The label is fully finalized and in line to be printed; I am still waiting to hear back from the FDA regarding my storage facility for internet based sales and today the order for the large batch of horseradish will be submitted. Things are really starting to get moving. And on that note, my final Disneyland Resort food review, and then back to having not too much to write about.
I don't really go out to eat at expensive places all too often. For the most part, after days of being in the kitchen, I just want something simple and quick to eat. So it's usually low brow if I go out to eat or the smallest mess possible if I somehow decide to cook at home. When I am on vacation, though, I try to make it a point to go out to eat at least once at a place where I have to put on a little more than a T-shirt and shorts. For our dinner at Napa Rose I wore a polo shirt, jeans, and Sperry's and did not feel too under dressed.
Napa Rose is in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. It is helmed by Andrew Sutton who is one of the creative forces behind Carthay Circle in Disney California Adventure and the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland Park, which I really wish I could eat at, but the chances of that happening are pretty freakin' slim.
Chef Andrew Sutton, Chef de Cuisine Gloria Tae and staff do an excellent job here and our waitperson was knowledgeable and helpful yet unobtrusive. To everyone who works there I am sorry about the pictures. I try to be as quick as possible with them. I also did not get to taking pictures of everything. I am going to try to do a better job this spring at Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table. That is unless they have a no camera's rule, which I would completely understand.
The three of us; my brother, my sister in law, and myself, were promptly sat down and we looked over our menus. I really wanted to be at the Chef's Counter for the grand tasting, but dropped the ball calling in our reservation on time. They have a more abbreviated tasting menu at the regular tables called "The Vintner's Table" and knew I was going to get that no matter what was on it.
Of course I took the time to read over the rest of the menu. My dining partners were not going to be joining me on the tasting menu and I needed to be ready to answer their questions haphazardly. I ended up adding another course to my tasting, because that's what happens when I go out to eat somewhere new. I order as much of the menu as possible.
In retrospect, I really wish I had ordered the sweetbreads as well. But I didn't. I'll add it to the list of crippling regrets in my life. But the menu, IMO, is a great one. It's diverse, fun, exciting and not douche-y with a bunch of hipster vagueness and pretense. It's expensive, but you're not going here for a good deal. IHOP is across the street and I am not knocking it, I ate there for breakfast one day, I am just saying that if you are looking for a bargain you are going to have to look off property. And really, it is a good deal at Napa Rose when you take into account attention to detail and professionalism.
My SIL's scallop was perfectly cooked and the blue shrimp had a great texture and flavor that you see more in wild caught shrimp and not like most cultivated ones. The orange bubbles and celery leaves added a nice bright flavor and freshness that is one of the hallmarks of California cuisine, and the raisins added a bit of sweetness without overpowering the natural sweetness of the scallop. The scallop was definitely large and with the shrimp worth every bit of its price.
My brother's hamachi was light and elegant and I wish that I had been able to eat more of it.
The opah was juicy, no small feat for such a lean piece of white fish. The accompaniments helped bring an almost meaty richness feel to the dish, which I really appreciated, seeing as it was a fall oriented tasting menu.
Velvety. Rich. Perfect for a cold night, which it decidedly wasn't when we were there but still great on that warm night, especially with the sparkling rose we had with our first courses. If you are wine novice remember that the most important thing with wine is that you drink what you like and what you can afford. Expensive wines aren't exactly better if it's not really a scene you are already in. If you want to keep the cost down and try something that might pair better with your food in a nice restaurant, ask your server for a suggestion from the the glass pours. This would work extraordinarily well at a place like Napa Rose where all the servers get extensive sommelier training. If you find wine intimidating I don't see any shame in just ordering a beer that you like. After all, eating out should be a pleasant experience for you and it's pretty damned hard to enjoy yourself when you are trying to be something you aren't. The rose was great; cool, crisp, and bubbly.
Rabbit. Not a ton of Americans eat rabbit. It is delicious. It is fairly chicken like in flavor, so I don't understand why. It makes perfect sense on the menu as it adds a cachet that chicken just can't fill unless you are using Bresse chickens or Japanese black chickens at which point the price of the menu would be off the carte. The "white rabbit jus," which I am reeaaaaally hoping is a play on The White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" had a great viscosity and sumptuousness that built on the previous course's richness.
Well, that does it for the Disneyland trip. It's the start of the busy season here in the Wasatch Mountains, and it's time to move the sauce to the next phase of development. It's also about four months from my trip to Walt Disney World for the Star Wars Half Marathon-The Dark Side weekend. The mileage build up starts next week. I am running it for Kellsie's Hope, a charity that provides childhood cancer patients and their families with vacations, funds for childhood cancer research, and awards scholarships to nursing students. Kellsie Marchbanks started it in the middle of her second round of treatment for osteosarcoma, and it is continued to this day by her family. If you would like to donate, you can do so here. Thanks in advance.