Wednesday, August 20, 2008

After the holidays - fancy feasts

This will be the last US Holiday post I think. I'm getting a bit overwhelmed remembering all this and sorting through all the pictures :). And to be honest, my fingers are kind of itching to post some actual recipes. I've made some cool stuff recently.

But this is definitely not the least, even if last, of the vacation food posts. This is a small collection of the fancier meals we had.

We spent some time in La Jolla, near San Diego. Our favorite place to eat there was a pub-like place called The Spot. But in spite of it's humble interior, it really is premium food. And I had my first ever lobster there.
It was served with julienned vegetables, melted butter and garlic-mash and it was really great. I've kept my lobster-eating apron :)

But besides the lobster, which I kind of expected to be a hit, we were seriously humbled by the dessert that came after it. And to think that I was trying to weasel my way out of it and exchange it for a cheese-cake. The Spot's specialty - their bread pudding with vanilla custard and whipped cream was one of the most divine desserts I've ever had. It was super smooth and just heavenly. So if anyone knows how to make it, I'd be most grateful.

Besides The Spot, we also dined very graciously in Temecula. We went to an Italian place called Francesca's Italian Kitchen (apparently after the chef's wife). The chef himself and Francesca (the hostess) were both there and frankly, they're complete nutters :). So it was a meal with a show. Entertaining, but to a group of very tired Northeners as ourselves - a little overbearing. Francesca actually sang a bit of an opera for us (yes!). Being 'Italian' was their business and they took it seriously (although I'm pretty sure their accents were a lot less thick when they closed up and drove home). But enough of the moaning, all in all it was a cool experience and truly delivered both the bread and the circuses. Plus Francesca was very kind to hook us up with some wine tasting coupons and give us some pointers on where to go, who brings in their grapes, who grows their own etc.

And the food was excellent. We all went for chef's specials. A bunch of us had veal or lobster ravioli (me included) and Siim had fillet mignon in creamy sauce served with a side of what I think was crispy fried leek.
The only disappointment was the cheesecake, which was too fluffy, not cheesy enough and must have been deep-freezed and then microwaved.

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