California Road Trip: Crush 29 – A Wine Country Experience


The last full day of our California Road Trip was going to be in Sacramento.  We headed over after doing the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, and had an uneventful drive with just a little bit of rush hour traffic just as we were heading into Sacramento.  After we got checked into our hotel, Jon and I had a chat about our dinner agenda.  Jon was craving some Thai food from a restaurant that he used to go to with his grandmother.  However, I had seen an ad in the hotel information book and I was intrigued.

Now, if you follow this blog, you know that food porn isn’t my primary focus.  I like a great meal on occasion but I can’t afford to have the kind of meal that you want to blog about every night – neither my wallet nor my waistline would hold up for very long.  But on this particular night, I gave Jon the puppy dog eyes until he agreed to take me to Crush 29.  Jon was skeptical – he thought that a restaurant that advertised itself as a wine country dining experience would be pretentious and snooty.

We got there and were seated right away and had a chance to look over their wine menu.  I selected the Chalk Hill 2006 Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma.  Jon picked the Ferrari Carano 2009 Fume Blanc.  They were both excellent choices, but we each liked the other wine better.  So we traded!

Then we moved on to the food.  We started out ordering an appetizer – the Lamb Lollipops.  I don’t normally eat lamb, but I couldn’t resist this description: skewers of marinated lamb tenderloins around a sweet potato puree with a hot mustard-pomegranate drizzle.  But, for better or worse – they were sold out, so no Lamb Lollipops for us.  So instead, we ordered the Whole Sesame Artichoke, steamed in a spiced broth and flash grilled with a chipotle-basil aioli.  It was absolutely delicious!

Whole Sesame Artichoke

Whole Sesame Artichoke

For the main course, I chose the Achiote Glazed Mahi-Mahi, with a blood orange gastrique, sweet corn sauce, forbidden rice, sautéed spinach and a picante pepper-pineapple chutney.  I hadn’t even heard of Achiote, so I had to look it up.  Apparently it is a paste, used in Yucatán, Oaxacan, and Belizean cuisine, made from the slightly bitter, earthy flavored, red annatto seeds, mixed with other spices and ground into a paste.  The paste is dissolved in either lemon juice, water, oil or vinegar to create a marinade, and marinated or rubbed directly upon meat. It is also sometimes it is added to corn dough to create a zesty flavor and color in empanadas and red tamales.
Achiote Glazed Mahi-Mahi

Achiote Glazed Mahi-Mahi

Jon ordered the Hawaiian Spiced Ahi, on a macadamia nut rice with a ginger infused coconut plum wine sauce.  I knew all of the ingredients in his, so no having to google his meal!  Our server accidentally switched our meals, so we each tried the other first.  I thought Jon’s meal was fantastic!  Then when we traded, my meal was even better!  I think Jon was jealous…
Hawaiian Spiced Ahi

Hawaiian Spiced Ahi

We were so impressed with all of the food – everything that we had was so full of flavor and so well done!  I thought it couldn’t get any better, until I saw the dessert delivered to the table next to us.  The Chocolate Bomb.  Oh. My. God.  It looked so good that I immediately found more room for dessert in my belly.  The Chocolate Bomb was presented on a hazelnut crust with creme anglaise and fresh berry sticks.  Here’s the photo:
The Chocolate Bomb - Pure Heaven!

The Chocolate Bomb – Pure Heaven!

I don’t think any more words are required.  If you are near there – GO.
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4 thoughts on “California Road Trip: Crush 29 – A Wine Country Experience

  1. Pingback: California Road Trip: The Long Road Home | Wine and History Visited

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