Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Hobbit Restaurant in Orange, CA

My dinner group (Jamie Fingal), which meets every month to go out to dinner, for the last four years, had a lovely dining experience at The Hobbit Restaurant in Orange, CA. It is one of our favorite places to dine! This is our table.  The Hobbit has been open since 1972 and is touted as a unique dining experience serving up a 7-course prix fix menu. I remember dining here in the 80's, where we had to get our reservations 6 months in advance.  We began our adventure at 7:00pm in the bar on the second floor.

The main dining room which is elegant, but also feels like you are in a 'home' setting with the decor, windows, fireplace and very friendly and helpful staff.  Michael Philippi is the chef and owner of The Hobbit, along with his lovely wife, Debra, who coordinates events, and greets you at the door of your culinary experience.The Hobbit has been a family owned business since it began in 1972.
Loved the look of this table pedestal in the bar area

Champagne and Hors d'Oeurves are served in the cellar, and this is where you select your bottle of wine for dinner.  This is a wonderful area to walk around and talk to your table guests, as well as, others who will share the dining room with you, if you so desire.

Some of the Hors d'Oeurves - oysters, stuffed dates, cucumber wedges with caviar, beef sticks, cold soup, just to name a few
The Menu

The butter, sculpted in the shape of a rose.  I didn't want to cut into it, but when the rolls were offered, and smelled absolutely heavenly, the butter was carved into.  Nothing like butter!

First course - Cornmeal crusted smoked catfish, with sauteed mustard greens and Creole sauce.  It was delicious.  I didn't know that catfish could taste like this!

The toast to friendship and the September birthday girls - Ann and me!

The wine!  Delicious and full bodied wonderfulness

Roasted duck leg with pineapple chutney, and hose made Pappardelle pasta.  The duck was so succulent and I cherished every bite of this masterpiece.  This was quite memorable.

Watermelon and Baby Mache with peach balsamic vinaigrette.  Wonderful and refreshing flavors.  I thought the cucumbers were a nice touch, with their flower-like presentation.
Intermission.  We walked out to the patio with our wine and rested for a bit.  This vine on the wall was intriguing.

White peach sorbet, upon our return to cleanse the palette.  I wanted more.

Wild mushroom stuffed filet is what three of us had, with seasonal vegetable, and two lovely roasted and caramelized carrots, which I would have loved more of.  The steak was cooked to perfection, as I enjoy my steak more on the rare side.  It literally melted in my mouth.

Jacquin had the fresh herb pesto crusted Wild Coho Salmon with Beluga lentils and sauteed pea tendrils.  We all had a taste, and the flavors from my first bite of Salmon were amazing - full of deep flavors, but not heavy.

Dessert - double chocolate lava cake with sea salt and bourbon caramel with fresh berries!

and an extra bonus, for the birthday girls.  A champagne glass with whipped cream and three melt in your mouth handmade chocolate truffles and a candle.  Made my wish and blew out the candle.  What an amazing evening.

This is the wine that we enjoyed during the last half of our dining experience.  If you are ever in Orange, California - make a reservation at The Hobbit.  10:00pm over and out.  This is a dining experience that I would highly recommend.