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Saddle Peak - seating & menu recs?

Going to Saddle Peak for the first time (finally!) - and would like to know what your rec is for 'best seat'. I've seen some posts with table by fireplace recs - and other for upstairs.... Not sure if I should just leave it up to the maitre'd or if I should request. Thoughts?

Also - any recent menu suggestions -- I was planning to go for the elk!

TIA!

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  1. Patio, weather cooperating of course.

    Can't go wrong with the elk. Also, if it's offered the chili is great as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I second that, the patio is beautiful and the elk is wonderful

      1. re: budlit

        thanks - have an 8pm res. - so it might be too chilly for me on the patio....

        1. re: The Oracle

          There are heat lamps.

          That being said, summer is probably the best time to dine al fresco at SPL.

    2. The elk is great. When I went, they also had sort of a game sampler entree which included I think elk, quail, and buffalo, so it might be good to order to be able to try it all.

      Despite the many reports on Chowhound, we also succumbed to ordering the dessert sampler but agreed with everyone else that the bread pudding was the way to go and should have ordered this alone.

      1. If you're there early enough for dinner, or going for brunch, the patio is wonderful; note, though, that it can get chilly as the sun goes down (and it ducks down behind the mountains earlier than it does on the coast), so if you're coming for dinner after, say, 6:15 or so you might want to be inside, because it'll be dark by the time you are 3/4 of the way through your meal and you might get cold outside.

        Inside, there is the large main room downstairs and three smaller rooms upstairs -- the "library" and two others whose names I can't recall. If you are going for a romantic occasion, a table near the fireplace in the main room can't be beat -- UNLESS you are put off by the thought of stuffed animal heads watching you as you eat, in which case you won't want to be anywhere in the main room. The upstairs rooms are also lovely, though they don't (as I recall) feature the large bent-willow chairs in the main room. But in reality, you won't feel like a second-class citizen no matter which room you end up in.

        As to menu, I firmly second the elk recommendation; I've had it several times, and it was better than the best filet mignon I've ever had -- tender, flavorful, and not a bit gamy. Last time I was there I had the "Berkshire pork duo of loin and braised belly," which was also excellent. The dinner menu is very, VERY meat-and-game intensive (http://www.saddlepeaklodge.com/dinner...), and I have never had anything there that was less than very good. You might think about the tasting menu (look at the bottom of the menu in the link posted above), which -- in light of the regular menu's prices -- looks like a bargain and sounds terrific to boot.

        Have fun! It's a wonderful restaurant, both in terms of food, service, and ambience.

        1. The Patio has heaters. Just don't let them sit you by the waiter station, like they did to me on my Birthday.

          Sure, the elk is what everyone gets, but I like the chili, the butternut squash soup, the Squab and the Salmon.

          The Berkshire pork is yummy, too.

          I liked the side of mac n cheese, too.

          1. I just went last week and was intending to write a review on their tasting menu. It was FABULOUS. Highly recommended. We were trying to choose between the menu and the Elk (I've had that and it really is as good as 'hounds say) and decided to just splurge. On a side note, I had forgotten how fun and different and romantic the place is. It's so un-LA!

            Quick review:
            First Course: Yellow fin tuna sashimi - Fish was very fresh, but the vinagrette sauce was WAY too powerful. Scrape that off and you're good to go.

            Second Course: Risotto with grilled quail and shaved foie gras - Absolutely lovely. Risotto was perfectly cooked, slightly sweet (maple pecan I think). Grilled quail was terrific, slightly smoky flavor. I was practically gnawing the bones, it was so good.

            Main Course: Duo of wild boar - braised shoulder and seared boar saddle. WOW this duo was good. Braised shoulder was this big meatball of shredded bbq meat. Seared boar was unbelievably good - slightly pink in the center, not gamey at all, tender as can be. It really reminded me of a very good steak, but without such a 'dark' flavor.

            Dessert: Panna Cotta. I'm not a big panna cotta (or dessert) fan so I can't tell you if this was good or not. I liked it fine.

            anyway, I've been raving about this meal ever since and I'm trying to think of a good excuse to go back!

            If you go, please post your report!

            1 Reply
            1. re: maybelle

              Mmmmm, Saddlepeak! The elk is definitely the best, but I wish they'd mix up the prep methods; the best elk I had there had a cab reduction & a slice of fois gras...My favorite room is the one at the very top; it's so small, it has the least amt. of tables. I love their creme brulee; the best I ever had was the lemongrass...This is one of my favorite restaurants; please post a report!