I met a few friends for happy hour last night at Ella Dining Room and Bar, among them David Cole of James David Cellars, and Gina Funk of Selland Restaurant Group, Tony Cohn of Tony Cohn Social Media Services, and Julie Gallaher of Things You Should Do (to name a few) and was having such a good time that I decided to stay and try their limited time only pre fixe menu to celebrate their 4th anniversary. See the table on the left in the picture above? That's where we all sat! :)
|Me, Donelle, Tony, and chef Kelly in the background. #minicrush :)|
I won't let you in on the table talk *wink*, but I will tell you about the menu we all enjoyed! It is three courses for $30 (you can choose from two options each course) and there is an optional wine pairing (just ask your server).
|Salad of local peaches and nectarines, Mangalitsa pork lardo, banyuls vinaigrette, and rustic argula|
Salad of local peaches and nectarines, Mangalitsa pork lardo, banyuls vinaigrette, and rustic argula
Ricotta gnocchi with parmesan cream, tomato coulis, and warmed cherry tomatoes
|Wood oven-fired lamb sirloin caponata of summer vegatables, tapenade vinaigrette, and basil aioli|
Pan seared Passmore Ranch trout with Bloomsdale spinach, prosciutto, crispy capers, and mustard sauce
Wood oven-fired lamb sirloin, caponata of summer vegatables, tapenade vinaigrette, and basil aioli
|Pan seared Passmore Ranch trout with Bloomsdale spinach, prosciutto, crispy capers, and mustard sauce|
Gratin of orchard fruits, lemon mousse and vanilla ice cream
Mocha almond gateau créme chantilly and almond cookie
I ordered the salad shown above with my dressing on the side. I am one of those dip-the-fork-in-the-dressing-to-save-calories types :) The great thing about all the food at Ella is that it is as local and seasonal as possible. The flavors are a real symphony in the salad. The lardo can be found on the bottom layer of the salad, almost like a piece of rice paper. I ate it by cutting into the lardo with my knife and fork and wrapping it around the peaches and argula in each bite.
I followed up the salad with the lamb, which I ordered medium rare. I can tell you the lamb was mild and tender and that it almost didn't need any sauce at all. That being said I left most of my sauce (although it too was amazing) on the plate. The caponata accompaniment was a perfect balance to the lamb.
If you would like to partake in this delicious meal, you can from now until the end of September. Call Ella at 916.443.3772 for reservations. The price is only $30, and if you check in on Facebook while you are there and show your server, Valet parking will be validated.
I was glad I stayed for dinner, because Randall Selland even stopped in to say hello and chat with our group for a bit.
You can like Ella on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here. Don't forget about the photo contest they are running.