Friday, January 31, 2014

I did bring my appetite with me on boarding Carnival Imagination.  Fortunately, since I have had some very special culinary experiences in the Pride Dining Room.
In the past year Carnival has made some major upgrades in its dinner menus and in the future a whole new menu  to be called American Feast will follow.
One evening we opened with Escargot Bordelaise, another dinner with stuffed mushrooms and a third with Asparagus Vichyssoise.  Some of our entrees included lobster tail with large grilled shrimp, one evening a flat iron steak, unbelievable in flavor and tenderness.
The menu is large and varies each day but some favorite entrees are always available. 
There is a different "did you ever try' item each evening and we usually ordered them.  A cured salmon we enjoyed one evening was memorable.  The French styled escargot excellent.
With its outstanding cuisine and superior service we had to give both dining rooms, Pride and Spirit, five stars.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Aboard Carnival Imagination to Mexico proved to be a delightful experience.  Imagination had just completed a 16 day cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to reach Long Beach.  Now it will be making Carnival's very popular three and four day Mexico cruises throughout the summer.
Our Ensenada shore excursion was to  Valle de Guadalupe, Baja's premiere wine country.  We visited L A Cetto once again and our tasting reminded us just how good their wines are. 
New to us was La Casa de Dona Lupe which proved to be an experience that went far beyond a routine wine tasting.  We met with Dona Lupe and told her how much we loved her Mexican gardens and patio.
This winery also has a restaurant renown for its pizza and variety of fresh baked breads.  Her Son, Daniel is winemaker and dedicated to making organic wines.
More about all this in a future issue of Vittles Newsletter.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Pierpont Inn has been an attraction in Ventura since its founding in 1910.  With its classic bungalow style it is now one of the historic hotels of America.
We were there, once again, this time for lunch in the dining room named Austin's Restaurant.  Situated high on a bluff the Inn and restaurant offer wondrous views of the adjacent Pacific Coast.  This day there were a few high clouds but the clear air placed the Channel Islands in view on the horizon.
My dining partner selected the grilled chicken Panini with provoline cheese and a roasted red pepper sauce.
My entree was  wild mushroom ravioli with a brandy cream sauce.
Our table offered a perfect view of the ocean and both the fare and the service outstanding.
As part of the Inn Austin's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
The Pierpont Inn is located at 550 Sanjon Road in Ventura just a few minutes from Highway 101.For more information call 805 643-6144.

Friday, January 3, 2014

It has been awhile since we visited Taix in Los Angeles but its classic country French cuisine beckoned once again.  And we found  that here at least the stars were still in their courses.
Recently the restaurant, now in its 86th year, has become very popular with the 25 to 40 year old hipster set that has made Echo Park and Silver Lake one of the trendiest part of the City.
The action in the bar and lounge does not get started until about 11 p.m. and then becomes busy indeed.  And from Wednesday thru the weekend the kitchen now stays open till 1 a.m.  We had to take the word of G.M Michael Taix for this since our bar hopping days are long gone.
We enjoyed a long, leisure luncheon and besides meeting Michael also congratulated two employes who have been with the restaurant for fifty years.
With its traditional French cuisine, caring wait service and most reasonable prices there is no mystery to its long time success.