New in downtown Batavia is the WindMill Grille & Pizzeria, launched at the northern corner of the plaza off Island Avenue near Houston Street, a spot long home to Italian food. And while there are lots of Italian dishes on the menu, the family-owned restaurant also ventures into other culinary territory.
The interior has a relaxed atmosphere, with seating in the dining room or in the separate lounge off the bar, offering comfortable high-tops and tables, with televisions.
Our server was top-notch and went above and beyond to make the meal special. When I asked if there was anything gluten-free that could be served with the spinach artichoke dip in addition to its pita accompaniment, she suggested cucumber slices. She had the kitchen add thick-cut diagonals whose fresh crunch was a great addition to the warm pita triangles.
Because of the adjusted appetizer order, our server thoughtfully inquired if there were any allergy issues the kitchen should accommodate.
She kept soft drink refills coming without being asked, and replenished the sliced Italian bread we’d made disappear, dipping it into olive oil and grated Parmesan.
A friend selected the pasta carbonara, adding chicken to the dish prepared with bacon and a Parmesan cream sauce, accented with green peas for a colorful flourish.
“It is perfection,” he said. “The sauce is smooth and velvety with a hint of bacon that rounds out the flavor profile.”
Another ordered the plant-based Beyond Burger, served with pepper Jack cheese, arugula, tomato, caramelized onions and a homemade sun-dried tomato aioli he raved about. He liked the mix of toppings and the lightly grilled firm bun that held it all together. For his side, he picked one of the seasonal offerings, a couscous salad.
I enjoyed a personal gluten-free pizza, with its crisp crust topped with mushrooms, onions and green pepper. Another diner chose a regular pizza with sausage, spinach, pineapple and mushrooms.
“They craft a very good crispy-thin crust with the appropriate amount of tasty toppings for a really fine pie,” he said.
Outdoors, a fountain and fire pit are focal points off the patio seating, set near the pedestrian bridge over the Fox River and the Batavia Riverwalk.
The menu offers a variety of sandwiches from a New York strip to Hot Nash Crispy Chicken, along with steaks, chops, seafood, Italian entrees, and a Cajun bang salad with beer-battered shrimp. A dish that caught my eye features grilled cod topped with sauteed shrimp, spinach, diced tomatoes and artichoke hearts in an Alfredo sauce.
The restaurant serves family package meals that feed four to five, and require an advance order.
After our warm welcome, we intend to head back, leaving room for one of the specialty coffees with dessert.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: WindMill Grille & Pizzeria
WHERE: 90 N. Island Ave., Batavia