Dinner at Lou la Bontes (Foresthill exit, hiway 80 above Auburn). Very busy Sunday, holiday night. Saw the sign with the $9.95 prime rib anniversary special. Because of the crowd we were seated in the bar section. the bar here is more dining room than tavern so we were OK with that. A few other diners were there also. As we sat down the hostess/server informed us the prime rib was not available. It was about 8:00 pm. We stayed and ordered off the menu. Debbie ordered the fetuccini with rock shrimp, I ordered the New York steak with two kinds of mushrooms, cooked charred rare (if possible). We also ordered French Onion soup and split a spinach salad. The soup and salad came out at the same time. The soup is one of the best french onion soups I have ever eaten, sweet but with a little tang of the onion. the spinach salad was made with fresh baby spinach, green apples, blue cheese, walnuts with a distinctive vinagrette dressing. This salad was outstanding. The only problem was, it came on one plate. We told our server when we ordered that we were sharing the salad and still one plate. When she saw that we were splitting the salad, there was no offer of another plate. Other diners in the room had their salads split in the kitchen. The bartender/waiter actually fawned over one table of diners, the difference in service was noticeable. Not that our service was not up to par, mostly it was. The other table were treated like kings (or critics) and we had a few glitches.
When the entrees came they looked incredible. My wife's fettuccini was incredible, great flavor with the shrimps done just so. Sometimes rock shrimps get a little mushy, these were crisp almost. YUM! My steak, ordered charred rare (if possible) was not charred and was way too rare. The steak itself was about 1/2 inch in thickness (too thin in my book) and had some gristle that I had to return to the plate. (YECH!) The cut of meat was not what I expected for the price ($21.95-no salad). Had this not been the hostess serving us I would have returned the steak. The steak was covered with a wonderful sauce with ribbon and porchini(?) mushrooms, the flavor was incredible. My entree was accompanied by the best grilled vegetables (red bells and zuchinni). The flavor of the meal was outstanding.
Still, the steak won't keep us from coming back to Lou La Bonte's, we have had many a great meal here before, and look forward to many more. Maybe next time we won't order the steak or come early enough for the prime rib special.
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