Dinner Saturday at bendean was exceptionally good. Two of us, as usual, ordered too much food. But we really wanted to taste as much as possible! Nothing disappointed.
We started our meal with glasses of a fine, crisp and acidic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. As a first course I had a salad of chicories, pear, hazelnut and bleu cheese. This was lovely-bitter, sweet and savory. Mr. Bamis enjoyed his wild mushroom galette that was deeply flavored of earthy mushrooms in a flaky pastry and accompanied by a small salad.
Our next course was a split order of Gemelli Carbonara made with Hobbs bacon. This pasta dish was richly flavored with the cheese and bacon-the best example of Carbonara we have ever had.
As main courses we had a Hanger steak with garlic french fries. The steak was tender and flavorful and cooked perfectly medium-rare. The heaping pile of crispy-garlicky fries was addictive. Mr. Bamis' entree was a Panko-encrusted pork-loin chop that was at once crisp, rich and juicy and absolutely greaseless. The chop was topped with a pile of chicories, currents, pine nuts and capers. We also shared a hunk of heaven in the form of bleu cheese bread pudding. This was absolutely amazing! It was unlike anything we had had before.
We washed all this down with a bottle of Napa Syrah.
Although we had no room, we managed to complete our meal with a caramel-apple-almond crisp topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. The crisp was not exceptionally sweet-just perfect with the rich ice cream.
Portions were more than ample-we just ordered and ate too much because we like to do so. Service was friendly, knowledgable, gracious and efficient. The room was full and buzzing. We found bendean to be a busy, but comfortable restaurant. We will definitely return. Cost was $165 inclusive.
1646 Solano Avenue
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