Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Point Pinos Grill

Point Pinos Grill, Pacific Grove, California: it was an excellent meal. But I forgot my photographic device and took some very mediocre pics with my cell phone and I have no idea how to put them on here. So, not many pics but excellent food and a very pleasant ambiance. 

We went for several reasons: BGK has been here several times for lunch and breakfast; the restaurant is trying to establish a dinner clientèle amid some grumblings from local Pacific Grove residents about possible noise and nuisances. I can only speak for ourselves but we were neither noisy nor a nuisance...I think. The restaurant is housed in the golf club house with a day-time view of golf course and sea. It's a nice space in the evening too - lots of window and stone with restrained furnishings and proper napery, cutlery and glassware. The wait staff were pleasant and discreet, knowledgeable and helpful. One of the two chefs, Dory Ford was chef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I am told - cooking for people rather than the finny ones I imagine. The little freshly baked biscuits were too good - they demanded to be eaten. The menu is interesting: from amongst the many appetizers we chose to share the Dungeness Crab and Foraged Mushroom Strudel which provided a more than decently sized fully-flavoured bite for each of us. Delicious. We drank a good wine from Navarre in Northern Spain. 

BGK chose to eat Foie Gras with Toasted Brioche for her meal and we chose not to taste it. Her report is that it was very good but not as good we do it - but, you know, that's a hard act to follow. The rest of us decided to split three main courses and share equitably - always a gamble! AK chose Maple Bourbon Pork Belly which came with a bread pudding leek waffle - what a good invention - and pickled chanterelles. The pork was glossy and slow cooked, the waffle surprising and very good in flavour and texture. 

KK opted for Dijon Crusted Arctic Char with braised endive, a triangular spinach risotto cake (a big improvement on risotto balls) and a pomegranate gastrique. I'm a bit iffy about all this gastrique business (see but it was tartly delicious with the tasty, crispy skin of the fish. I had never eaten char and I recommend it, firm-fleshed and slightly pink, it stood up well to being the last of the three dishes I ate and thus slightly cooler than one might prefer. 

I chose the dish pictured below - a simply fabulous Rabbit Fricassee with baby potatoes in red, white and blue, carrot dumplings (not my favourite), cubed, roasted salsify (excellent) and a tasty but misplaced Quince Mostarda (mostarda is defined by Wiki as an Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard flavoured syrup) - for me, the mostarda was too emphatic and sweet but would have been delicious with the Foie Gras, and the carrot dumpling was heavy and tasted a little of baking powder. The rabbit though, was one of the best rabbit dishes I had ever eaten (and I do a very good Rabbit in Mustard, White Wine and Crème Fraîche - yes I do) was perfectly cooked and tender in white wine beurre blanc sauce. We asked for a spoon.

Tasty rabbit 
We ate no dessert but I want to go back for breakfast and lunch but probably not this visit unless I can swing lunch tomorrow...When you read the menu, you think, as often one does - oh, OK, hmmm - really? And then you see and taste the food - how's this for Heuvos rancheros?

I urge you to go on their Facebook page, ogle the photos and dribble a little...

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