This month, Terry features Mike Dianna's Grill Room, when you are looking for something other than seafood in Corolla
OK, let's face it. Not everyone who comes to the Outer Banks wants to eat seafood all the time. There are those for whom the perfect meal is a big, juicy steak or a mammoth grilled pork chop no matter where they are. If you are one of those carnivores, let me tell you about Mike Dianna's Grill Room, located in the TimBuck II Shopping Center in Corolla.
I can’t talk about the Grill Room without talking about its owner, Mike Dianna. The restaurant is a reflection of Mike in every way. It's generous in size and in heart, it's welcoming, it's comfortable, and it's fun. Just like Mike. With its large front deck and gorgeous sound views in the back, it’s a place to relax and kindle relationships with family and friends, the important people in your life, as you share a delicious meal and a bottle of wine and maybe listen to some great music on a summer evening. This is what Mike is all about. When he welcomes you into his restaurant, he is welcoming you into his home.
The Grill Room started out as JK's in 1999. Mike was the manager there from its opening, and eventually became the owner. After much thought and wanting to add a more personal touch to his restaurant, he changed the name to Mike Dianna's Grill Room. The restaurant has a well-deserved reputation for excellent steaks and pork chops. The meats, all natural products, are hand-selected, aged, and cut in house, often by none other than Mike himself. All the steaks and chops are marinated, seasoned and grilled over hardwood coals, which imparts a smoky aroma that's enough to make your stomach start growling and your mouth salivating. The meats are served with your choice of their house sauces or compound butters.
This is not to say that the Grill Room does not have great seafood dishes. They certainly do. Mike's crabcakes are well known for being made from local lump crab, with minimal filler. Usually, the crabcakes are served with a corn salsa, again made with fresh local ingredients. When the green tail shrimp come into season here, look for them to appear in some delicious dishes in combination with fresh local produce. Beginning May 21, there is also a Sushi and Sashimi menu, which incorporates tuna, lobster, crab, shrimp, or whatever seafood is the freshest and most seasonal available, which is served from 5:00 pm-10:00 pm.
My personal favorite entrée is the mixed grill. In this dish, you get to experience the best in both meats and seafood. (Yes, I admit it. Sometimes, this seafood lover does get a craving for steak.) An herb- marinated and grilled filet mignon kabob is accompanied by two selections of fresh seafood, ranging from tuna to swordfish to salmon to shrimp. Regardless of the composition, this is a delectable and satisfying entrée that never disappoints. I should also add that the Grill Room boasts an impressive collection of wines for every taste and budget.
True to Mike's nature, he is active in supporting non-profits and charitable organizations in the Outer Banks community. Mike has put his love of music to work in hosting and sponsoring music festivals to benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and Food for Thought. The Mustang Spring Jam will be held at the Mike Dianna's Grill Room on May 20 from 2pm-10pm. On October 13 and 14, 2012, the 2nd Annual Mustang Music Festival will be take place. Both events feature many hours of live music, great food, wine, and craft beers, and local artisans. This is a thoroughly enjoyable outdoor event that lasts well into the night time. It is well worth attending and it is for a good cause. So, mark your calendars and plan to go!
Mike Dianna's Grill Room is open seven days a week from March until October. Lunch is served on the deck from 12:00-3:00; dinner is served indoors beginning at 5:00. There is live music on the deck from Monday through Saturday, and on Fridays there is a late-night menu featuring sushi, sashimi, and other snacks. Take some time out, take your friends or your family to the Grill Room, enjoy that steak, and rekindle the important relationships in your life.