You all know I’m not big on manufactured holidays like Valentine’s Day that tell me when I should act romantically. I’m much more apt to spontaneously invite the object of my affection to a local restaurant on a quiet Tuesday night, which is exactly what I did last week. Heading right down the road from my place in Rancho Mirage, we slipped into a corner table of the soaring dining room of Bella Vista, the top-notch eatery at the Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa on Dinah Shore.
James Beard-honored chef Joel Delmond has put together a wonderful menu with plenty of options to delight every taste bud. We started off sharing a salad of heirloom tomatoes and Di Stefano Burrata (an amazingly creamy mozzarella-type cheese) with a balsamic reduction and olive oil dressing, then moved on to a delicious Eastern Shore Crab Cake. Our server Javier, whose passion listed on his name tag is “wine,” was clearly up to the task of helping us pair some great grapes with our food choices. The 2008 Penfolds Thomas Hyland Riesling with the salad was inspired.
We playfully argued over which main course was best, the Grilled 12 oz. New York Strip battling it out with the Plancha Seared Wild Salmon. In the end we had to admit that it was an out-and-out tie. Both were awesome. A sliver of Chocolate Mousse Rum Pie with the remains of our 2008 Beringer Merlot from Napa topped off the meal.
Who needs a special occasion for amour? Not we. Any old Tuesday at a tried-and-true restaurant works for me.