It was that time of year again. Time to make a special reservation at a new restaurant to mask the fact that I am yet another year older. The tradition came about by accident and began the year I turned 30. Indulging in the rich smells and invigorating atmosphere of the newest eatery seemed to ease the blow of becoming 30. This year I decided to invite a few friends along to celebrate with us.
I was reading Illinois Magazine back in December when an American roadhouse in Effingham named Firefly Grill caught my eye. After reading about the owners and seeing their accolades, I immediately thought of it for my yearly birthday feast. I liked the look of the elevated comfort food and the prices seemed reasonable for a special occasion. I made my reservations a few weeks later.
This year my birthday feast turned into a bit of a road trip, (firefly grill is an hour and a half from home) so we recruited our friends Wes and Kaneesha to come along on our joyful eating excursion. The trip was quick with friends to keep us company and before we knew it we were driving up to the large barn exterior of the Firefly Grill. I liked the blue lighting on the outside, it makes the building look elegant and modern.
Once on the inside we were greeted warmly by the hostess. She promptly ushered us to our table by the back windows and I commented on how I would love to sit on the big deck during the spring and summer months. Our waiter was timely and greeted us with an air of ease and friendliness. We ordered chocolate martini’s for the girls and domestic beers for the boys while we perused the appetizers. I already had my whole meal planned out of course. I always check out the menus online beforehand out of sheer anticipation and excitement! My husband and I decided on shrimp cocktail, which we soon found out was $3.50 a shrimp and not $3.50 for an order (normally 5-6 shrimp right??). The shrimp was so meaty and sweet and fresh I wish I could have ordered 12!! My friends and I also shared made to order onion rings which were crispy and not too oily. I enjoyed the fact that the rings came with three house made sauces. The hit of the appetizers was the spinach and goat cheese salad with fried goat cheese on the side. My friends told me it was fresh, well dressed, and the goat cheese was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Lastly we got the Dungeness crab purses, which my husband told me were his favorite part of the meal.
After we finished our appetizers and ordered another round of drinks we decided on our entrees. While we waited for our meal a loaf of crusty french bread was brought to the table along with an olive oil, herb and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce. It was divine!
The main course was brought out hot and in a timely manner. My husband and I decided on the eye of rib or rib eye steak with compound herb butter a micro green salad and garlic mashed potatoes. The rib eye was cooked to a perfect medium rare and had a nice crust on the outside. The beef was tender and fresh. The richness of the herb butter really added to the (my) mouth-watering experience. I also enjoyed the bite of vinegar from the dressed salad of micro greens placed on top of the meat.
Kaneesha had the liver and onions and was not disappointed. She described the liver as melt in your mouth and flavorful. It must have been because when I turned to look at her plate, it was empty. Wes had the cheddar polenta and mushroom ragu with braised pork shank. Wes described the pork as falling off the bone and delicious. He also had a clean plate that evening.
Last but certainly not least was dessert! I got a brownie sundae that was dressed table side. My hubby got a beautiful tiramisu that was presented in a lovely dessert glass and garnished with chocolate shavings. Our friends got a Belgian waffle with fresh fruit and house made whipped cream. The brownie was gooey, chocolatey and rich, dressed with house made whipped cream, chocolate covered peanuts, chocolate and caramel sauce. Amazing!! The waffle while yummy was nothing special unfortunately.
Overall we had a wonderful experience! The food was high quality and thoughtful and the staff was kind and courteous. It was definitely worth the trip! We’ll all go back again for sure!
1810 Ave of Mid America Effingham, IL
Price Rating: $$$