Orlando Sentinel restaurant review: SW Grill in Daytona Beach

Stonewood Restaurant Group, which operates the Peach Valley Cafe and Stonewood Grill & Tavern eateries, has a new concept in Daytona Beach.

SW Grill is a visual delight, with a clubby vibe and an expansive view of the Halifax River. The menu mirrors the fine-dining edge with a top-notch raw bar and emphasis on premium seafood and beef selections.

Located on the first floor of the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club & Conference Center, the restaurant has a separate bar and a main dining room with windows along the yacht club's marina.

From the main entrance, guests are greeted by a hostess at a reception desk reminiscent of something you might find in a hotel lobby. And we were able to choose our table.

Our waiter was friendly, earnest and knowledgeable about the menu. A little more polish would align the staff with the prices and venue, but those things are easily worked out in a new concept.

The server was so enthusiastic about the signature cocktails that we had to try them. The Harbor-rita ($12) is a top-shelf margarita served on the rocks. It was very refreshing without any sour overtones one expects.

Our Aloha mojito ($8), made with Cruzan light and mango rums, mandarin oranges and fresh mint, was slightly unbalanced, taking a sweet turn that overwhelmed.

We started with the calamari ($10.50), which was paired with jalapeno mustard sauce. The tender squid was soaked in buttermilk and lightly breaded. The coating had nicely balanced notes of paprika and cayenne.

Equally good was the crab and corn chowder ($7). The creamy mixture was full of sweet corn kernels and shellfish meat.

The Caesar salad ($5.50) was a classic interpretation with shaved Parmesan and the option for anchovy fillets.

Stonewood Grill never has failed me with a steak, so expectations were high for the prime rib ($27 for 12-ounce, $36 for 16-ounce) with rosemary au jus and creamy horseradish. The medium-rare slab was full-flavored and juicy.

Equally impressive was the lobster and shrimp ravioli ($24) tossed with sun-dried tomatoes and a buttery lemon sauce. The grassy asparagus tips tempered the richness and sweetness of dish.

For dessert, we opted for key lime pie ($8). The custard's consistency was perfection, but it needed a little more pucker on the finish to live up to the name.

Service was good, but multiple dishes coming to the table need to be paced to avoid plate jams with appetizers, salads and main dishes.

If the concept moves forward, SW Grill is an interesting addition to the locally based dining mix.

Chef Chuck Jaloski oversees the culinary program for all of Stonewood and chef David Bolanos oversees the SW Grill. Both have keen eyes for quality.

The new kid in the family shows great promise with a few growing pains to work out.

hmcpherson@tribune.com or 407-420-5498

The Dish

on dining

SW Grill

** 1/2

Where: 861 Ballough Road in Daytona Beach, at Sunset Harbor Yacht Club & Conference Center (next to the Mason Avenue bridge)

When: 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4-9 p.m. Sunday

How much: entrees $17-$40, plus market-price items; sandwiches $11-$17

Beverages: Full bar

Wines by the glass: From $6

Extras: Waterfront view, good for groups, private dining, event facilities, accepts reservations

Attire: Business-casual to chic

Noise level: Nice buzz

Credit: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Call: 386-947-9900

Online: Swgrill.com and Facebook

Diningon a budget

The sandwiches ($11-$17) are hefty and the crab-cake appetizer ($13.50) with a corn maque choux (a classic Cajun version of succotash) and sweet tomato jam is filling.

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