“Lets send her pictures!” my husband suggested.
“Fabulous idea!” I agreed.
Lest you believe you cannot get a decent, gourmet, fine-dining experience up in the Mountains of San Bernardino, I assure you I can vouch for this restaurant. It’s one of the first signs of civilization after climbing just 25 minutes up loopy, winding and coiled up the edges of Highway18 on your way up to Lake Arrowhead. At the first light, take a left then a quick right into the woods on Hwy 189 until you find yourself in the town of Twin Peaks. There you will find your second unassuming enclave of individual cabins for rent on your right called the Antler’s Inn. The first choice had always been our nesting perch for years when the children were teeny and it is called Pine Rose Cabins, situated on your left. Each cabin is outfitted in a cozy theme and they all have kitchens. I imagine the Antler’s Inn is the same and just as reasonable. A great escape for the children so they can play in the snow or a romantic rendezvous for a couple in a picturesque forest almost storybook setting.
Am I enticing you? Do I sound like a commercial?
The Grill at Antler’s Inn is a foodie mecca so make a reservation. The outside is a typical country log cabin chalet with a sweeping porch lit up by twinkly Christmas lights and comfortable seating. The interior is beamed high with jumbo swaths of rounded lumber and lit gently by a massive alpine hand-carved wooden chandelier.
The upper-level, modern and hipster sushi bar makes up for the drab and outdated window treatments on the main level dining room and bar. But upgrading or changing out the fabric on the interior of the divided pane windows is my only counsel and will not keep me away. The staff is elegantly dressed, prompt, eager to inform and please on a busy Saturday night. Check out their website and check out these pictures.
We had three starters, two entrees and one dessert. We chronicled the entire evening and shared the meal with my BFF in NY via smartphone.
The BLTA pizza or Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado Pizza was a crusty pie topped by a Caeserish salad.
The special Sushi Roll of the Night was a spectacular Lobster Roll with shrimp and lobster and caviar.
The Cajun Seared Ahi Sashimi was enough for two and was one of the finest cuts of Ahi, seasoned so well I commented on how you didn’t need ginger, wasabi and maybe just a dash of soy for this well plated appetizer.
“I wanna dive into that lusciousness!” remarked my BFF.
Later, our bread and house salad with feta and balsamic vinaigrette.
“Hitting all the notes.” She astutely noted.
Chicken Penne Gorgonzola Cream with mushrooms, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts.
Crab, Shrimp, Scallops Salad with candied slivered almonds, avocado and tomato buttermilk vinaigrette
“I think I just gained 5 pounds just looking at this amazing food!” my BFF merrily remarked.
“Phone calories don’t count.” My husband retorted.
Coconut Chocolate Crème Brulee
Using coconut milk as the eggy base, the pastry chef added Godiva chocolate and caramelized the sugar top till it was crackly like ice atop a frozen lake. Like a well executed crème brulee, the creamy pudding under the sweet layer was not too sweet, the texture made my mouth purr as I swirled the crème around the inside of my mouth, the well defined simple flavor profiles spoke to each other in whispers and its temperature feel was cold like it’s supposed to be. Too often I have received warm pudding or the caramelized layer which is either broiled or torched is not snappy (you want to be able to shatter the layer with a couple of hits from the side of your spoon as if you were ice fishing and may I add, hear it go – crack); both of these errors are just not the proper, definitive or classic preparation but all too often that is what I have settled for and so have you, I am guessing. The Grill not only got it right, it took it to a whole new dimension. Using creamy, rich coconut milk as the base was creative and decadent. Pairing it with chocolate was genius!
“That chef is diabolical, in a devilish way! It’s a Mounds crème brulee,” My BFF respectfully acknowledged and compared.
“Loved it. Every bite!” she pronounced in virtual dining ecstasy and we all thoroughly left sated and content!
Enjoy the Academy Awards!