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While visiting Solvang on a weekend getaway up the California coast, my husband Richard and I had the pleasure of dining at First & Oak, located inside the Mirabelle Inn where we were staying. CLICK HERE to read my review of this wonderful hotel.

First & Oak, an intimate restaurant; photo by Kathy Leonardo; courtesy of ETG

This Michelin Plate awarded restaurant offers an intimate, romantic setting, with an attentive wait staff. We were celebrating my birthday, so we scheduled our dinner at opening time; giving us the cozy dining room all to ourselves before the crowds arrived. I enjoyed a glass of the Pinot Noir Kessler-Haak “Ohana” Sta. Rita Hills ’17 to start the night. It featured a dark cherry nose… oaky and fruity on the palate. It was one of the better wines I had during our visit to Solvang – CLICK HERE to read my article “The Wines of Solvang”

Since we had already indulged in Solvang’s famous pastries during the day, we ordered a bit less food than usual. We selected two entrees which sounded excellent, fillet of beef and Halibut.

First & Oak, Filet of Beef (smoked celery root, miso, slow cooked onion); photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

As always my husband and I love to share our meals. The Filet of Beef (smoked celery root, miso, slow cooked onion) was perfectly cooked, rare and so tender. The celery root, and miso imbued the tender onions and beef. The Halibut (baby turnips, maitake mushrooms, black truffle deshi) was also fantastic. I prefer my fish a tad on the rare side. This was executed just as ordered. It was so delicate, it melted in my mouth. I adore truffle as well as mushrooms – so the taste of all my favorite flavors, along with sharing both the beef and halibut was a wonderful birthday dinner. 

Halibut (baby turnips, maitake mushrooms, black truffle deshi); photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

One reason I don’t always order appetizers is to save room for dessert, the sweet finish of the meal. We were both ready to try something truly special, and we dove right into the scrumptious Chocolate & Honey (chocolate mousse, honeycomb crumble, bee pollen). This was exquisite. The mouse was sweet and smooth with exceptional chocolate flavor. The tiny bits of bee pollen and the delicious crunch of honeycomb made for a multi-textured mouth feel, giving extra dimension to the layers of complimentary flavors. Despite having already sampled pastries at several of Solvang’s numerous bakeries for our travel coverage of the town, nothing we had was quite like this. CLICK HERE for a direct link to my favorite bakeries in Solvang story.

Chocolate & Honey (chocolate mousse, honeycomb crumble, bee pollen); photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

If you are visiting Solvang and want a top notch meal, head to First & Oak. You won’t be disappointed. First & Oak 409 First Street Solvang, CA 93463; https://firstandoak.com/

 

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