A few weeks ago, I was invited to The Resort at Pelican Hill to get a taste of new fall menu items at Coliseum Pool & Grill. I arrived a little early and was taken aback by the stunning view of the pool and the beautiful weather that afternoon. As I walked around the circular design of the place, I took a peek at the cabanas available for rental, and slowly made my way to the last one, where we would begin our afternoon with some appetizers and drinks.
Sangrias were poured as we waited for the others to arrive. It was an intimate gathering with less than a dozen people, which gave us a good feel of what an actual cabana experience would be like.
We nibbled on Irvine Ranch Fig and Goat Cheese on top of ciabatta crostini, drizzled with balsamic reduction and topped with micro arugula. A beautiful palette of colors and a wonderful showcase of the beautiful figs in season.
Next came Chicken Tortilla Soup in shot glasses for us to sample. In all honesty, I could have slurped an entire bowl of this easily because it was SO palate teasing. Chicken breast pieces float within the silky soup filled with savory nuances, but I didn’t want to be rude and ask for more, but as you can tell, I absolutely loved it!
Our last appetizer was Ahi Poke chunks coated in a sesame soy, tossed with toasted coconut, macadamia and green onions, served on top of taro chips. Packed with flavor but perfectly healthy and light so you won’t feel guilty indulging.
Our dinner tasting was served on the terrace. After we were all settled into our seats, our first course of Irvine Ranch Beet Salad was placed in front of us. A medley of golden and red beets are seasoned with a balsamic reduction and dotted with goat cheese and shards of arugula. The sweetness of the beets meld well together with the saltiness of the cheese and hint of bitterness from the greens.
Next came a mini portion of Shrimp & Crab Wrap which ordinarily, would be a full size wrap enough for a whole meal. The shrimp and crab filling is umami-filled and the morsels of crustacean delicately sweet. The pico de gallo here is kicked up a notch by adding roasted corn for a lovely crunch, not to mention, sweetness. A lemongrass dressing with basil leaves completes with a subtle hint of citrus aromatics.
When I saw Thai Fettucine Pasta on the menu, I was at first skeptical. I couldn’t wrap my head around a curry flavored fettucine. However, the minute I put a forkful into my mouth, all my worries were washed away. The creamy curry sauce was so delicate it never overpowers the perfectly al dente noodles. The tender pieces of Angus beef were delightful with the oven dried tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms. I was flabbergasted. Never would I ever think this dish would work, but it not only worked, it was absolutely fantastic.
The same goes for Grilled Meyer Lemon & Vanilla marinated Chilean Seabass. I’ve never been a fan of vanilla even in desserts, so I was wary about vanilla with fish. Again, I was bowled over by Chef’s clever use of an ingredient I don’t particularly care for and created something so exceptional. I was speechless. The fork-tender citrus-perfumed fish melted in my mouth with ease. I didn’t even care about the rest of the accompaniments on the plate which included seasonal Irvine Ranch vegetables, roasted tomatoes and herb mashed potatoes, even though the latter was really rather good.
Dessert Flight of pumpkin cake, black forest cake and key lime pie were last but not least, however, unfortunately, I had no room left except for a bite of each. Needless to say, my favorite was the wonderfully tart and creamy “pie” layered in a cup.
This week, I have a giveaway for one of my readers to win. The Resort at Pelican Hill has generously donated lunch for two valued at $75 at Coliseum Pool & Grill. Leave me a comment with your FULL name and why you should win and who you will bring with you. Entries close on Sunday, 27th. Winner will be announced on Monday 28th. Gift certificate expires October 31, 2014.
Restrictions: All reservations based on availability. Certificate must be rendered at time of dining experience. Certificate has no cash value, is non-transferable and may not be combined with any other offers or promotions. Dining credit for Coliseum Pool & Grill only, does not include alcohol, tax or gratuities – not to exceed $75. Not valid during special events, holidays or holiday weekends. Strictly not eligible for extension. May not be replaced if lost or stolen.
Coliseum Pool & Grill
The Resort at Pelican Hill
22701 Pelican Hill Road
Newport Coast, CA 92657