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First visit to Cafe Halie - Pasadena

Suvro | Dec 1, 200411:33 AM

In an architecturally interesting building on a quiet part of Green Street, this is quite an interesting restaurant. From SIV's review, the building was graced by the presence of Einstein when he spent some time at Caltech. You enter through a courtyard into a dark foyer, and a narrow passageway on the left leads to the L-shaped dining rooms. There is also a wine bar on one side - which we never saw.

Four our group of 11 diners, we had brought 3 bottles of our own wine (CA and OR Cabernets and CA Pinot Noir) because of the reasonable corkage fee of $10 (really great stemware). I started with their foi gras appetizer special. Pan seared, and served with figs and a slightly sweetened syrup, it was good, but ended up reminding my taste buds of the version at Spago and WD-40 in NYC. My wife had the shrimp cake - I had a taste of it - quite good and decent portion. Some had ordered a salad (I think the beet salad), which seemed like a miniscule construction on a largish plate.

By the time the entrees were coming, we had run out of wine - so we chose from their excellent collection - an Argentinian red and another which I cannot remember. When we ran out of this (hmmm...) we also ordered an Italian 2000 Amarone - this was slightly disappointing knowing how great Amarones can be.

My entree was in the special for the day - grilled salmon over cilantro rice. The salmon was grilled perfectly, and the cilantro rice was superb - just the right amount of spicing. The veggies were limp and could have been woken up with a lime sauce or something similar.

For dessert, I shared a chocolate gateau with my wife - nice flavor with a pool of 2 sauces. Did not see the bill - but had a really good time.

This is an alternative for fine dining with clients if Parkway Grill proves too noisy.

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