Friday, January 25, 2013

Navio, Half Moon Bay

Fine dining at omnivorous restaurants can be really hit or miss.  In the Bay Area, we are lucky in that most places will be accommodating, but the quality of the offerings can still be subpar compared to the rest of the menu.  I find this to be true especially as you get further from San Francisco, proper.  So, when I made our reservation at Navio, at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay, I knew we'd be be able to eat something, I just had no idea what an incredible meal awaited us.  Yay happy surprises!

First, we sat down and were handed vegan menus created just for us, based on what was local and in season.  The hard part was deciding!

I started with the "Farmer's Market" salad and I must say that all the elements were as fresh as can be.  The beets were especially sweet and the perfect contrast to the bitter greens and bright cara cara oranges.  A tasty start to the meal.

Up next we got a surprise bonus course from the chef, a butternut squash carpaccio with greens, edible flowers, pomegranate seeds, and marcona almonds.  Such a welcome treat for the palate before the main course.

I chose the mushroom entree, and boy was I glad I did.  So earthy and savory, the trumpet ("french horn" haha) mushrooms really sang in this dish, supported as they were by an incredible gigantes beans puree, shaved brussels salad, and an pistachio and fennel relish that I am going to try to recreate at home.  God bless an omni chef who knows how to coax flavors out of his veggies!  I was so pleased at this point, I didn't even care about dessert...

...which is good, because (womp womp) it was sorbet.  So, after all that, it was the typical vegan-at-an-omni-restaurant dessert BUT the sorbet really was exceptional (especially the coconut) AND we got an extra bonus:

A pear sorbet with fruit gelee and chocolate covered almonds the pastry chef prepared especially for us.  Gotta love that kind of service and accommodation.  If you're ever in the Half Moon Bay Area, I seriously recommend hitting up Navio.  They know how to cater to the compassionate populace, for sure!

Up next, please stay tuned for eats in the Monterey area, and have a great weekend, everyone!

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