I previously lived in Napa Valley so I understand what style this chef is going for but he's missing on quite a few counts. Several items on the menu are great but most are just average. My guess is that he's never developed a menu by himself and that's why there doesn't seem to be a coherent theme. It's really not Napa Valley-level fare but he's charging prices that I encountered there.
Dinner: As a vegetarian there isn't much to eat except appetizers, which isn't acceptable and you'd never find this in Napa Valley. The only entree is grits with an egg on it (no thanks). So I got appetizers and a salad that was kinda good. They server said the corn chowder was "completely vegetarian" but turned out to have a clam in the bottom. She also had us keep our dirty forks for second course (huh?). My husband thought his halibut was decent. Appetizers were great though! It was extremely loud at our table as they put us next to a high school reunion.
Lunch I had the "truffled grilled cheese sandwich" which oddly didn't have any truffle taste. It was brie with caramelized onions which isn't that great of a combination. The brioche it was on was great though. Pricing for lunch is totally off. You can't expect people to drop $12 + for a lunch entree in Redlands. It's obvious this is true as I never saw more than two tables there at lunchtime. My friend's chicken sandwich was good but impossible to eat as a sandwich as they left the skin on.
I love the interior of the restaurant and some of the food items are excellent. The location is good too. I love that they have farm to table theme and Augie's coffee and a la minute ice cream!I think this restaurant could do really well if the chef were to fix the menu. It's as easy as looking at menus on St. Helena mainstreet and copying the style.
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