After IC aired, Husband made reservations to try the winning menu. Friends wanted to try it as well so last night we all headed out to try it. Our friends had been to Tarbell's before but this was our first visit.
We'd called a few times in the last couple weeks to confirm the apple menu would be available(they weren't exactly sure of when they would be starting to offer it when the episode first aired). This is the first week it's being offered. But...as of last night they are still not offering the entire menu. There are a couple dishes they have not been able to perfect to the point of being happy to serve them to customers yet. One of these sadly, was the adorable candy apples! They don't have a blast chiller and and haven't yet perfected a method to get the coatings to stick to the apple balls. Bummer!
Anyway, all the way around we enjoyed our meal. The menu was very interesting and choosing was difficult in a good way. Everything sounded delicious. Also, I was pleasantly surprised at how fish and seafood heavy the menu was...this wasn't something I realized Tarbell's offered. We love fish and seafood and it is hard to find great options in this town so we're definitely keeping htis in mind for the future. Don't know if this is always the case? I know the menu changes regularly but do hope there are as many fish and seafood options in future visits.
Husband and one friend went with the smaller version of the IC menu that was available. Unfortunately they ran out of the apple celery root soup before we ordered so the evening's yam soup was offered instead. The soup was very good, full of flavor, a hint of cream and a bit of honey. We all thought it would be too sweet but this was not at all the case. The Scallop dish with the apple tamale was fabulous! This was a favorite for all of us. The Scallop was perfectly seared. The tamale was just delicious with the masa/apple combination being light and airy and not at all heavy. The salsa served with was delicious as well. The pork chop was great...tender and juicy. The apple demi sauce was great...bring a loaf of bread and some of this sauce and i'd be in heaven. Loved the apple cornbread too.
I had the seafood chowder. This was great...full of fresh fish and seafood. Lots of fresh corn lending sweetness. Heavy with all the cream but great. Had to leave half so I could get through my entree but it was hard to use self-control. Also chose the Alaskan halibut. Again perfectly seared and prepared. With a pancetta, spinach and peach hash. Loved this...would be great for breakfast with poached egg on top.
We were fascinated by the meatballs so we asked the waiter to bring one out at the very beginning of our meal. Loved this too...not at all dried out, tons of flavor. Husband really wants to go back and order spaghetti and meatballs after trying this.
For dessert we of course went with the grilled figs and humboldt fog cheese. Great contrast between the sweet caramelized figs and the strong flavored cheese. We love Humboldt Fog to begin with so nothing to complain about here.
Service was great all night. Love how relaxed the pace was...nothing peeves me more than being rushed through a nice meal.
We all agreed that if we didn't live in the hinterlands down in Chandler we'd be visiting for casual dinners at the bar quite frequently. While the bill for the evening, including a bottle of wine,a bottle of water and some coffee, was $220 it wouldn't be hard to stop in and have an inexpensive meal either. The pizzas looked great and are very reasonable and we all found the portions to be really generous so ordering a light dinner of just a "first plate" or splitting an entree after a salad is realistic. The atmosphere is very comfortable here.
We've been here about 7 years now and think it's a shame we've been missing out on this little gem. Definitely looking forward to future visits.