Sunday, March 09, 2008

For your dining pleasure....

About a month ago, G & I went up to the Lodge for our menu tasting. As you can tell from the photo, G was a little less than enthused about the trip. Poor guy, he was basically a captive audience while the event manager and I talked about wedding stuff for an hour solid. But onto the food:
They were awesome and had a personalized menu printed up for us to describe our choices.

Up first were the cold appetizers for cocktail hour. Starting at the top were: Smoked Salmon on Potato Cake with Creme Fraiche, Point Reyes Blue cheese with Candied Walnuts on Crouton, and Goat Cheese with Sauteed Pears on Crouton. None of these really impressed me, but G really liked the blue cheese (go figure!), so we chose that. I also went off-roading and chose a Hog Island Oyster on the Half Shell.

Moving onto the hot appetizers for cocktail hour and starting at the top: Chicken Sate, Dungeness Crab Cakes with Sherry Cayenne Mayonnaise, Five Spice Beef Sate, Garlic Rosemary Marinated Baby Lamb Chops with Mint Sauce. I'd really been looking forward to the Crab Cakes and G had been looking forward to the Chicken Sate, but neither were very good. The beef sate was good and the lamb chops were really good, but so huge that there's no way they could be eaten without a knife and fork. Since most people will be standing during cocktail hour, that seemed a bad idea. So we kept the beef for a hot appetizer.

For the starter, we tried a (unphotographed) Watercress and Endive Salad with Apple Smoked Bacon, Roquefort and Garlic Croutons, but it was fairly unsuccessful. The salad was mostly watercress and the little tails of the leaves made it difficult to eat. It tasted fine, but wasn't very exciting. We also tried two soups, Butternut Squash and Pear Soup with Toasted Pistachios, and Potato Leek Soup. You can tell by the near-empty tureen that we loved the potato-leek soup. I know--I'm as shocked as you are.

The first entree was a Roasted Chicken Breast Glazed with Lavender Honey and served with Sweet Potato Puree and Roasted Garlic Sauce. Sadly, as heavenly as lavender honey is on brioche pain perdu, it doesn't really work on chicken, so this was nixed.

The fish option is a Pan Roasted Sea Bass with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Smoked Bacon Leek Broth, and Wilted Greens. The bacon leek broth is somewhat lost in the horseradish mashed potatoes, but I really liked the potatoes, so I didn't care. =)

Finally, there is a Grilled New York Steak with Smoked Bacon-Roasted Onion Potato Gratin in a Cabernet Sauce. The steak was great, but that gratin was really, really good. Definitely a happy dish.

So that's it! All-in-all I wasn't blown away by the food, but it was pretty good overall and really good in spots. Perhaps my standards are too low for banquet food, but I'm pretty happy with the menu. I hope everyone else agrees!


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