We had a bad experience here last year, but were convinced by the General
Manager to give it another try, and we're glad we did. We were here to
celebrate our anniversary; it was the consolation prize because we had to
cancel our original plan for Masa's.
One of the main features of the restaurant is the magnificent view. However,
since it was very hot inland we were graced with a view of a very thick fog.
As Mark Twain said "we missed the view, but viewed the mist". After it got
dark we were entertained by an aerial show just outside the windows by a
group of bats clearing all the area of insects.
When we were seated we were immediately treated to a glass of Delamotte
Champagne. It was crisp and elegant with tiny bubbles. The amuse bouche was
Fois Gras "Ice Cream". It was actually a mousse garnished with chopped
pecans and marinated diced pears. It was very full of Fois Gras flavor that
was offset wonderfully with the sweetness of the pears and the crunchiness
of the nuts. It matched wonderfully with the champagne.
The menu is set up as a three course, four course, or tasting menu. I opted
for the 4 course and Mrs. jaweino for the three. I had Chilled English Pea
Soup with porcini oil and squash blossoms. It was very good. The pea flavor
was very strong and blended well with the porcini muskiness. The bright green
color of the soup was complemented by the muted orange of the squash
blossoms. Mrs. j had the Monterey Bay Abalone with sea urchin fondue, mirin
glazed daikon radish, and lotus chips. The abalone was easily the best I've
had in a long time. The sea urchin sauce gave an interesting accompaniment
without overpowering the delicate flavor of the abalone. With this course I had a glass of
Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2000, Adelaide Hills Australia. This had to be one of
the best Sauvignon Blancs Ive ever had. It had a delightful flowery nose and a hint of
lemon grass in the taste with non of the grassiness I often associate with SB.
For a second course Mrs. had Veal Sweetbreads with baby beets, radish salad, and
sauternes sauce. I had Pan Seared Hudson Valley Fois Gras with caramelized granny
smith apples, wild fennel pollen, and calvados sauce. I had a glass of Casa Lapostolle
Chardonnay Cuvee Alexander, Casablanca Valley Chile with this course. Both the
sweetbreads and the Fois Gras were wonderful. Both were cooked just right and the
sauce on the sweetbreads enhanced without overpowering their flavor. The chardonnay
was a crisp acidic Chablis style that perfectly offset the sweetness of the Calvados and
For the next course I had a Mushroom Cannelloni with melted leeks and shallot cracklings
with a glass of Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2000, Bandol, France. This course did not
work for me. I thought the mushrooms were too intense, although the pasta was light and
delicious and the leeks and shallots were a terrific accompaniment. The wine was light
and refreshing. Just what you want in a rose. It helped offset the richness of the
For the next course Mrs. ordered the Braised Beef Short Ribs with whipped potatoes and
white truffle oil. I had the Glazed Loin of Veal with caramelized onions, red wine
reduction and bone marrow emulsion with a 1998 Michel Gros Vosne-Romanee 1er cru
Clos des Reas Burgundy. Both these dishes and the wine were heavenly. After all that
food we did not leave a crumb.
For dessert we had a Meyer Lemon Soufflé Tart which had a very tart lemony flavor and
the lightness of a soufflé. It was excellent. We also Caramelized Apples with Candy Cap
ice cream, which was also very good. It was the best candy cap dessert Ive ever had.
Candy caps are a wild mushroom with a very sweet maple syrup like flavor. The flavor
came through very pronounced. It seems to me that there was something else on the
plate, but I dont remember what. The Candy Cap was the focal point of interest to me.
With dessert I had a glass of !999 Inniskillin Niagara Peninsula Riesling Ice Wine, which
The only glitch in the service was that we were never asked if we wanted coffee, which we
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