I recently came to Encore Dinner Theatre for a production of Fiddler on the Roof. We came a couple of years ago for another show which was enjoyable, but the only thing I remembered about that time was that the musical was fun — even my son liked it — but the food was very forgetful.
This time, my friends and I returned for a matinee and arrived two hours prior to the show to partake on the menu created by Encore’s new French chef. My friends started with some cocktails while I decided to remain sober.
The price of the tickets vary, but average between $60 to $80 which includes a two-course meal of your choice of salad (there’s a house and a Caesar) plus an entree. There are optional menu items which you can choose for a supplement charge, and since there were quite a few of us, we decided to order some extras to try.
Lamb Sliders with Tzatziki sauce ($11.95) comprised of mini ground lamb patties mixed with special spices and topped with sweet caramelized onions, creamy feta cheese and tzatziki, on a mini brioche bun. All the flavors worked well together, although I would have liked the bun slightly toasted.
When Encore’s Stuffed Portabello Mushroom ($10.95) arrived, I was glad we were sharing! A very large portabello mushroom is stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, bacon bits, sundried tomatoes and herbs, topped with a parmesan crust, then baked until golden brown and served with a tangy marinara sauce. I was surprised how much I liked the marinara and lapped it up with the bread that accompanied.
I was a bit skeptical about the Lobster Bisque ($8.95) but it was actually rather good. Apart from my issue with the temperature — it was tepid — the soup was well executed with creme fraiche and a touch of sherry, I could have polished off a large bowl of this on my own.
As far as entrees go, the Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken was one of the items listed as part of the ticket price. The oven roasted half chicken with Chef’s special blend and lemon zest was moist and juicy, something not easy to do in a dinner theater setting. The signature gravy was tasty and I wanted more of it to go with the mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables on the plate.
The Filet Mignon ($13.95) was also very good. A 6oz steak is cooked to the right temperature of medium rare and topped with a garlic tomato gorgonzola crust. Again, rather impressive when I thought about how I am at a dinner theater!
Some other people ordered the short ribs, but unfortunately I didn’t get to taste it. I heard it was really great as well.
There are desserts on offer for an additional cost, my favorite was the New York Cheesecake ($6.95) with fresh strawberries. Not incredibly dense with a nice creamy texture.
This week, I have a pair of VIP Diamond tickets — good for any show (please check website for details) and includes a gourmet dinner valued at $160 to give away. Leave me a comment with your FULL name and who you would bring with you for this unique evening out. Entries close Sunday Nov 3rd, winner will be announced Nov 4th. Good Luck.
Encore Dinner Theatre
690 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780