A couple weeks ago I had one of those things that people like to celebrate, a birthday. And my idea of celebrating is to go out to dinner. But it was a Monday night and we were out visiting some wineries in Santa Ynez Valley, so where to eat? I decided that it would be the perfect time to try Root 246, Bradley Ogden's new restaurant in Solvang. I've been wanting to try it since they first opened in April.
Before I get to the mouth watering details. I have to start off we where we started off, with a little wine tasting of Arcadian wines with winemaker Joe Davis at Tastes of the Valleys. As you may have seen in our Summer issue of Edible Santa Barbara, Arcadian wines were featured in our "What the Grownups are Drinking" column by Diane Murphy and Laura Lindsey. So it was a special treat for us to meet Joe and taste a couple of his wines that weren't in the article.
Talking to Joe was as fascinating as drinking his wines, and we could barely tear ourselves away to walk over to the restaurant. But we are so glad we did. The only thing better than drinking fine local wine is pairing those wines with fine local food.
From it's creative name to its modern elegant interior, Root 246 is definitely impressive. I particularly admire their farm to plate philosophy and the fact that they source so many local ingredients. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the restaurant and to meet Bradley Ogden as well as executive chef Jonny Hall, which was a huge treat for this birthday girl. I had a hard time choosing where to sit down to eat: one of the two distinctly different but equally stylish bars or the main dining room. We finally settled on a cosy booth in the dining room. And then we had a simply fabulous dinner. There was a refreshing amuse bouche berry sorbet and a pre starter demitasse cup of corn soup served with a bite sized puff topped with crème fraiche and caviar that was utterly exquisite. We shared several starters, and I think my favorite was the ultra simple Sea Salt Roasted Radishes with Sweet Cream Butter.
I loved my entree of braised lamb shoulder with spring garlic, corn spoon bread and chimichurri.
And top the meal off, dessert was a trio of peach cobbler, a peach ice cream sandwich and peach ice tea.
I can only sum it up by saying incredible food and incredible people. It was a birthday night to remember.