Twenty6

By | June 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm | No comments | Columns, The Pampered Palate

Being a year-round resident in a seasonal town has its disadvantages. Many of my favorite restaurants have already closed for the summer, leaving few choices for a great dining experience. Fortunately, we live in a resort community where many of our local hotels are not only open all year, they feature some of the finest restaurants our valley has to offer. The La Quinta Resort has been a vacation destination for locals and tourists alike, since 1926, and the appropriately named restaurant, Twenty6, is one of my new favorites!
Boasting a cuisine that is “vintage comfort food, redefined,” this restaurant stands tall above many others. Chef Michael Vaughn has created a menu that is certain to take you on a trip through your childhood, offering classic dishes like you have never tasted before. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Chef provided us a taste of each course, showing off the menu’s diversity and his apparent culinary talent. My date and I enjoyed a breakfast item for our first course, a Belgian waffle filled with savory bites of bacon, topped with cereal milk ice cream and drizzled with maple syrup. Yes, I said cereal milk ice cream, reminiscent of my childhood, this scoop of ice cream tastes exactly like the milk left in the bowl from Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. As a huge fan of bacon, this dish is simply brilliant.
Our second course was a lunch item, a true comfort food dish, grilled cheese sandwich and homemade tomato soup. Though poured from a can, tableside for effect, this soup is definitely not a typical canned soup. Rich with homemade flavor and texture, it was the best tomato soup I’ve had.
While my date enjoyed a delicious Scottish Salmon with a béarnaise sauce on a bed of marbled baby potatoes and organic carrots, I decided to take a friend’s recommendation and tried their “TV Dinner” entrée. Served in a ceramic dish, complete with sections for each component of the meal, I was able to taste the incredibly tender Pot Roast with a demi-glaze that required a spoon to savor every last drop! Topped with a mirapoix of root vegetables and served with fresh peas and mashed potatoes and gravy, this entrée had everything one would find in a TV dinner including a portion of bread pudding for dessert. On the side, we shared sweet potato tater tots with homemade ketchup. The seafood is fresh, wild and sustainable and all of Chef’s menu items are made “from scratch” in the restaurant with ingredients from local farms and ranches. Other menu favorites include Fried Chicken and Fish & Chips.
We were far from through at this point; a little bread pudding, as delicious as it was, would not satisfy my sweet tooth. We shared a few items from the dessert menu, including a slice of peanut butter pie that was so light, yet so full of flavor! Whoopie pies were a favorite of mine growing up but you have not tasted better than these, made with a homemade marshmallow center. There are even gluten free items for those with Celiac Disease or sensitivity; served in a brown bag for us to mix and shake, our final desert was a sweet cereal mixture with chocolate and powdered sugar. This treat is intended to be eaten without utensils and it is quite addictive!
With summer promotions like “Industry Night” and deals like Early bird and Blue Plate Specials, this restaurant is great for the family or just a night out for a special occasion. Breakfast begins at 7:00am, lunch at 11:00am and dinner from 5:00pn to 10:00pm. Happy hour is offered daily from 3-6pm. Twenty6 is located inside the La Quinta Resort off Eisenhower drive. Visit them at: www.laquintaresort.com

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