Friday, April 27, 2012

Farm to Table at Jole

Thank you, AB, for suggesting Calistoga gem Jole—celebrating my birthday with a parade of (mostly) delicious dishes showcasing California's best made it an especially memorable meal.

The tuna crudo—with its fragrantly addictive orange bergamot dressing—proved to be the highlight of our visit to Jole. 

Though the gnocchi with broccoli rabe had great flavor, its texture left a little to be desired. "I want pillowy. It's more like memory foam," said JP of the somewhat dense and durable potato pasta. Indeed, he was spot-on with his description.

The halibut was cooked to a perfect medium rare and sat atop a wondrously umami-esque mushroom jus, accompanied by a creamy pea risotto.
Ah, the seared foie gras. Time is a-ticking in California—it's soon to be outlawed, so we took the opportunity to order this hefty portion sitting atop caramelized onions and served with panko-crusted piquillo peppers. My half was divine: perfectly seared and almost melting like a hot stick of butter. But the very core of JP's portion was hard as a rock—turning his stomach to the fatty, rich hunk of liver.
Fortunately, the uber tender lamb chops accompanied by a crispy pile of smashed potatoes and grassy-bitter spears of asparagus redeemed Jole in JP's eyes.

A lovely cheese plate for dessert, and we rolled out of Jole pleased as punch, replete and ready to jump into the geyser-heated mineral pool back at Indian Springs.

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