We are foodies, just relocated from Los Angeles and eager to try out local fine restaurants.
In LA we routinely seeked out sampling menus with wine & cheese pairing in fine restaurants as well as ethnic hole-in-the-wall restaurants per Jonathan Gold, the famed Food Columnist weekly recommendations in the LA Times Food Section. (We did the same too in our frequent trips to Europe and Asia referring to Michelin Star Guides and had many memorable meals thus).
So with much anticipation we attended the 10.18.2017 Canyon Crest 3-course dinners with wine pairing. We understood from their website that it starts at 6pm. We got there at 5.45pm. but was surprised that the welcome wine mixer starts at 7pm. Dinner will be served at 7.30pm. We expressed annoyance at the misinformation on their website. The host suggested we start with drinks at the bar while waiting. That was a problem for us because I'm allergic to alcohol and will have to forgo the wine-pairing at dinner in the first place. Not much fun for my spouse to be drinking by himself for an hour before dinner. So we ordered 2 appetizers from the Bar Grub Menu to kill time.
The quick fried Calamari with citrus cocktail sauce, garnished with candied orange was decent. The bed of deep fried spinach it was served on was not as palatable, being somewhat greasy. The seared Ahi Tuna with julienned radish, carrots and cucumber and sweet chilli glaze was quite delicious.
The first course was amber beer and white cheese broccoli soup. The soup got cold waiting for the Ghost Pines representative's lengthy introduction about the background of the winery etc. etc. The 2nd course was Fall Marinara Turkey Oregano Meatballs on a bed of rice noodles in acorn squash sauce. That too was cold by the time the winery rep. finished talking about the wine pairing with it before we could start eating. The meatball was overdone and dry, salty, the rice noodles cold, starchy and soggy, the baby watercress garnish limp and old. The 3rd course was Kettle chips, chopped nuts & cornflakes encrusted fish with candied lemon tartar sauce, paired with Chardonnay. The fish was dry, the coating hard. Notice the same wilted baby watercress and sprouts garnish as in the 2 previous courses. Why the lack of distinctive contrast in cooking methods imparting different sensations in texture, to tickle diners taste-buds? Why not vary the color, choice of garnishes to appeal to the visual senses in plating of the food in the different courses. My husband said all the 3 wine pairing that came with the food was ho-hum also.
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