Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinner at Malibu Grill

Monday evening my husband and I
went to dinner with an associate of his.

We were seated in the back by the wood-fired grill.

We were last here for our 25th anniversary and I was
less than impressed then as they had boasted 
"wood-fired roasted vegetables" on the menu, 
however, what came out were previously frozen vegetables
that had been cooked in the wood-fired grill.
No amount of wood-fire is gonna revive those sad puppies.

But I had heard that they had made some menu changes
in the past three and a half years and they have been voted
one of the best restaurants in town,
so we decided to give Malibu Grill another try.

We started with appetizers.

First up was the Greek Feta Dip.
This was warm feta cheese blended with kalamata olives,
sundried tomatoes and basil and served with tri-color chips.

This was very good and I will be attempting this recipe at home
- minus the olives as we are not big olive fans.

I think the only thing that would have made this dish better
would have been if the chips had been freshly made.

After all, it's not that difficult to do.

We also ordered Malibu Crab Cakes.
These were two homemade patties, golden fried and
topped with chipotle crema.  They were served with 
a lemon remoulade and cocktail sauce.

Also very good and good size patties.  
A lot of crab and not much filler.

Please forgive the poor quality of the next pictures,
but the table next to ours was seated and I didn't want to 
bother them with the flash.

Malibu Grill sets out a bowl of freshly made focaccia 
along with warm marinara sauce and a plate of 
extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

My suggestion is to grind sea salt and black pepper into the 
oil and vinegar and dip the bread into that.

Our companion had the Chinoy Chicken Salad,
which was my favorite dish here,
back when I could still eat chicken,
and my husband had a steak.

I chose the Penne Alla Vodka with 
Shrimp, Scallops and Peppers.

The menu describes this as 
penne pasta tossed with zesty marinara
cream sauce, Romano cheese, Roma tomatoes,
shaved red onions and crushed red pepper.

The scallops were cooked perfectly
and were the best thing on the plate.

The shrimp just a shade over-cooked and 
were lost in the pasta
- and a personal pet peeve of mine -
the tails were left on.
I do not appreciate that when the shrimp
are in a pasta dish, 
especially when it is easy to lose the tail
and one accidentally takes a bite of the tail
- which I did.
Shrimp tails are not good eats.
Also, the pasta wasn't just swimming in the sauce,
it was drowning.
I was tempted to throw in a life preserver.
Sometimes less is more.

I also was not impressed by the littering 
of the parsley around the edge of the plate.
That is so 1990s.

So here are my tips, chef:
  • Don't overcook the shrimp (easier said than done)
  • Take the tails off the shrimp when in a pasta dish
  • Don't drown the pasta in sauce
  • Don't litter the rim of the plates

Still, I'd have to say that overall this was a good meal.
It wasn't the best I have had,
but it was decent.

What was even better was the company.
We had a lovely time and that was what really mattered.

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