Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some things enjoyed in wine country...

I wish I could say that this post offered recipes, but it is truly just an excuse for me to, ahem, brag about a few things we ate on vacation as well as make a couple recommendations should you in the Mendocino, CA or Portland, OR areas. 

At Cafe Beajulois (www.cafebeaujolais.com) in Mendocino we weren't expecting to be impressed. We'd eaten at a place the night before (MacCallum House Inn - it is also a B&B - http://maccallumhouse.com) and found it to be ok, but certainly not up to the hype that preceded it. So when we arrived at the Cafe, which is a small house converted into a quaint eatery, we were hungry but hadn't been banking on what T is still calling "the best meal of my recent life."

Delicious 2009 Esterlina Vineyards Pinot Noir. Amazing.
Especially considering we'd had lunch at that very winery.
T's claim of the best thing he ever ate...as copied from the menu itself:

Petaluma Duck Two Ways (Crispy Skin Breast and Leg de Confit),
Caramelized Onion Buttermilk Spätezle, Wilted Kale & Balsamic Jus Lié. 
No mere filet mignon...more like a truffle-topped step into heaven. 
Again, as per the menu: Niman Ranch Filet Mignon, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, 
Sautéed Broccolini, Truffle Butter,  Sauce Au Poivre. 
We concluded that meal by not only finishing our wine, but with a cheese platter that did not disappoint either.

On our way back we also stopped in Portland and ate a shockingly GREAT lunch at 50 Plates (http://50plates.com/) which is located in the historic and hip Pearl District of the city. The place has great service, a menu that is both mind-blowing while remaining fairly healthy and is affordable (at least for lunch, though I cannot imagine dinner would break the bank). 

Seafood Chowder, courtesy of 50 Plates in Portland, OR. Chock full of
seafood including mussels, clams and giants chunks of a white fish. Not to
mention the peppery, tomato-based broth and large cuts of new potatoes. 
More from 50 Plates...this is the BLT&T. So the amazing BLT,
on a crispy tortilla, coated with garlic aioli mayo and rare Ahi tuna.
What's not to love? Oh, and ps, the bacon was more of a chopped bacon
jelly, so while there were pieces of actual bacon, it was all over the sandwich!
So that's that. Now, assuming you have all enjoyed a little food porn, I will return to normal food posts with recipes next.....perhaps some grilled Hawaiian Ono and garlic clove & spinach salad? Stay tuned....

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