If you have not been acquainted with Haven Gastropub yet, this is the time to do it. This season, Chef Greg Daniels has presented a fall menu so worthy of praise I’m still salivating at the thought of it. I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview of some fall menu items and after reading about it, I hope you will pay them a visit to check it out for yourself.
** portions shown in photos are tasting size and not reflective of the menu prices listed**
First thing we were presented with were Radishes ($7) an array of icicle, breakfast and lime. Each had its own distinctive taste, my favorite being the lime having a nice spicy kick which creeps up slowly. Dip the radishes in a bit of house made whipped butter and a little Philippine sea salt.
** paired with a Cape Mentelle 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand **
Next came Duck Confit Salad ($15) — rich pieces of duck meat dotted the crispy Tuscan kale with bits of roasted butternut squash, crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds), tossed with walnut oil and sherry vinegar. A beautiful salad either to share or as an entree.
** paired with an Americano: campari, carpano antica, soda **
The Pumpkin Gratin ($9) drew oooos and ahhhhs all around. Sugar pumpkin slices are baked with grana padano and crema then finished in the salamander to create the beautiful crust. This was heaven in a bowl. The sweetness of the pumpkin is so delicious and not as heavy or starchy as potatoes and simply divine!
** paired with Autumn Maple by The Bruery, Pumpkin Beer, CA, USA **
I was most looking forward to Rabbit Pappardelle ($20) and it definitely did not disappoint. The table got really quiet when this course was served because everyone was enjoying it so much they forgot to talk. The pappardelle was perfectly cooked with a nice bite remaining. Braised leg meat, seared saddle meat, roasted fall mushrooms and a decadent, full-bodied rabbit jus completed what I reckon was one of the most perfectly executed dishes I’ve eaten this year.
** paired with Giminez Rilli, 2010 Malbec, Argentina **
Our final dish of the evening, Lamb Belly ($22) was crusted with vadouvan, a French-influenced curry blend of spices which gave it a mild curry flavor without it being overpowering. The lamb had a nice gaminess to it which I really liked. A house made harissa lined the plate which added a wonderfully aromatic and spicy element to whatever you chose to eat it, whether the lentils du puy, spiced rutabaga,or lamb. I wanted more!
** paired with Cali-Belgique by Stone, Belgian IPA, CA, USA **
We ended the evening with Sticky Toffee Pudding ($10) with brown butter Bourbon and vanilla ice cream.
My favorites were the beer pairings, especially the one with the lamb belly. The acidic hints of the IPA helped cut the richness of the lamb on your palate between bites. If you are a beer lover, you need to try this together.
There are other menu items we didn’t try which I am looking forward to coming back for such as the fried pig’s ears and the citrus cured salmon. It’s going to be a great season at Haven!
This week, Haven Gastropub has generously donated a $50 giftcard for one of my readers to win. Just leave me a comment with your FULL name and which menu item you would most like to try (whether I’ve mentioned them in this post or you’re resourceful enough to check out on their website). Entries end on Sunday. Good Luck!
190 S Glassell
Orange, CA 92866