For our 5th Anniversary, we celebrated at Meritage at the historic Claremont hotel in Berkeley. Meme was her wonderful self and offered to watch the duder before we even had a chance to ask her!
|Lovely flowers :-)|
|Yes, those are my wedding shoes!|
The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful and the view is outstanding! And being in that neighborhood definitely made me miss Adam living there. Good times :-)
We got there a little early so we took a stroll around and sat out one of the balconies to enjoy the view and the amazing weather.
After a bit, we headed back in to the bar to grab a drink while waiting for our table to be ready. Jason ordered a Stella (always a good choice!) and I settled on their Pear Sage Martini. O.M.G. (I said that a lot as our evening went on and you'll see why in a few). This drink was amazing! I'm not a huge fan of fruity drinks, because they normally have way too much sugar in them and are just too too sweet. This however was quite an exception. It was really light and refreshing and just perfect. I would go back just for this drink. Although the house made Taro chips might do it too. Yum-o!
Shortly after we got our drinks, the hostess came to show us to our table. I had looked at the menu a little when we were deciding where we wanted to go for dinner and found it really interesting. It's broken up according to wine pairings and gives you the option of ordering a full or half plate portion. After looking it over, we decided to order several half plates. I would definitely recommend this if you happen to eat here. It allows you the opportunity to try many more things on the menu and to get a much fuller experience.
We started with Sonoma Goat Cheese-Potato Terrine. Again, OMG. I absolutely love goat cheese and this dish did not disappoint. Drizzled with aged balsamic syrup and seriously to die for.
They also had a special menu that night featuring heirloom tomatoes which were in season and so we decided to try the heirloom tomato, watermelon and pancetta salad. I know it sounds like a very odd combination, but it was so refreshing and the balance of sweet and salty was just perfect.
I paired the first two courses with the Arrowood Viognier. I am constantly looking for good Viognier, because I am a big fan, but have a hard time finding ones that live up to my standards ;-) This one is definitely being added to my list of go-to's.
Next course - Seared Scallops with avocado creme and creme fraiche. Again, I am a huge fan of scallops, but not everyone knows how to properly cook them. These were P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
With these courses I had the Cakebread Chardonnay. Again, delish.
|Our waiter was fantastic, but not the best photographer ;-)|
After the scallops we moved onto the Red Bluff Braised Short Ribs in burgundy sauce. The meat literally melted in your mouth it was so tender. Ah-mazing!
This course was paired with the Frog's Leap Zinfandel, which I was super happy with. Our waiter recommended the Cain Concept, Red Meritage which Jason had and was also very, very good.
We topped off the meal with a dessert of creme brulee and fresh berries. How can you go wrong with creme brulee? The answer is .... you can't :-)
|The chef was even sweet enough to write us a little chocolate note...which by the way was delicious as well!! haha|
It was not only a meal, but an experience and a lovely one at that. Our waiter was amazing and we had a wonderful, wonderful time and will definitely be going back.
After dinner we decided to take a drive up Fish Ranch Road. I know, not the most romantic sounding name, but oh the views. The views! We found a quiet little dip in the road and just enjoyed the quiet for a bit. So magical!
|We took about 15 pictures like this because it was pitch black out there and we couldn't tell where we were pointing the camera until we actually took the picture!|
Thanks Judi and Paul G. for watching our little man so we could have an amazing evening!!!