Restaurant Review - October 16, 2007 - Joanne

Interior at Plumpjack Squaw Valley
Plumpjack Café Squaw Valley

March 2007 - Dinner

THAI TUNA CONES...12.00Thai Tuna Cones
Red Curry Lime Ponzu, Peanuts, Mixed Peppers, Coconut, Cucumber, Micro Cilantro
One of their signature appetizers. The three cones are served in a wrought-iron stand, which is very “Plump-jack” in style. The cones themselves are thin and crispy. The heat of the spice is nicely balanced. Not over-the-top but tasty and easy to eat. I would order this again.

Pan Seared California Abalone, Red Wine Braised Escargot, Green Onion, Baby Mushrooms, Parsley Emulsion
"Surf and Turf " Pan Seared California Abalone, Red Wine Braised Escargot, Green Onion, Baby Mushrooms, Parsley Emulsion
The coating on the abalone (it was breaded) was very nice, but the abalone had virtually no-abalone-like taste. The mâche garnish was DOA – it should not have been on the plate (and, mâche has an incredible shelf life!). The escargot were on the chewy side and were either just edible or okay. They didn’t seem fresh or very good.

Niman Ranch Pork Duo at Plumpjack Cafe Squaw Vly
Niman Ranch Pork Duo $28 - Braised Pork Belly, Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Candied Apple Compote, Apple-Brined Tenderloin, Butternut Squash Puree, Apple-Maple Gastrique
The apple compote was on the sweet side. The pork belly was too fatty and greasy (and not flavorful enough to balance that). The tenderloin was the best part. The brussel sprouts with bacon were shredded and quite good…the dish, overall, was very good.

Grilled Day-boat seafood paella at Plumpjack Squaw Vly
Grilled Day-Boat Seafood Paella $30 - Scallops, Jumbo Prawn, Clams, Mussels, Spanish Chorizo, Saffron Rice, Asparagus Tips
One jumbo prawn, two mussels, small bay scallops, only tiny bits of chorizo. The very small clams in their shells were nice. The saffron rice was very good. Overall good but I wouldn’t order it again.

2002 Domaine Dujac Morey Saint-Denis 1er Cru Monts Luisants Wine List: For Squaw Valley and Tahoe, the wine list is second to Graham's, and prices range from bargain to not-at-all. It has some good choices but it seems like it should be better (and that's a criticism of all of the Plumpjack restaurants). Also, there were some misspellings (and also at the Balboa cafe) - no excuse for a small chain that owns a winery and a wine shop!

Kid's Chicken Fingers and PastaNote on children’s menu:
Young diner’s menu is mac & cheese, pasta and cheese, red sauce or butter, breaded fried boneless chicken (served with mashed potatoes and broccoli) or cheese quesadilla. Thomas Kemper soda is featured on the kids menu but has HFCS.

Cocktail - Cosmo
– Cosmo – great. The Bartender is on the job. I had one of their coffee drinks at the bar on another occasion and it was wonderful too.

Baked Alaska

Dessert: Baked Alaska - nothing special and it's made in the traditional style. Quite on the sweet side - we took it back to our room. Along with chocolates to finish.

Click here for our lunch experience.

Plumpjack Café Squaw Valley
December 12, 2006 - Dinner

Amuse - Watermelon, mango pecorino and balsamic
Amuse: Watermelon with mango, pecorino and Balsamic.

Lobster Bisque
Lobster Bisque – dark stock. Good part was there was a definite lobster element and that the richness was not too much cream. But it was bitter on the finish and not that enjoyable to eat.

Scallops – The scallops were great – 8.5/10. The puree was unrecognizable as asparagus – too much lemon. A nice little citrus sprout salad on the side

Lamb at Plumpjack Squaw Valley
Lamb – heavy on the pepper crust. The loin was not that tender (or flavorful) hence needing the pepper crust. Not enough sauce to balance. The potatoes a little al dente. Parmesan puff pretty dumpling-esque and a weird accompaniment.

Steak at Plumpjack Squaw Valley
Steak - Good, did not at all satisfy a hunger for steak.

Wine list – The prices are very reasonable. Wine list is good – great for not being in a major city. $15 corkage.

Cheese Pizza – Good when hot – almost inedible (hard) when cooled. Cheese too browned not burned but overcooked. Good sauce.

2002 Vosne Romanee Daniel Bocquenet
2002 Bocquenet Vosne Romanee La Croix Blanche - Very berry, nicely balanced. Drinks well. Could benefit from some decanting time.

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