nice lunch place in Temecula? [Califoria]
I'm meeting a date for lunch in Temecula (I'm driving from LA, date from San Diego) on Sunday. I don't know the restaurants in Temecula at all. Looking for a nice place for a lunch date. Good food and nice ambiance, and open on Sunday during the day. Any ideas? Hoping to find something with a little character, hopefully not a chain restaurant. Any ideas?
We've enjoyed Meritage at Callaway Winery several times. It's beautifully positioned in the vineyards so that if you didn't know you were in Temecula you might be in Sonoma. (Nothing ugly in the views) The food is good enough, and the service is pretty good. (A real chef in the kitchen.) But the main thing is it doesn't feel like you're in Temecula, and it's very pretty-- if that's the kind of place you want for your date. They are fairly busy and open on Sunday. I've heard a young couple bought Callaway. Not very good wines, but you can choose from a list of varietals which one you'll drink with lunch and you can get tastings and small glasses. After lunch, the tasting room is very modernized. (Not to my liking but a semi-happening kind of place, compared to other Temecula wineries. Fewer bridesmaids on a spree.) If this is all too romantic sounding, downtown Temecula is CA-quaintish with a pretend-Western downtown with tons of gifty shops, and there are lots of restaurants there.
Oddly enough I just passed through Old Town Temecula about an hour ago (10:30 am Saturday) and the place was busy... lots of people walking around window shopping and dining at the outside restaurants. The main drag is decorated for the Holidays and it looks like it would be a fun place to wander around for a few hours.
If you cook or drink tea you might check out the Old Town Spice Merchants. I've never been there but a friend I trust speaks highly of them.
Cafe Champagne at Thorton Winery has nice views from the patio and the food is decent, though it can be hit or miss. Would not order any wines, either plonk or ridiculous prices.