Our mouth-watering culinary voyage continues with the Spec and Burrata dish, served on a narrow rectangular serving plate, mixed with marinated artichokes, arugula, and a Sicilian white balsamic with olive almond and parsley. The steak is cooked to a faultless medium rare, and the natural juices fan out across the plate in a rich, brown river. The oranges also served on the plate are incredibly juicy and appetizing.
Not the case here. The crispy, long rhubarb garnish is an inventive addition, which lends a nice tanginess to the sweet cake. It is these remarkable landscapes and momentos from his estate that are scattered throughout the restaurant, further enhancing the refined setting. This is another unique and playful touch on behalf of the restaurant that I find very special. Underneath the colorful display of vibrant greens and pinks, is the yellow Meyer lemon agrodolce, a sweet and sour vinaigrette that adds an extra kick to this palatable dish. This was an opportunity for any place to really shine, to put on their best. Valentien also features an extensive list of California wines produced via sustainable and environmentally friendly methods, a selection of locally brewed craft beers, and craft cocktails created with freshly squeezed juices and the finest spirits. Paul Krikorian, the Service Manager and Sommelier, warmly greets us and strikes up a friendly conversation. A sea of juices on the plate creates an intoxicating aroma. We are tucked away in a plush burgundy velour booth on the left side of the main dining room, in a somewhat secluded area. This dedication to freshness has deemed A. Paul invites us to come back again soon, and we intend to. For those in the mood for lunch, A. Before the main course, Eddie presents us with a small scoop of vibrant Blood orange sorbet to cleanse the palate. On Saturdays and Sundays from 7: Inside, guests dine beside Tiffany lamps, an impressive wine cellar and a collection of artwork from Albert Robert Valentien, the California Impressionist after whom the restaurant is named. Kelli returns with all three of the special entrees we will sample, and we are giddy with excitement. After several silent moments while we savor every morsel, Carine and I concur that this is the best duck we have ever had. The wine list is extensive, and mirrors the regional California focus of the restaurant. Perfectly Pastry chef Jennifer Costa approaches our table to present three luscious and whimsical confections. This 5-star restaurant is a crowned costal jewel with its culinary ingenuity, highly attentive staff, scintillating ambience, and breathtaking views. Kelli tells us that every table is sent out a veggie plate, compliments of the chef. On the edge of the plate, four toasted pieces of bread are gracefully displayed, and underneath, a layer of white horseradish cream offers a spicy, velvety finish. Even though we are nearly full to the brim, we are pampered with one more small dessert sampling given to every guest, compliments of the chef. The cheerful orange kumquat provides a sugary tang that seems destined to accompany this dish.
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