Here’s a rule we should all abide by in the world of restaurants and food: Never judge a book by its cover. Many friends have recommended Diamondback Grill for a foodie review. And since April is Grapes & Small Plates month (where local restaurants feature small plates paired with a NC wine), I thought Diamondback Grill would be a great place to spend a Tuesday evening. I had only been to Diamondback Grill once and that was a looooooonng time ago. I remember beer and nachos. And though it doesn’t appear to have changed much, I’m told the food and philosophy have definitely changed. I first started hearing about Diamondback from local produce markets who promoted that the restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients when possible. So, that got them on my radar. Then another friend said, the food is really good and that it’s family-friendly, so that got them on my calendar.
When you see the place, the outside is more office building than restaurant. And it truly is a neighborhood place. It is completely surrounded by homes and apartments. And when you walk in, do not be alarmed. It is definitely old school. The decor might need a bit of updating, I’m not going to lie. It’s a combination of sports bar (with 5 screens), alpine lodge and living room. But the smells emanating from the kitchen are delightful. We sat down, asked about the Grapes & Small plates features, and started scanning the menu. One of the features was a Tuna Tartar with the recommended Raffaldini Vineyards Vermentino (a full-bodied white). The tartar was served on wontons with sesame noodles on top with a sweet and spicy wasabi glaze and it was wonderful. And my Asian-fare-loving kids ate the noodles. My eldest has always loved those peanut-ty sesame noodles since she could chew noodles. That has not changed.
Kidlets ordered chicken tenders and sweet potato fries which the kitchen split for us so they had their own plate. The chicken was thick and juicy and the crispy outside was just like Southern fried chicken. There was plenty for take home and WE ate them a couple of days later after a simple reheat. See my Facebook post about what we did with the kidlets’ leftovers.
I decided on the Fire Roasted Salmon with Lavender Honey. Uhwarrie Mountain Honey coated the salmon giving it sweetness with just a hint of fresh lavender. It was served with asparagus and rice pilaf.
Mr. foodie ordered the special pork chop of the day with a blackened garlic glaze topped with peach chutney. It was a perfectly cooked chop with a nice spicy kick, served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.
See, mr. liked!! We do not mind it if you gnaw on the bone. That is nectar of the gods.
And while we were there, the kids enjoyed local dairy, Homeland Creamery’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and we ordered the Sweet Potato and White Chocolate bread pudding. And all I can say is OMG.
What I appreciated about the meals at Diamondback Grill was that the protein was a great sized portion along with modestly-sized sides. They are very Paleo-friendly (google it, if you are not familiar). The ingredients were fresh and tasty and why wouldn’t they as they strive to be farm to table via Stauber Farms, Let it Grow Produce, among others. And of course, last week and apparently all the time, Chef Jon Vidovich was “chef-ing” and came out to say hello and talk about his busy week catering furniture market (yes, they cater!) and all those hungry people. He’d been up since 3am. He came out and said hello. What a champ!
Look for Chef Jon in Competition Dining’s Fire in the Triad as he takes on Meridian on May 21st.
Diamondback Grill will definitely be a place that we will go back to as they have an extensive menu but offer interesting features each week and of course, featured local produce. They even have a Farmer’s Market dinner featuring all kinds of goodies from local farms. And though it doesn’t have a stylish, sleek fancy decor, it’s definitely comfortable and the locals seem to appreciate that.
751 North Avalon Avenue, Winston-Salem
Open for dinner 7 nights a week.
April 30 is the last Tuesday for Grapes and Small Plates. For more info, click here