PORT ORANGE, Fla. - Stonewood Grill & Tavern

After spending three weeks in the Daytona Beach, Fla. area in the fall, I found one of the biggest challenges was getting a good meal in upscale surroundings. Fortunately, Stonewood Grill & Tavern offered such an experience.

I'm not big on reviewing chain restaurants as stores don't vary much from one to the other, but Stonewood Grill & Tavern is part of a small-ish (10 store) Florida chain. And especially if you're in the Daytona Beach area, there isn't much between the big chains like Chili's and the small, dive-y type restaurants where anything other than a ratty T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops is overdressed.

Stonewood is a nice middle ground.

Stone bits app and wine
I've only been there for happy hour but they offer it seven days a week, which is nice. Most places only offer happy hour Monday thru Friday, and some around here only do Monday thru Thursday, so happy hour until 7 p.m., seven days a week is a welcome change.

I had the Stone Bits appetizer, which the menu described as "Garlic marinated filet mignon, flash seared, with house horseradish dressing." My server said the kitchen normally prepares it medium but they were happy to do mine medium-rare when I requested it.

Served with cornichons and slices of toasted baguette, it was quite good, and a modest entree for one. The horseradish sauce had too much mayo and too little horseradish for my taste, but my server brought some straight horseradish upon request.

Along with a Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir from Chile, I was set for the evening, and not set back too much in terms of the bill.

Service at the bar was good, the atmosphere was pleasant, the food tasty and the prices weren't bad, making Stonewood Grill & Tavern an excellent option for those who don't want a chain of a dive.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo by Carl Dombek
Click on photo to view larger image