Monday, January 09, 2012

Dining Out: Christmas Eve Dinner at C Restaurant + Bar

On Christmas Eve, cubes and I dined at the C Restaurant + Bar. The C Restaurant + Bar is the second Intercontinental Hotel restaurant we've eaten at - Luce in San Francisco was the first. Let me say this is not your typical hotel experience: the quality of food and level of service are amazing.

Dining Out: Christmas Eve Dinner at C Restaurant + Bar

cubes ordered the three-course Chef's menu, while I ordered an appetizer and an entree. (Full-size photos of our meal are up on Flickr.) Our first courses were a Lobster Bisque (top left photo in the collage) and Monterey Bay Red Abalone (top right photo in the collage). I'd originally wanted the Lobster Bisque - which isn't available unless you order the Chef's menu, but after one taste of my appetizer I lost all interest in the bisque. The preparation of the abalone and pasta was simple - the chef let the fresh ingredients speak for themselves. The abalone was beautifully pan fried and the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and oven roasted tomato complimented it nicely.

For my entree, I had the Caramelized Day Boat Scallops (bottom left photo in the collage). The scallops were cooked to perfection, even sear on top and bottom and cooked through. While I have yet to master the technique for cooking scallops, mine almost always arrive at the table rubbery, I've seen enough scallops go into the garbage on Hell's Kitchen to recognize how they should be cooked. The Porcini-Leek stew was well seasoned. However, the stew needed to be paired with a heartier protein - like a steak. The stew overpowered the delicate preparation of the scallops. The scallops would have been better served with the pasta and tomatoes from the abalone dish.

One tip: every table has a view of the Monterey Bay. We dined after the sun had gone down. I'd highly recommend checking when sunset is during your stay and reserving around then.

The meal was very reasonably priced, $161.51 before tip, which included a Scotch, the three-course Chef's menu with wine pairing, an appetizer, an entree, and another glass of wine. The C Restaurant + Bar makes it onto our list of places to return to.

Where did you dine over the holidays?

Bon Apetit!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.