Sunday, February 8, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me See...

Richie has been asking where I want to go for a gala Valentine's Day dinner. If we were going to Palm Springs (we're not) it would be easy - Roy's! Locally we have a number of good restaurants -- Saint-Raphel and 320 Catalina (both previously reviewed) could be equally-weighted contenders. Here are both of their menus to give you an idea what I'm up against. Gluttony never rests (sigh) ...

320 Catalina ( Five courses; $65 per person

Tomato bisque (aka cream of tomato soup)

Beet and Herb Goat Cheese Terrine with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Maine Lobster Ravioli with Ginger Beurre Blanc

Prime Ribeye Medallions, Wild Mushroom Tart and Black Truffle Bearnaise

Strawberry Tart, Vanilla Cream, Rose Gastrique (edible rose petals would be my best guess)

Saint Raphael ( Three courses with choices - $60 per person

Asparagus wrapped with smoked salmon and caviar with a tequila-lime creme fraise
Fois gras terrine with fig chutney and toasts
Jumbo lump crab cake with basil coleslaw and mango salsa

Filet mignon with barbecued Maui sweet onions with a cognac and peppercorn sauce
Honey-citrus rack of lamb with cucumber and mint relish
Rock lobster with peaches and herbs and a lobster-vanilla emulsion
Wild mushroom-crusted halibut with a vodka-lime mousseline

Port-wine pached pear stuffed with rum raisin ice cream
Triple strawberries -- as a mousse, coated with dark and white chocolate and a strawberry coulis

Of the two, Saint Raphael's is the more ambitious. The kitchen at 320 Catalina can just count reservations, prepare accordingly and serve them off -- tick, tick, tick.

Pity that both restaurants couldn't team up and do a buffet of ALL of the above! I'd pay good money for that!

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