First of all, thanks for the replies to my original post. (and no, no one went swimming at the crater, but it's still a brilliant idea). The five of us made the drive to Heber. The "historic" village is pretty cheesy, but the restaurant itself was comfortable, inviting, and fun. Service was great.
We started by sharing the wild mushroom crustini and salad, and the corn cakes with grilled shrimp. the flavor of the crustini was wonderful, although the bread was a bit soggy. nevertheless, it was a big hit. the corn cakes rocked. they're really not cakes, they're muffins. but terrific. lots of corn flavor, a terrific chipotle sauce, and the grilled shrimp were perfect.
we were relaxing, enjoying cocktails and wine, and were not in any way rushed by the server to order entrees.
What we did eventually order: I had a special appetizer of calamari and shrimp with a slaw. A huge portion. I wasnt all that thrilled about the seafood, it wasnt bad, just not thrilling. also, I was already kind of full. But let me tell you, the slaw was the hit of the evening. I'm not exactly sure what was in it, all I know is it was incredibly inventive and just simply a revelation. Ok, maybe a bit of hyperbole for slaw, but it convinced me the chef is smart and interested in what he's setting out.
Our young diner had mac and cheese, it looked good and I would have stolen a bite but she was busily doing wifi games with another little munchkin at the next table and she had a pointy stylus in her hand. i was too full to risk it.
My friend from NYC had the mushroom risotto with shrimp added on. He seemed very happy. Other two diners ordered the lamb loin (not thrilled with it, but loved the mountain of veggies served with it) and the final diner had the trout, which she liked a lot.
We ordered a side of greens and of carmelized carrots, both delicious but totally superfluous. The portions of all the dishes are huge. We had more than enough food.
No room for dessert, but I can guarantee you we'll be back. Dinner for five with two bottles of wine (Chateau St. Jean Chard) and a manhattan (mine, really good) came to two hundred fifty, which included the tip.
Next time my friend from NYC comes out, it's his turn to treat. I know where he will want to go.