Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review of The Ranch

Wow! That is the one word to describe my experience at The Ranch! From beginning to end, I would have stayed if they let me! Top notch service from the young lady at the door, to the hostesses, to our amazing server Ben! Everything was just perfect! I went with my friend Rachelle and so far I have been batting 1.000 with her in terms of choosing restaurants to go to. The Ranch keeps my streak intact!
I loved the fact that Ben really talked up the OC Restaurant Week menu. Our experiences with OC Restaurant Week has been either a serving staff that didn't know what ti was to ones that didn't really want you to go off of that. Ben also let us know that we could add items from the regular menu to our meal. This would lead to us eating way too much! Adn that's never a bad thing!
Ben brought us out the wagon wheel of bread! Seven different types of bread! There was sourdough, wheat, white, portugeuse, jalapeno, and several others. Our first mistakes was ordering another one of these after we quickly made our way through this one!
Rachelle ordered a strawberry vine, made of Three Olives Citrus and St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, muddled strawberries, basil and fresh squeezed lemonade. I loved it, but Rachelle said it was too strong for her.
 I went with on old fashion cowboy, made of Bulleit Bourbon, sugar, Angostura Bitters, muddled oranges and
house marinated Bourbon maraschino cherries with splash of soda. It was really strong but I love strong drinks. Rachelle's face, even after I warned her how strong this drink was, said it all.
Now Rachelle is a huge fan of pasta and once she saw that they had hand crafted sweet potato gnocchi, she knew what he had to order. It was made with Maitake Mushrooms, Braised Petaluma Rabbit and San Marzano Tomato Sugo. It was heavenly. The gnocchi were soft and freshly made. The rabbit was prepared in such a way that it lost its typical gaminess. I would happily order this again!
We also ordered the Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna Crudo made with Aji Amarillo Chile, Naval Orange and Avocado.Just like the photo suggests, this was nice and light with sashimi grade tuna. Just delicious! Another great choice!
I also ordered the lobster mac n cheese! Mac N Cheese is a new favorite of mine! I know, I know, I just never ate it as a kid! Great big pieces of lobster combined with soft pasta and Vermont white cheddar cheese made this another winner! We could have made a great meals just on appetizers and sides!
Rachelle ordered the British Columbia Skuna Bay Salmon with Black Quinoa, California Pistachios, Vine-Dried Grapes and Tangerine Nage. The salmon was light and flaky and cooked to perfection.
I ordered the Confit of Muscovy Duck Leg made with Beluga lentils, house made guanciale, and baby root vegetables. I am already a huge fan of duck and this was the best duck I have ever had.  The duck was perfectly juicy and the skin was crisp. This was an OC Restaurant Week exclusive, but it was such a hit that it is now a regular item on the menu. 
I knew I would want a glass of red wine to accompany my duck leg. I asked Ben for his recommendations and he brought out three of his favorites for me to try. For a little backstory, VP of Food & Beverage at The Ranch Michael Jordan, not that Michael Jordan, but the man who was the opening Generel Manager for the Napa Rose at The Grand Californian Hotel at The Disneyland Resort, is a Master Sommelier. He continues a program he started at The Napa Rose, to encourage his entire staff to become sommeliers themselves. They even pay for the courses for the staff to take. So, with that Ben who is training to become a sommelier, took me through his favorites that he felt would pair well with the duck leg. I loved all three and decided on one. Just another example of over the top service that one should expect at The Ranch.
Believe it or not, we have made it to dessert and trust me there was a little room in our stomachs for dessert. Rachelle ordered the Tahitian vanilla bean creme brulee with Lemon Poppy Seed Madeilineson the side. It was just perfect! The crisp top of the creme brulee gave way to a sweet creamy inside.
I went with the PBJ & milk chocolate bar made concord grape and caramelized banana ice cream. This had molecular gastronomy written all over it. Everything is hand made and just a great twist on the traditional PB&J!

All in all, an amazing meal! Rachelle and I just loved this place! I had been looking forward to dinner here since I first heard about this restaurant last year. The Ranch exceeded my expectations and we will be back!

The Ranch
1025 E. Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 817-4200
Located on the
Ground Floor of the
Extron Building.

THE RANCH Restaurant Hours:
Open Nightly
5:30PM - 10:00PM

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