Dine Pasadena - The Terrace - terrific value at $35 for dinner
We took advantage of the Dine Pasadena week to go to The Terrace at the Langham in Pasadena (San Marino actually) for the first time. It was a great value and a memorable experience.
The prix fixe dinner is $35 for appetizer, entree, and dessert. The portions are very large, so it was a bit overwhelming, and we brought back most of our entree portions. The menu reads (I got a signed copy by chef de cuisine Erik Schuster and Sous Chef Tony Tea):
Choice of Appetizer
1. Shrimp Cocktail, Horseradish Tomato Concasse, Lemon
2. Prosciutto Bruschetta, Burrata, Rocket Greens, Sherry Reduction
3. Seasonal Vegetable Tapas, Grilled Artisanal Bread
Choice of Appetizer
4. Duck Confit Cassoulet, White Bean Stew, Garlic Sausage
5. Veal Oss Bucco, Pappardelle Pasta, Tomato Red Wine Sauce
6. Moules Frites, Fennel Tarragon Broth, Pomme Frites
7. White Sea Bass, Sweet Corn Tamale, Romesco, Sea Beans
8. Wild Mushroom Risotto, Truffle Essence
Choice of Dessert
9. Lemongrass Panna Cotta, Pistachio Financier, Raspberry Sorbet
10. Chocolate Banana Napoleon, Chocolate Decadence, Banana Mousse
When we went in at 7:30pm, the restaurant had only two other 2-tops occupied, but by the time we left at 8:45 it was much fuller. We got bread basket immediately with a very nice tapenade of sun-dried tomatoes. We had two glasses of wine - a M. Chapoutier Cote du Rhone ($10) and a Oyster Bay Pinot Noir ($12) - both were excellent.
We shared all the items - so we got the shrimp cocktail - the tomato concasse was really awesome - it came decorated with edible daisy petals. The kick was subtle and yet it enhanced the sweetness of the 5 plump shrimps. The prosciutto bruschetta was also great - three large toasts with creamy buratta and excellent prosciutto. The sherry reduction (which I now realize was not balsamic vinegar as I was thinking while eating) enhanced the flavors.
The mushroom risotto was great, with really nice earthy flavors, enhanced with a hint of truffle oil. It was a HUGE portion - I noticed other tables getting entrees that were also very generously portioned - it seems unusual! The osso bucco was also good - one large veal shank with great caramelized marrow that was easy to scoop out - fall of the bones tender meat, and pappardelle. It came with a shaved cheese which was unusual for me - these were very white in color, and very soft with a buttery texture inside the mouth. I have not had this cheese before.
The desserts were visually superb - the lemongrass flavor in the panna cotta was very mild, but the rest of the dish made for a light dessert. In comparison, the chocolate banana napoleon was heavier, though superb in taste - specially my favorite elements were the spun threads of white chocolate, and the chocolate logs encompassing a banana mousse!
This runs from March 25-30, and if I was not leaving on a foreign trip, I would go again!