For our third segment of “Dining in Santana Row” we feature Left Bank, a popular restaurant offering delectable french bistro dishes. It was a Wednesday evening when I dined in the restaurant with the husband. The atmosphere was welcoming and pleasing, and being that it was a weeknight, I was surprised at how the restaurant crowd was popping! I don’t remember seeing an empty table in the restaurant at all.
We were immediately seated once we arrived and I couldn’t wait to check out the menu.
~DRINKS & AM– USE BOUCHE (APPETIZERS)~
I started off with a French 75 Cocktail, which calls for gin, champagne, lemon juice & sugar. Having ordered it for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect, however, it tasted similar to a lemon drop. The husband ordered a glass of Husch, Mendocino County 2007 cabernet sauvignon.
Fondue Aux Fromages
A fondue dish which includes melted brie, bleu and goat cheeses. When I first ordered this, I was a little worried on how over powering the flavor of the bleu cheese would be as I’m not huge fan, however, I was surprised that my taste buds agreed with the combination of the three cheeses which made a delicious savory starter. The toasted bread that it came with was perfectly crispy on the edges and still slightly soft on the inside; perfect for dipping!
Steamed mussels, with white wine, spinach, garlic butter and shallots. This appetizer was bursting with flavor. Each mussel was cooked to perfection and the buttery wine sauce made very bite that much more exciting to open up another. This dish is meant to share, however, someone can easily make this their main entree if they wanted.
~LES PLATS (ENTREES)~
Filet De Porc Au Poivre Vert
This was the entree that I ordered. Pan roasted pork tenderloin, served with broccolini, roasted garlic, green peppercorn sauce, and risotto croquette. I don’t normally order pork tenderloins, however, the menu item caught my attention (ok..I’ll be honest, it had me at the the risotto croquette) so thought I should try it. When the dish arrived, I notice the presentation was nice and the portion was more than plenty. The pork was cooked to the appropriate temperature and needless to say was tender as can be. The green peppercorn sauce had a nice rich and buttery flavor which made every bite of the pork that much better. The broccolini was cooked just right and lightly flavored with what I tasted was garlic. And of course, the risotto cake…let’s just say that every bite melted in your mouth with a tad of crispy goodness to it.
Jarret D’Agneau Cote D’Azur
The husband ordered this fine dish and I have to admit, it was the very first time I have ever had lamb. Chablis wine braised lamb shank, served with orzo pasta, asparagus, gremolata, roasted red bell peppers, olives, and lamb jus. I must say that I was a little skeptical prior to trying this dish as the word “gamey” kept coming to mind. However, to my surprise it was absolutely delicious! If you’ve had the dark meat of a turkey, it’s a bit similar to that in flavor. It’s not as wild in taste and I’m sure it also has to do with the preparation and how it’s cooked at Left Bank. The meat was juicy and literally fell off the bone. I highly recommend this dish and as I glanced at the tables around us, it seemed to be a favorite of the patrons as well.
If you love ice cream, then this is the perfect dessert to order. Think cream puff however, instead of the custard or whipped cream in between, you have velvety vanilla ice cream sandwiched between a pastry puff, then drizzled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Serving size is petite and meant for one person but still perfect enough if you must share.
The husband isn’t much a dessert person, so he ordered a sorbet. The one scoop of raspberry sorbet was refreshing and full of tart flavor with each bite. Again, the portion is meant for one person, but is still enough to share with another person.
I’d like to thank Left Bank at Santana Row for a wonderful experience we had for dinner and to Connie for her excellent service and recommendations that evening. I high suggest to make reservations if you’re interested in dining in the main room, however, there are first come, first serve seating in the bar area as well along with an amazing outdoor patio. For more information on Left Bank, please visit their website at www.leftbank.com