Several times each year, the hospitality team crowds around Chef Will in our tiny kitchen to taste his newest menu creations for Deborah's Room. He describes his dishes to the Servers, our Hospitality Director, Lesley, and me (the Event Coordinator), and we all grab spoons and forks and taste each plate.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might have noticed that I always favor Chef Will’s soups. On the menu this season is a Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Potato and Piquillo Pepper Rouille, which is rich and incredibly comforting (as a winter soup should be!). A first-course surprise, though, is Chef Will’s Sonoma Foie Gras, which he serves with Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. The combination of sweet and savory is delightful and really plays with the senses. Both the soup and foie gras are paired with our 2009 Chardonnay.
My new favorite menu item comes “From the Sea” and is paired with 2009 JUSTIN Viognier: Butter Poached Lobster…need I say more? To prepare it, the chef team places the lobster tails in a vacuum packet with butter and herbs and then submerge the packet in the warm water of an immersion circulator. The lobster is slow-cooked at a very low temperature, keeping all the moisture and flavor in. The lobster is served with Cara Cara Oranges, which are at the height of perfection this time of year and an amazing compliment to the shellfish.
An extra-impressive menu item was our Colorado Lamb Chop. Chef Will uses Colorado Lamb because he finds it to be less gamey, and pairing it with a Vanilla Sunchoke Puree again plays with sweet and savory. Our 2008 JUSTIFICATION rounds out this part of the meal.
Our always-impressive cheese course is a rich, creamy, and mild French blue cheese, Fourme d’Ambert. The cheese is paired with D’Anjou Pear for acidity and a Pink Peppercorn “Aigre Doux,” which is a sweet and sour sauce – definitely a different punch on the palate! The bite of the peppercorns is tamed a bit by our 2008 JUSTIN SAVANT.
Of course, here at JUSTIN we always save room for dessert! On the menu this season is a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sorbet, a Mulled Wine Chocolate Lava Cake, and this Lemon Pudding Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet, Candied Kumquat, and Cinnamon Shortbread Crumbs. We serve our desserts with either 2009 OBTUSE, our port-style wine, or 2009 Deborah's Delight, our Orange Muscat blend dessert wine.
Click here to check out the complete menu and learn more about our Wine Spectator rated restaurant. Deborah’s Room is open nightly for dinner with seatings at 6:30, 7:00, and 7:15 – reservations are required. To make a reservation, please visit Open Table, call 805-238-6932 ex. 3224 or e-mail innkeeper@JUSTINwine.com.