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Come for the View, Stay for the Food

Big Fish Grille has a great selection of seafood on the menu, but it's the view that will leave you clamoring for more.

Calamari, shrimp and Key Lime Pie - these were among the delights I ordered at Big Fish Grille last week. But what left me wanting to bring everyone I know back was the view.

Although the restaurant, owned by John Mathias, has a Wilmington address, Channahon Village Manager Joe Cook, my dining companion, said the restaurant actually is within the village limits. Mathias also owns a .

The grounds surrounding the restaurant are amazing. And although Cook and I chose to eat indoors, I cannot wait until the weather is warm to head back out and eat on the patio.

What about the food?

Anyone who reads Dining with Dawn on a regular basis knows that I am a foodie. So even if the view is as amazing as I am saying, I would not be going back if the food wasn't good as well.

The calamari - one of the things I will break my gluten-free diet to eat - was good. The breading was crispy and light, which made it even better.

Cook ordered the Cuban cigar appetizer, which was in a flour tortilla, so I did not try it. He said it was very good.

As readers know, I am always impressed when restaurants go out of their way to prepare a dish to fit a dietary limitation. The shrimp dish I ordered normally comes with breadcrumbs, but they happily left them off.

I have to take a moment to tell you about one of the side that came with my entree before I tell you about the delicious, very well-sized shrimp.

Generally speaking, I have never met a vegetable I did not like. Even brussel sprouts, when prepared well, are good. I have had my share of poorly prepared broccoli, though. So, usually when it comes to my table on a plate, I don't even try it. I hand it over to my children, who both like the mini green tree veggie.

I tried the broccoli that came on my plate and Big Fish Grille and boy and I happy I did. I did not ask what the broccoli was made with, but I know there were pieces of garlic, like those found in the shrimp. I also suspect there was some white wine involved in the preparation. Whatever they did, it was fantastic.

The shrimp was also particularly good.

Cook said his sandwich was good, but I know he likes Big Fish Grille, he is the one who told me about it. I had come out to this area years ago, when the restaurant was owned by someone else. The changes to the interior of what is now Big Fish Grill was also outstanding. The interior looks like a waterside bar and grill in a tropical local.

Cook and I ordered dessert just so I could tell you about it. The Key Lime pie was very tart, which I liked. I did not, however, like the consistency of the pie. It was really thick and filling. If I were coming just for dessert and not ordering this on top of dinner, I probably would not have minded as much. As a dinner-topper, though, it was too much.

All in all, I will definitely be back. And I will call ahead to sit outside and watch the ships go by.

LeeAnn Goodwin May 24, 2011 at 10:20 AM
I wish you could add a website link to each business or the address and phone number for each. I enjoy your reviews and just believe it would add an extra bit of information, the consumer (like me) would appreciate.
Dawn Aulet (Editor) May 24, 2011 at 01:25 PM
LeeAnn, I usually do. In fact I thought I had for this story, but our site has has some buggy issues lately. I will add it now. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any suggestions for restaurants you enjoy. Thanks Dawn
Marilyn Donovan May 24, 2011 at 02:41 PM
This article sounded like a place where the food is good, but the view is even better. Looking out on a body of water where you can see ships sounds like something one would see if sitting by a window in a restaurant in Massachusetts. I would really enjoy going here, and I am sure your dad would too. Let's set up a date. Marilyn
Marty Jerome May 24, 2011 at 03:53 PM
This place sounds great:) I didn't see an address or location listed. Did I miss it?
Dawn Aulet (Editor) May 24, 2011 at 05:01 PM
Marty, There is a link to the restaurant's Web site in the story. The address is 27425 S. Will Road in Wilmington. As I mentioned, the address is in Wilmington, but the restaurant is in the village of Channahon. To get there, you have to cross the river. Exit Arsenal Road, take it all the way around down Frontage and turn right at Blogett Road. Take that to the end of the road. You can get there by following the signs the rest of the way in.
Bob Arnold May 24, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Hi Dawn, Do you have a phone # and/or is it advisable to make a reservati0n (if they in fact take them)? Thanks, Bob
Vanessa Holloway May 25, 2011 at 11:36 AM
PH: 815-476-9331. Dawn has a link in the story to the restaurant. I have been there for lunch and dinner/party. Lunch your ok without a reservation. I believe they do take reservations. It was pretty packed the last time I was there. If not, it's worth the wait.
Tara Snyder-Cload July 05, 2011 at 04:10 PM
The gumbo and the burgers at the Big Fish are our favorites! We always order and pick up while out on the boat. Great food, great employees! Maura the bartender is AWESOME! I highly recommend this place. Its a bit pricey but you get a lot of food. Restaurant.com offers some great deals for the Big Fish too!

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