The trip south was uneventful, I was rolling solo and staying by myself at the Mission Plaza Inn & Suites which is located just across the street as the ever popular Phil's BBQ. Though, a word to the wise, NEVER stay at the Mission Plaza. I was greeted with a bag of trash on the dresser, an unflushed deuce in the toilet and a front desk that thought I was lying. This was after they attempted to charge me $40 more than my booking rate and had to bring that back down.
Of course it was raining the evening of our reservation, and as such the patio was closed, but it was cozy and warm inside St. Germain's Bistro and Cafe which was housing this first Relate pop up event. We were greeted by a gentleman coming out of the restaurant whom asked us if we had been before, and then proceeded to wax poetic about the meal saying every dish was perfection. I've never seen anyone do that. Obviously, he loved his meal there. It was a fantastic sign of things to come. Rosa, her hubby and I had carpooled from San Diego to Encinitas, and had to wait a bit for the rest of our party to arrive as they got stuck in traffic. We perused the wine list and had a glass of white while we were waiting. The wines are all from Mount Palomar, why, I don't know. They weren't horrid, but they weren't great. While I did order the wine pairing, I'm not going to talk about the wines as they were paired.
Once our entire party arrived, we were served our first course, the French Onion Soup.
Our next dish was the bacon fried egg with potato rosti, baby lettuce and sherry vinaigrette. LOVED this! I loved the way the runny yolk came out when I opened the egg and then drowned the potato rosti. It doesn't hurt that I like things that are fried. Well played Mr. Moody. Well played.
The grilled octopus is first braised for 4 hours and then thrown on the grill. I have never had such tender octopus before. There was no need for a knife and my fork was able to cut nicely. This was served over a bed of mediterranean quinoa salad. I love octopus any way you serve it to me, and this was no exception.
The Redrock was, to me, the star of the evening. So much so that I even polished off Rosa's (she doesn't like beets). The redrock is sauteed, and then served over vadouvan beets with a coconut curry hollandaise and topped with fried spinach. The curry and the beets were just amazing. The coconut gave it a touch of sweetness to counteract the kick of the curry and the fried spinach gave it a nice bit of crunchy texture. The spinach, in a way, reminded me of nori. All in all, just delightful.
You can't go home without having at least one meat dish, and the spiced beef was that dish. Perfectly cooked it was juicy and tender. The picture doesn't show it, but there were several pieces strewn over a spinach avocado puree and green flash double stout gastrique with a nice amount of crispy porcini spaetzle. I don't know exactly what was in the spaetzle, but I got a mild maple flavour that I loved. Sadly, I didn't finish this one as I was getting full and there was still dessert.
The menu says we were to have a chocolate terrine however, plans were changed. Earlier in the week I had emailed Chef Moody about Angela's birthday. I asked him if he could kindly make her a cake, and he did. What you see below was the most decadently chocolate cake that had a cognac chocolate icing. Mmmm, icing.
|blurry, I was a little buzzed by this point as well as full|
There was mild talk of Moody bringing Relate up to Los Angeles, and I hope he does. Not that I mind driving, but I want all of LA to be able to partake. Congrats to the Chef on a successful first pop up, and I look forward to future events!
Relate at Bistro St. Germain’s
1010 S. Coast Highway 101 #103
Encinitas, CA 92024