My daughter Courtney has been telling me for many month's now, about her friend Dylan's father's rustic restaurant,that's only open on Monday nights.Dylan's dad is one of Monterey Peninsula's best caterer's (A Moveable Feast) ,and his Red Tag Tea Party Roadhouse Restaurant is delectably delicious ! It is deep into the heart of Carmel Valley,California,about twenty-five miles from Highway One.
We had a reservation for 8:30, at the second seating of the night.Our journey took us by the light of a full moon, through miles and miles of windy roads, oak trees,and an occasional house scattered here and there..Thank God for the bright moon because it was DARK out there ,honey !
After our adventure into the middle of nowhere,we arrived at this funky restaurant that looked like it was around 100 years old,with a small general store attached to it.The place was lit up with white lights,there were cars parked all over the dirt parking area,and people coming outside who had just dined.Ah,light life,and we even heard music wafting out !
Inside,people sat at old tables that were covered with blue and white checkered table cloths,and a three person band played in the corner.There were about 7 chefs,I believe,bustling about in an open kitchen,as well as the busy wait staff. We opted to sit outside,behind the restaurant,at a wooden picnic table with benches,under the trees.Courtney and her friend Amelia gathered candles off of the other tables and lined them along the center of our table for extra ambience.
For a starter,we were presented with Joanie's Padrone and Fehr Peppers:Iron Grilled,Pink Salt,with Arbequina EVOO.(Many of their menu items listed the name of the person who created it,and the names of the items are slightly elaborate !) They were slightly sweet,and had a delicious smokey flavor.They also served us some warm homemade foccacia bread with rosemary flavored olive oil. We shared the Pear Salad,consisting of Search Ranch lettuces,parsnip chips,Point Reyes blue cheese,and Yuzu honey dressing.Amelia ordered the Tassajara beef tartare with Szalay Vineyard tarragon ice cream,to which we all had a taste.Mmmm,I liked that licoricey flavored ice cream !
Courtney ordered the Infamous Confit of Maigret of Duck with Mulbery/Plum Reduction. Lorraine ordered the Organic Berkshire Heluka Double Porkchop:Peach Confit, with Heller Plum Sauce.I ordered Pan Roasted Wild Monterey Bay King Salmon with Rosemary Aioli,and I believe that Amelia ordered the same.I loved the idea of flavoring the bread dipping oil as well as the aioli with rosemary.Yum !
We ordered three desserts:a lemon,cornmeal poundcake.chocolate mouse,and.....I forgot ! I'll have to ask Courtney what the third one was ! I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND the mouse !!! It was the best chocolate mouse I've ever had.....sooooo creamy !!! Also on the plate were two stripes of sea salt,one white and one black,and some olive oil on the other side.
After dinner,Dylan gave us a personal tour of the little general store......so cute. We then crawled or should I say,rolled, into the car for the hour long drive back to Santa Cruz,by the light of the silvery moon......ahhh,what a heavenly meal ! Ya know,I really reccommend this place,if you can ever figure out how on earth to get a reservation !!!
Oh I love eating divinely good food,and even more,I thank my best friend Jesus Christ for creating such wonderful food !!! He is soooo creative ! I believe there are over 3,000 kinds of apples in this world....thank you Jesus for not stopping after creating one apple ! God bless you my friends !