Posted several weeks ago re: anniversary dinner without the twins (our first "adult" night out). We wound up at Beauregard's on Solano Ave. in Albany for a variety of non-interesting reasons. Our initial impression was bad: the hostess attempted to seat us in the middle of the room in a half-full restaurant despite the fact that we had reservations. She was reluctant to move us to a table by the wall since it wasn't set up yet. We insisted. I was bugged, as was DH. Here we were, dressed up, on a big date, with reservations, etc. I worked many years in the food business (hostess/busser, waitress and manager) and am sensitive to "unprofessional" or simply unhelpful/unfriendly/unaccomodating attitude. (On the other hand, I am very appreciative of good service.) We were moved, grudgingly. So DH decided to complain to the manager. Wound up speaking with the owner himself (and chef), and got an apology. We had excellent service from that point on . . . .
I just want to add that we ate at B's once before when MIL was in-town (with boys in tow). It was lunch-time and we had excellent accomodating service from the get-go.
Anyway, for starters DH had the parmesan gnocchi. It's made with choux paste and has a creamy, cheesy but not too heavy sauce. I tried one and appreciated the light texture and subtle creamy flavors (but this type of dish is not my thing). I had a small pear/gorgonzola/walnut salad. It was perfectly balanced: just enough of each ingredient and perfectly dressed (sherry viniagrette) and the mesclun was nice and fresh. DH asked for a wine rec. and took it. 2003 Edna Valley Syrah: smooth, flavorful, med. body. Yum.
For entrees DH had 1/2 rack of baby back ribs served with a green bean potato salad. I had a rib: delicious meat, slightly sweet, thin sauce with only a hint of spicy. We both loved the ribs. I did not try the salad. I had the wild mushroom pizza with added goat cheese. The waiter was very accomodating: I requested no additional roasted garlic (turns out the mushrooms are pre-sauteed with garlic, so it's plenty garlicy anyway) and asked to have the kitchen go light on the mozzarella/fontina cheese base. The pizza was very tasty, med-thin flavorful crust from woodburning oven, garlicy shrooms, good amount of goat cheese and light on the base cheese as requested. Waiter recommended Starry Night Zinfandel with the ribs. Another nice wine, spicier, dryer and a good match. We were comped our dessert choice: chocolate lava cake. Served with vanilla icecream (perfect slightly melty), raspberry and chocolate sauces. Tasty, but the cake itself was a bit dry, maybe a tad overcooked?
In all, a nice outcome after a rocky start. We lingered for almost 2 hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The owner/chef came out and chatted (it was his anniversary too) and asked about our twins. The waiter was very cordial. We left a very generous tip.