Friday, August 8, 2014

The Dinner Belle (re)Rings

The Dinner Belle got a re-boot this week and they invited some folks to preview the goods last weekend. I'm tardy, tardy, tardy on this post. Sorry. 

Since I couldn't find a sitter in time, I left the boys with Daddy and took Pia as my +1. Thanks for joining me, P!

Not that I thought they needed to change a thing about their evening services, but if this dinner was indicative of what is to come, hold onto your hats. Chef Kyle Odell and Carmel Belle owners Jay and Chloe Dolata have cooked up some amazing goodness!

We started off with wine from Heller Estate Organic Vineyard. Mary Roos was pouring and, atypically, I asked for the Merlot Rosé. Pia opted for the Chardonnay. I don't know why...I've just never tried pink wine! I guess I figured that pink equaled sweet. How wrong I was. This rosé was subtle, dry, and enjoyable. I'm still not sure I'd buy a bottle of rosé - given all the reds out there - but I'm glad I tried this one.

Chef Kyle started us off with his take on a caprese salad. This one elevated the usual caprese (tomatoes, cheese, and basil) - which is always a favorite - to sublime by adding in chunks of summery watermelon and topping the entire dish with radish sprouts. The sweetness of the watermelon and tomatoes married well with a generous sprinkling of the salty Beemster goat cheese gouda. And those radish sprouts...they added just the right amount of spicy bite. Delish.

The main dish had something that I rarely see in restaurants, but adore at home: charred fish skin. Okay, it tastes better than that sounds. But Chef Kyle served a salmon with crisped skin on a bed of airy couscous. Alongside was summer pepper relish and a drizzle of sweet corn puree. I kept thinking of the word saltimbocca. I know that's the actual name of a different dish, but it literally means, in Italian, 'jumps in your mouth.' And this did that. My tastebuds were doing somersaults, happy somersaults!

I didn't get a photo of the dessert because time was running out on Pia's babysitter, so we grabbed our desserts - Banana Creme Pie in a Jar - to go. And by the time I was ready to take a photo of mine, someone - who shall remain nameless - had already opened it and scooped out a hefty spoonful. Ahhhh!

So, that's all. The Dinner Belle has officially re-opened. I don't know all of the details, but I did see, on their updated menu, that they are selling portions as "single", "half", and "whole." So, it's perfect for take-out when you don't feel like cooking for the family. I just might be giving them a ring on a particularly lazy evening. Good luck, Team Dinner Belle! See you soon.

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