The Vintage Steak House in San Juan Capistrano is well named. It is located in the train depot built in 1894 and includes a restored 1927 Pullman dining car where we enjoyed a memorable dinner and evening.
The cocktail lounge and main dining room are in the adjacent original depot freight house
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week and the menu is large with an extensive traditional breakfast menu. Besides classic lunch and dinner menus there is a large list of sandwiches, pizza and pastas.
We were there for dinner and seated in a booth of the Pullman car with a window overlooking the bougainvilleas and willow that surround the station. This to the delight of this writer who has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with railroads.
We met with owner chef Byron Gemmels and followed some of his suggestions for our dinner. We opened with a house specialty, a smoked trout which came smoothed with capers and three different dipping sauces. Then a plate that included large shrimp prepared with a Pernod sauce as well as mushrooms and artichoke hearts, both with their own sauces.
My entree was filet mignon, cooked over a mesquite grill and accompanied with three sauces, wild mushroom Bordelaise, Bearnaise or Cabernet demi.
All the while being pampered by Waiter Charles Freeman who has been pleasing Vintage customers for five years.
My dining partner's entree was bone in smoked pork chop with a cabernet red current demi glaze.
Still to come were dessert plates that included a peanut butter creme brulee with chocolate dipping sauce as well as an apple tart baked with walnuts and served with ice cream.
The Vintage Steak House is located at 26701 -B Verdugo Street in San Juan Capistrano. Phone 949 661-3400, web wwwthevintagesteakhouse.com.
We can't wait till we get back to San Juan Capistrano and the Vintage Steak House. We might just get aboard Amtrak Surf Liner and do just that.