August 24, 2007

Fine Dining at Delius

Last weekend Jon and I went with a couple of friends to the recently-relocated Delius. For years, this place was a highly recommended prix fixe place with one seating a night. I had always wanted to try it, just never got around to it. Now, they're located just off the 405 at Cherry (a much better location) and have what I understand to be a bigger place. If you grew up in the LB area, and remember The Rib, this is the same spot. It's still a small place, but it now offers a la carte dining as well as a prix fixe seating in another room.

The place was really clean, but not over-decorated or anything. That's fine with me, as I'm far more concerned about service and food. Our service was good, especially considering the location hasn't been open but a few weeks, and I'm guessing it will continue to improve with time. Heck, everyone was friendly (even if it took forever to find the bottle of wine we ordered.) About that food...pretty darned yummy. Jon is even interested in a couple of the set menu dinners now. The bread was nice and soft, with only a bit of crust, and we both love that sort of bread. We all shared a cheese plate appetizer, which was OK, but nothing spectacular. It is worth getting just for the candied walnuts. I do a dinner of cheese and crackers too often at home I guess. My dinner salad was nice, and the seafood bisque was pretty good, not perfect, but still far superior to those versions that taste of nothing but sherry. It was a bit strong on the seafood, more punchy than a typical bisque, but that may have just been the batch of seafood in the pot. My entree of bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with blue cheese was perfectly cooked, and the flavor was wonderful. If you don't like blue cheese, you should not order the dish as it is not subtle. I love blue cheese so I was thrilled. Decent chive mashed potatoes and grilled veggies rounded it out. Jon had the lobster ravioli in a sauce with crab, and it was divine. One of our friends had it as well, and loved it too. The other entree was a braised lamb shank that melted in your mouth. Dessert was pretty darned good too, or at least my sticky toffee pudding was. I don't remember the other dessert I was so busy with mine.

The restaurant won an award from Wine Spectator magazine, and it does have a pretty good list with decent markups. We've become such pains in the butt about wine lately that we'll likely ask about the corkage fee for future dinners in the main dining room. For the prix fixe dinners, we'll go with their pairings. Prices are reasonable for a nice place (entrees are in the $10 - $20 range) and the prix fixe price is great: $50 a person, with another $25 a person for wine pairing. That's a bargain for that type of meal that can't be beat.

So, will we return? Absolutely. Would I recommend it for others? Yes, especially for a nicer dinner in a more casual setting. You don't need a coat and tie or anything...the place is relaxed, friendly, and darned good food. For those times I don't feel like cooking, Delius will be near the top of my list.

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