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We dined at Passionfish last night and had a lovely meal. They are such a staple in Pacific Grove and I noticed that there are no recent reviews. I've been here 3 times in the last year. They always satisfy.
The most recent occasion was my husbands birthday and I made a note on the reservation to "please put a candle on his dessert" but to my surprise and his pleasure they had put a birthday greeting right on the top of the daily menu ; -) That started the evening off on a cheerful note.
The menu was deep enough to be interesting and had a generous array of choices. We did the Striped bass crudo/pomegranate-ginger granita/seaweed ponzu for starters and while the bass was sparkling fresh and the granita was a great blend of sweet and tart, over all this was the weak point of the meal. The two main elements just did not seem to speak to each other, and the seaweed didn't draw them together. The bass is lean and really needs something to spark it.
Nancy's biscuits are always tasty, flaky and tender with a nice crunch, the honey butter served along side makes for a homey treat and we always order at least one.
For mains we had the Sea Scallop/caper-raisin-walnut relish/artichoke risotto cake and the Spoonable 12 hour lamb breast/Meyer lemon tajine/goat cheese sauce.
The sea scallop is on the starter section but made a nice entree. The scallop was perfectly cooked, tender and succulent, balanced on top of a beautifully crisp risotto cake. The relish added great texture and flavour to the plate and it was delicious.
The lamb breast was the bomb. Truly spoonable, rich and deeply flavourful, the surrounding tangine and sauce was unctuous and satisfyingly savory.
It had been a long day of wining and dining and by the time we got to afters we were pretty full, but I thought the evening needed something for a candle to perch on, so we ordered the Meyer lemon panna cotta/blood orange curd/lemon verbena crème brûlée/lemongrass meringue. I often have the panacotta here, it is so bright and refreshing! Last night was no exception, and as full as we were, we scraped the plate. All the elements were lovely on their own, but brought together into nicely composed bites elevated to a really exceptional dessert.
They may be a 'staple' but don't sell Passionfish short. They deliver an excellent experience with good service, pleasant surroundings, a reasonable noise level, and really good food. Sustainable seafood, a good wine list and a seasonal menu have made them a favorite with us for a decade.
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