Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Le Cigare Volant

Lunch, sometimes we go and just have such a time! We really don't go out often, at least compared to other people I know, and we will frequently go months without a meal out (when I am prepping for a competition), so when we do go out, we go out and have a really good time.

One of our favorite restaurants changed recently, so we were eager to go and experience the new food and atmosphere. We loved the previous chef and his dishes, so at the same time, we were apprehensive, we were a bit worried that we might be disappointed. 

The restaurant is in Santa Cruz, on the Pacific Coast about 30 minutes from our house. We live at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, you drive over the twisty mountain highway and pop out with a view of the Monterey Bay (on a clear day).

It is in the Bonny Doon Vineyard wine tasting room and was most recently known as The Cellar Door. A new chef was brought in and it is now called Le Cigare Volant.

Sunday I woke and was at Gold's Gym at 6:15 am, I trained Back and Biceps. I think my biceps are looking better because I am lifting really heavy (70 pound barbell curl- 3 sets of 10) and Roy also told me I should be doing Reverse Curls too. I am supposed to be doing more but am currently at 40 pounds, I think I can move up to a 45 pound bar next week. 

Then to the Farmers Market to stock up for the first part of the week and then David and I drove over to Santa Cruz. We always need to allow lots of time because the beach traffic can make the drive painfully slow, the narrow highway can be at a standstill.

We sat at the kitchen bar, we prefer this over a table as we can watch the chefs in action. It makes us feel like we are a part of the entire process. There would be no dietary restrictions at this meal.....

I have a short 4 minute slideshow below of our lunch, I will describe it for you first.

We had several glasses and flights of wine, I cannot remember them all so you must use your imagination for that! Just know this is in a winery, so the choices are vast.

I started with Ecopia Baby Lettuces in Reggiano with Hazelnut, Grapefruit. This was a plate of tender lettuces with a creamy parmesan dressing, small grapefruit segments and crispy toasted hazelnuts.

David had Charcoal-Grilled Octopus Salad with Baby Potatoes, small chilled octopus and tender purple potatoes in light dressing served in  a small wood box.

We both had Shooters: Gazpacho, Sangria. A spicy tomato with a chilled shrimp; a cucumber with a tangy yogurt ball; a chilled peach. (yum!)

Next was Farrotto with Saba Mustard.

We shared Avocado Corn Dogs, Chipotle Mustard- lime/Avocado Float, battered and fried avocado...oh my god! My advice- don't share these.

Next we shared Smoked Devil's Gulch Pork Shoulder Sliders- House Steamed Buns, Artichoke Relish. I will again order these and...not share!

And the thing that looks like a cigar on a plate? It is really food, 38 North Confit Duck Leg Cigar – Leek Ash. Again, we shared. 

So what are our thoughts on the new restaurant? We thoroughly enjoyed it! Once you see the slideshow with the food you will see why. We did however, miss the old Cellar Door and the chef, Jarrod. The food was more limited, less fussy and featured some bigger plates. The steak and frites was to die for and is not a staple on this menu. But we could tell they were still working out the kinks, still learning Chef's desires and commands. We will certainly go back several times.

A bit of wine tasting in the wine tasting room after then we stopped at Kellys French Bakery next door to pick up a lasagna, baguette and some sweets. We got a small cheesecake to take home to Cooper, David got a Custard Pullman and I got a sinfully rich Brownie. We ate these in the car with coffee...

Life is not always a diet.

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