Maro Wood Grill

Today’s blog photo is a snapshot of the “huevos Napoleon” I made for Roger’s breakfast. There were three layers of thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes with an egg white omelet nestled in between the layers. The omelet contained queso fresco, avocado, cilantro, a small brunoise of red pepper, red onion, and tomatoes. It was yummy and healthy!

Before we left for Spring break, Roger and I had a WONDERFUL dinner at the quaint “Maro Wood Grill,” 1915 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA. Maro describes itself as a sustainable, responsible, organic, farm to table creative cuisine, and I would have blogged about the meal sooner, but I just switched blog sites (I was on blogspot) and it’s taken me a few days to find the time to work out the quirks of wordpress.com.

At Maro our charming server’s name was Fiore. Fiore’s mother and brother are the owners of Maro, and Fiore’s an enthusiastic promoter of their new enterprise. Fiore also manages the restaurant’s FB account and when you “friend” Maro on FB, you receive daily updates of their prix fixe menu. The chefs at Maro believe in nourishing their guests with the freshest of ingredients, therefore, their menu items change on a daily basis.

Now, let’s get down to what’s important: The food and wine! The first menu item was an orange tomato gazpacho. The color of the soup was the color of Spring. It was a vibrant green and the flavors were bright and clean. The gazpacho contained on-the-vine tomatoes, sweet red and yellow peppers, Persian cucumbers, and red onions. Each of the components could be tasted with every bite.

The second item was a mushroom and onion empanada served with a Sriracha aioli. These perfect little pockets were earthy and delicious, the aioli was the perfect accompaniment.

Next we were served an apple-raddichio salad with buttermilk dressing. The sweet tart apples, buttermilk dressing, and luscious Burrata cheese nicely complemented the bitter raddichio.

Our favorite menu item was the grilled pork with potato-bacon gratin. Nonetheless, I did take issue with the description of the potato preparation. The potatoes were described as a potato-bacon gratin, however, the potatoes were done in a Lyonnaise style and not au gratin. That being said, the potatoes were accented with well cooked lardons of bacon and they were utterly delicious. The thick and juicy pork chop was prepared perfectly and served on top of an apple slaw that stood in for the traditional side dish of apple sauce.

For dessert there was a chai pound cake with a cinnamon semifreddo. To be honest, I was so full from dinner that my heart just wasn’t into dessert. I did force myself to have a bite or two, and the semifreddo was rich and creamy. The chai cake was a little dry on its own, but the semifreddo corrected for this when tasted in conjunction with the cake.

We enjoyed our delicious meal with a bottle of 2007 Ciclos. Ciclos is a dark ruby malbec-merlot blend (it was the restaurant’s Argentinean blend of the week) with aromas of dark fruits, tobacco, and spice. On the palate there were medium + tannins, a medium body, flavors of black cherry, tobacco, and chocolate, and a nice long finish. On our rating scale of 1 to 20 we gave this wine an 18. With some aging, this wine would be even more spectacular!

So in summary, the food was excellent and the price was right.  Make your reservations today!

“A clever cook, can make….good meat of a whetstone.”

Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536)
Dutch priest and scholar

April Steinert

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