Friday, December 31, 2010

Orange Hill Restaurant

With the Holiday season come and nearly gone; it's been a busy time.  And, I haven't been on here for a while, sorry.  I thought I'd review a recent restaurant visit, it's a family tradition.  When we first moved to California we came to Christmas Eve and didn't know what to do with ourselves having no family or friends as of yet.  We went to Outback our first Christmas Eve, charming......not.  Then after a few fumbled restaurant visits we settled on Orange Hill, the ambiance is amazing, the view spectacular and the food great. 

Over the years the food sort of went downhill a bit, not hugely but it had slipped slightly  Christmas 2009 we decided to go somewhere else because the year before Orange Hill had served up a really substandard vegetarian dish for my girls.  Well our new choice had been an even worse one so we decided to head back to Orange Hill hearing that they had a new vegetarian dish on their Christmas Eve menu.  We love the feel; and frankly it felt like home we'd been so many times. 

This year the only thing that I was disappointed in was our table location.  We had specifically asked not to be placed in the bar area, it's much louder than the other sections of the restaurant.  As soon as we got there we were lead to our table in the bar area.  It was loud and I really would have liked not to be sitting right beside the bar but we did have a window table, which I guess sort of made up for all the noise.

We were pleasantly surprised by the menu and the food was amazing, every item that was chosen was delectable.  Orange Hill has upped their game, a nice surprise.   One thing that had not changed was the ambiance, and the other their delicious pesto, butter and breads.  I could literally just go there for the pesto, bread and wine.   The Christmas Eve menu is different from their normal menu and new since we last visited.  You choose an appetizer and entry and the dessert was set. 

I had the mushroom soup to start with, it was rich, earthy, a tad spicy and warm, perfect.  My husband had the beef skewers which he said were really great and full of flavor.  Then both myself and my husband had the scallops which was a great choice being that I had eaten so much of their bread and pesto.  The scallops were bacon wrapped and seared to perfection, simply delicious laid on a bed of black rice and baby bok choy.  My daughters who are both vegetarians had the mushroom raviolli as an entry which was fabulous, a very welcome surprise for vegetarian diners.  My son enjoyed the salmon which he said was delicous as was the roasted chicken enjoyed by my daughters boyfriend. 

Dessert was the chefs selection, and it could not have been a better selection.  The waiter described it as a raspberry chocolate mousse sort of thing but I tasted no raspberry in it except for small decoration drizzle on the plate.  We all tasted a hint of mint but the rich chocolate mousse was the hit of the dessert.  It was rich, really rich and anyone who knows me knows that I rarely think anything is too rich.  But being that this was so rich a quarter sized serving would have sufficed.  Other than the crust being slightly tough, it was definitely delectably delicious. 

All in all a wonderful meal, great view and wonderful company.  We'll be back for Christmas Eve dinner next year, definitely hope to be there sooner though.

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