Monday, August 13, 2007

John Bentley's, Redwood City

john bentleyMy sister is a picky eater. There are very few restaurants that she really likes. And when she is fond of a place, you can bet that you'll find her there ALL THE TIME.

When she recently raved about the John Bentley's in Redwood City, I was a little surprised. Jon and I had dined at the Woodside location and, while the meal was fine, didn't find it to be all that impressive. After she tried out the Woodside John Bentley's, she agreed with our assessment of the restaurant. And maintained that the RWC one was much better, and that we HAD to try it.

So we did.

A few weeks ago, four of us made our way to El Camino — near the border of RWC and Atherton. I can't remember everything that was ordered at our table because there was so much food. But know this: Everything was good. Really good.

I started with a special that night: gorgonzola-stuffed figs. Delicious. For me, a dish like this can easily be overpowered by the smell and flavor of the gorgonzola. But not this time around.

Next up, I had the grilled and marinated quail on a bed of arugula. I'm almost drooling just thinking about this one — crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.

For my main course, I ordered the crispy nuggets of sweetbread served with shallots, smoked bacon and Yukon golds. By now, I was actually starting to get a bit full, but did the best I could with this tasty entree. The accompanying grain mustard sauce didn't do much for me, but really, bacon and sweetbreads is usually a good combination in my book. (Note: It's not quite as good as the sweetbread appetizer at Village Pub.)

The desserts — which, as you can see in the photo above, my sister ordered about eight of — were underwhelming for me. Nothing was very memorable. In fact, I can't even remember what I ordered. (Maybe the sticky toffee pudding cake?)

Overall, it was a fantastic meal, even though the desserts were disappointing. (To be fair, maybe I was just too stuffed to really enjoy the last course.) The service was excellent; the server had clearly done her homework and referred back to all of the dishes that my sister and her husband had ordered during their previous visit. It's little things like that — and those figs! and the quail! — that keep you coming back to a restaurant. Again. And again.

John Bentley's
2915 El Camino Real
Redwood City, CA
(650) 365-7777