage black and white photos on the walls in here and I could spend the entire evening looking at all of them. But speaking of the evening, it’s just about the time I asked my friend Michelle to meet me, so let’s get our table and get ready to meet our guest of honor!
I went to the hostess station and met one of the owners of the restaurant, but it wasn’t Joe, it turns out that this is Joe’s lovely wife who is also named Michelle. She said she’d seat us in a booth in the back, which I was happy about because I love booths!
Here’s the booth area and check out the canned tomatoes standing at attention! The booths are wooden and large for comfortable seating.
And look who’s here, it’s our guest of honor, Michelle looking really pretty tonight! I last had dinner with Michelle on October 1, 2016. We’ve decided to meet for dinner every fifteen months whether we like it or not. Our last dinner was very enjoyable, so I’m sure this evening will fall into the like category!
After a drink and some nice conversation with Michelle our friendly server Kayla arrived with our first courses. We split orders of the stuffed mushrooms and the Sashimi tuna and both of them were unbelievably delicious. After the appetizers we each had a salad which was also tasty.
Then the main courses arrived and they looked wonderful! Michelle got the Chicken Marsala and I ordered the Pan Seared Diver Scallops. After we both marveled at how beautiful both dishes looked, we dove in to our meals!
The scallops were so tasty and delicious! You can read more about the meals in the review below, but everything was cooked to perfection and both Michelle and I really enjoyed our meals. The service was prompt and Kayla did a great job of being attentive through the evening.
And look who we met on our way out the door, Joe! Joe owns the restaurant with his wife Michelle who we met earlier at the hostess station. He’s pictured here with Kate who’s a bartender here at Joe’s. Thanks to everyone at Joe’s for a wonderful evening and meal. And thanks to Michelle for joining me for dinner, it was great to see her again and we had a nice evening with fun conversation. I’m sure it won’t be another fifteen months till we meet again! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
The food at Joe’s is all made from scratch and it’s delicious. We started off with two appetizers, the stuffed mushrooms and sliced Sashimi tuna. Both Michelle and I agreed that the stuffed mushrooms were off the chart delicious! They were large button mushrooms stuffed with savory crabmeat dressing in an Alfredo sauce and topped with Paremsan cheese. They really were a satisfying dish on a cold winter evening. The Sashimi tuna was thinly sliced, flavorful and came with three sauces. My favorite was the Wasabi cream sauce which added a little kick and really brought out the flavor in the tuna.
Michelle got the Chicken Marsala for her main course and I tried the Pan Seared Diver Scallops. The Chicken Marsala was a large chicken breast pan fried and lightly coated in a bread crumb crust. It’s served with a medley of portabella and button mushrooms in a Marsala wine gravy. I had a bite and it was so tasty. The chicken was crispy on the outside and very juicy and tasty inside. The mushroom medley added a nice flavor and consistency to the dish. It’s also served with homemade garlic mashed potatoes.
I tried the Pan Seared Diver Scallops and this dish did not disappoint either. The scallops were tender and tasty but the real star of this dish is the homemade risotto under the scallops. It’s a tomato and mushroom risotto and it is so creamy and rich! It complimented the seared scallops perfectly and turned the meal into a real delight.
Three and Three Quarters Galloping Gourmets—Joe’s Original Italian & Martini Bar is a welcome addition to the other fine restaurants in the Heights. Both Michelle and I agreed that it was a wonderful meal and we both said we’d be back to try more dishes off of the menu!
4609 N. Prospect Road