Ersun Ozer opened The Mediterranean Grill in 2004 after extensive remodeling transformed his space at 42 S. Park Ave. in Helena into a comfortable and warm atmosphere complete with an outdoor patio. Now, 15 years later, the grill is still serving up fresh meals highlighting countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, along with an enviable wine list.
With an inventory of more than 2,500 wines and over 130 choices, the proper pairing of wine and food is a major focus. The restaurant was awarded the 2018 Wine Spectator Restaurant award. Not a surprise, since Ozer selects these wines from Argentina, Armenia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, Turkey, the Middle East and Northern Africa. He also adds wines from California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and any place that sells wine that complements authentically prepared Mediterranean meals.
In addition to the extensive wine selection, Ozer offers local beers in season and imported beers from Turkey, France and Scotland. Soft drinks, coffee and tea, soda, sparkling water, fruit juices – all are available. The deserts are plentiful and authentic.
Vegan, gluten-free and other dietary food options are available.
The Mediterranean Grill employs about 25 people to serve around 100 people when the restaurant is full. Ozer credited his wife Gunsel for the success of their restaurant and their family, including their two younger children.
Ozer came to the U.S. from Turkey to go to graduate school after finishing his undergraduate degree in business from Aegean University in Izmir. He attended Western University of Colorado and got his MBA in finance and management. When he first opened the grill, Ozer had lived in Helena for about 14 years and working in the college food service area.
Executive Chef Guy Hulin is an international chef, having worked in Paris, Tahiti, Bangkok, London, Seoul and Saudi Arabia, as well as in the U.S. Executive sous chef Ken Masse has been with Ozer for 13 years to manage the kitchen to make sure the consistency of day-to-day production and services are accomplished.
The Mediterranean Grill offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, with brunch served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, call 495-1212 or visit www.mediterraneangrillhelena.com.