Our last big shebang dinner out while the boys were gone was eaten on the patio at Saucy Bistro one Friday night. J was unenthusiastic, to say the least, about the dinner I had planned. Neither did she seem to want to hit T.G. I. Applechili's or the Winking Lizard. So, I took her to try the Saucy Bistro (www.saucybistro.com). When I first looked at the menu, I thought, "Oh, my lord! This is all totally frilly & unappetizing, not to mention overpriced!" So, I suggested just getting drinks & moving on. J, however, thought the menu looked great. On closer examination, I realized I could find some food I'd like.
The service was very friendly & it felt wonderful out there, like we were right by the lake instead of a few miles away. The sun was beginning to set. We shared a combo appetizer, with their superb rendition of sautéed calamari, deliciously flavored with lemon, garlic & herbs, spicy (not kidding) shrimp scampi with a soy-based glaze and a "lamb lollipop", pistachio-crusted and tasty. My entrée was filet mignon with a wild mushroom reduction (not terribly mushroom-y, but good nonetheless), dainty asparagus stalks and rosemary mashed potatoes that tasted nothing like rosemary but very much like earthy potatoes. J ordered huge & luscious seared scallops with soy glaze, ribbons of spiced carrot and the most wonderful sticky sesame rice cake with wicked good crispy brown edges. The rice cake was my favorite part of a very good meal. I kind of wished we hadn't bothered with dessert. We had a chocolate lava cake that was fine, but not nearly as good as my chocolate nemesis. It would have been better had they warmed it up a bit more. Overall, though, it was a very nice meal, not The Winds, but good.
The ambiance was an important part of the meal. The patio was lively and when the owner brought out tall heaters, we were reminded of great meals we've had in Monterey & Carmel, particularly one spectacular dinner at Forge in the Forest. There was even live music, which made J really happy.