Dinner with Toni at Napa Rose

Sunday, 12 Nov 2006 | Disneyland, Family, Restaurants

Last night, Toni and I had a wonderfully delicious dinner at the Napa Rose Restaurant at Disneyland. It's located in the Grand Californian Hotel. I had taken a cooking class there several months ago and had the good fortune of trying their delicous cuisine. I cooked some of the items from the class for Toni and Erin at home, but Toni had not dined there before.

I ordered "The Vintner's Table", the chef's tasting menu comprising four courses and a wine pairing for each course.

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The first item we tasted was a gift from the chef which is not on the Prix Fixe menu, so it was a pleasant surprise. It was a Shrimp Fritter accompanied by a sauce and greens. It was very tasty. It was very small, but the bold flavors compensated for it's diminuitive size. I love how fine restaurants serve food that have wonderfully complex flavors. They don't just rely on saltiness for flavor.

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The first course was Spectacular Heirloom Apple "In All Their Glory" with Compte Cheese Fritters, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Shaved Bresaola. This was delicious as well. I liked how the walnuts and cheese contrasted with the tartness of the cranberries.

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The second course was Cannelloni of Rosemary Roasted Venison, Sundried Tomatoes, Cauliflower Risotto & Jus Natural. The cannelloni was al dente just like I like it and had a resilient consistency that I really enjoyed. The cauliflower risotto was nice and creamy. It was made with tiny pieces of cauliflower floret. I have never considered cutting cauliflower so small, but I'll have to keep that in mind for future dishes.

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The third course was Braised Osso Buco of Free Range Veal, Roasted Parsnips, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Golden Chard and Zinfandel Wine Reduction. This was so good. It was hearty and rich. It reminded me a lot of the Braised Short Ribs with Warm Potato Salad I learned to make at the cooking class here.

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The fourth course was Warm Pumpkin-Harvest Pear Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Meyer's Rum Sauce. As all of the previous courses, this was yummy as well.

If you're wondering how I remembered all the course names, it's because I got to take home the menu. When I asked our waiter for a copy of the sheet showing the tasting menu, he bagged up the whole menu and said I could take it home. That was such a treat for me as a food enthusiast and Disneyland lover. Our waiter was a very friendly Japanese gentleman named Mickey. What a fun coincidence. All the wait staff were so friendly at the Napa Rose. I highly recommend the Napa Rose for excellently prepared foods and a fine dining experience where you feel right at home. They never make you feel ill at ease like at some highly rated eating establishments.

Toni and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. I'm sure we'll return again in the future. On a side note, when we arrived at Disneyland in the late afternoon, I was surprised to see the Mickey and Friends parking structure was full. I was redirected to the Buzz Lightyear parking lot across the street from the Anaheim Convention Center. I didn't even know they had a parking lot out there. Apparently, Disneyland Park was sold out for the day.


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