...last night with my 30 year old daughter Monica (Le Cordon Bleu graduate classically trained in French cuisine and gastronomy). We chose "Cafe Mimosa" in San Clemente and were immediately welcomed by the attentive, kind staff. The restaurant is a very quaint two-story house with a warm hue of lighting that bathed my body when I entered the premises making me feel all warm and cozy inside while Ella Fitz Gerald tunes were piped in through the indoor speakers. The current chef at Cafe Mimosa is formerly from Troque (a Tim and Liza Goodell restaurant. Now out of business). I'm a huge patron of restaurants that support the Slow Food Movement offering local, sustainable and organic farmed food and produce. Cafe M is fortunate to have the local farmer's market right outside their doors every Saturday morning. I'm sure Chef Tim takes advantage of the freshest of local farm raised organic ingredients. Although it was drizzling last night, we decided to sit outside taking advantage of the overhead heaters and plastic walls which protected us from the breeze and cold. I always enjoy experiencing a meal with "Dolly" (Monica) since we always try and order items on the menu that are just a little "different" expanding our horizons in the world of gastronomy and fine dining.
One of those 'different' items was "Stuffed Baby Calamari" which was filled with Bilbao Chorizo (from Spain), Piquillo Peppers and Grilled Artichoke Hearts. The flavors melded great together very well but my only criticism is that I would have preferred my calamari sautéed a little more giving the seafood a nice golden brown outside crust as opposed to the 'milky white" look of the plated baby calamari which was presented to me. The "Salt Roasted Beet Salad" was delightful. Large roasted beautiful golden beets and small purple baby beets sat along side a chunk of goat cheese with baby greens and lemon emulsion. Perfection!
Dolly ordered the Charcuterre Plate with artisan cured meats and homemade cured asparagus. The asparagus was perfectly cured and not too tangy. Believe it or not, for dessert we went for savory and finished our meal with a dish of "Bloomsdale Spinach" and the "Market Veggies"! I was pleasantly pleased with the divine flavors in both veggie dishes!!! First of all, I love spinach but have never heard of 'Bloomsdale' Spinach. The spinach is visually pretty (not dull and flat looking like regular baby spinach) and sautéed to crisp-tender exquisiteness!! The market veggies were a scrumptious mixture of haricot verts, asparagus, cippollini baby onions and mushrooms. The teeny, tiny sweet onions are delicious when cooked up allowing their natural sweetness to emerge in your mouth with every bite.
In the past, I have had the "English Cucumber Blood Orange and Cilantro Salad"...very lovely. There is also a "Crispy Tempura Squash Blossom" dish on the menu which is accompanied with green apple, fennel slaw and aioli. I must try that next time!! Although, Dolly whips up killer stuffed squash blossoms when they are in season and available at the farmer's market.
If you ever head down south to San Clemente Cafe Mimosa is a must. They also offer brunch.
Plans Saturday night are to attend "Church and State" in LA for a multi-course wine and food tasting compliments of Chef Walter. You won't hear from me about that meal...don't want to bore you with an explanation of 10-12 different food tastings! DETOX time again!!!
p.s. My kitchen is totally under construction therefore, my tubby ass has had the opportunity to try many different restaurants (most of which aren't even discussed yet!). Hence, me inundating you with my experiences and criticisms of my dining choices. Should you find my 'write ups' dull and unmoving, and lack further interest in them...tell me to BUZZ OFF and I'll take you off the email list. Ciao for now!