Food & Drink

February 19, 2014

What’s Good Here? Stone Fire American Grill in Elgin

Locally owned restaurant specializes in pizza

What’s good here?

Stone Fire American Grill is called Stone Fire for a reason. Centrally located in the restaurant is a true enclosed grill fired by wood purchased locally. The grill heats to at least 600 degrees; captured in the pizza dough is a unique flavor due to the grilling technique. Some of the wood-fired pizza variations include one for meat lovers: ground beef, bacon and chicken added to the typical pepperoni and Italian sausage. There is even a shrimp and feta pizza with garlic butter and mozzarella.

Customers can create their own and choose from several different toppings. Instead of pizza, try the calzones. Burgers are made from meat bought locally and ground fresh daily. The meat is so fresh that customers can order a burger rare.

The Cowboy Burger is one half of a pound and served with sliced cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, crispy onion straws and bleu cheese coleslaw. There are also turkey and veggie burgers, as well as a variety of sandwiches. For heartier appetites, there is a selection of beef, seafood and poultry entrees. The shrimp and grits features spicy sausage and a Cajun cream sauce over Adluh grits.

What else?

There are pasta favorites: lasagna, alfredo, baked spaghetti, and tomato cream. Shrimp, prime rib eye or chicken can be added to any of the pasta dishes or salads. Some of the unique sides include bacon wrapped shrimp with a capered mayonnaise, beer battered cheese sticks, and fried green tomatoes with boursin cheese and marinara.

What is the culinary theme of Stone Fire?

The restaurant opened three years ago and is owned locally. General manager Travis Porter has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 14; he attended USC for a Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management degree and is now 27. “Our goal was to have a menu that appeals to most everyone … a menu with variety. We’re not a pub; we’re a friendly neighborhood bar and grill.”

Many of the items are made from scratch. Stone Fire serves only the freshest meats and seafood – nothing frozen. “We have some traditional items, but some interesting items as well.” He adds that with specials and wine dinners, where courses are paired with certain wines, the chef can “really show his talents.” Porter especially enjoys the seafood selections at Stone Fire. “I’m a shrimp guy, and I really love the ahi tuna. But everything here is really good. We take pride in what we do.”

What is the ambiance?

Stone Fire seats 150 total, including seating on an outdoor veranda when the weather permits. There are televisions strategically placed throughout the interior. The mood is intimate, yet friendly, casual, yet sophisticated. The open bar is a gathering place for friends and couples. In the main dining room are muted gold painted walls, candlelit tables and booths, and contemporary, artistic hanging lights. A private dining room seats up to 35 for a sit-down dinner, or up to 50 for a standing event. An HD projector can be used for presentations, while the private room is available for music and dancing as well. The chefs at Stone Fire can create special menus for special occasions.

Who eats here?

Families with children, friends, and couples. “We have Lowcountry boils, oyster roasts and special pairings for events such as Valentine’s. We just want to be the place locals come for good food.”

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