Recently, I was invited to Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar in Carlsbad, located in the Sheraton Resort & Spa. I rarely go all the way up to Carlsbad, but S and I thought that it’d be a fun experience!
It’s a pretty fancy hotel restaurant, with plenty of outdoor seating and a beautifully decorated interior. We were seated promptly, and I noticed as I was glancing around the restaurant, that Mary, of This Tasty Life, was there too, along with Jake and his son S (haha, I just noticed that there were two “S”s at this meal!). We were pretty excited to see each other and asked the hostess if we could just all sit together, since the more the merrier, right?
Black Smoke [$10] & Templeton Manhattan [$12]
S and I each ordered a cocktail. I was immediately drawn to the Black Smoke, which has Los Amantes Joven mezcal, blackberries, lime juice, and agave nectar. Tequila is one of my favorite alcohols, and I’ve been trying more mezcals lately. This drink was basically a much smokier version of a margarita, and I really enjoyed it. S chose the Templeton Manhattan, which is their current “Barrel-Aged Cocktail”. He thought it was pretty good, although he later said that he should have just ordered a whiskey on the rocks since he likes that more than cocktails, haha.
Colorado Tin Cup Mule [$11]
I had to get a picture of Mary’s mule, which was served in a tin cup with a carabiner! Isn’t that awesome? I would totally carry that around with me.
Complimentary bread & herbed butter
Ah, bread. So filling yet difficult to resist. The bread was warm, the butter was herb-y and whipped, and I had to exercise all my self-restraint to not eat the whole loaf.
The head chef, Julian, came out to chat with us shortly after the bread was served. He said that there was a special Chef’s tasting menu for the evening, or we could order a la carte. I ended up being the only person who ordered the tasting menu… haha.
Salad – pickled melons, tomatoes, basil vinaigrette
Part of the reason that I was the only one interested in the tasting menu was this salad – no one else was a fan of pickled things, and this had pickled canteloupe, honeydew, and shallots, in addition to compressed watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, and a basil vinagrette. Funnily enough, though, Chef Julian ended up giving everyone a salad. I really enjoyed this – the pickled melons mellowed out the sweetness of the fruits, and paired nicely with the compressed watermelon, which was extra sweet and juicy. The basil vinaigrette’s flavor was quite light, though, and I thought the dish could have used a bit more of it.
Wild mushroom toast [$10]
The mushroom toast had ricotta cheese and truffle oil, and topped with arugula. I really enjoyed it, since mushrooms and ricotta cheese are two of my favorite things!
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Braised lamb [$36]