By Kim Fuller Published in EAT Magazine
Splendido at the Chateau doesn’t skip a beat. Between the rhythms of piano keys stroked live in the lounge and the seamless melodies of service dancing through the dining room, chef-owner Ackerman, dining room manager Brian Rhodes and the rest of the staff make every evening a forever memory.
The restaurant has been freshly redesigned by Dallas Lyon of Lyon Design Group Edwards. A delicious scene to witness, it’s even more so with that first bite. Try the peekytoe crab appetizer to begin, served with the bright flavors of apple and pomegranate surrounded by the crunch of walnut pieces. The lump crab is succulent and especially distinct in its ocean richness over a celery root puree.For me, Splendido is the song I like to play over and over again — the one that never gets old. It’s the gem of a milestone birthday, the heart of an anniversary and the excitement of an impulsive date night. Just ask your glass of Champagne Henriot and the beautiful Britten artwork on the wall; from his golden bubbles to her gold leaf paint, sweet nothings are not only whispered into each moment, but projected into every course.
A glass of Roots pinot noir from Oregon pairs just right with the pear and beet tart. Delicate in presentation and robust in flavor, this savory salad is bold with midnight blue cheese yet bright with candied pecan.
For his entrée renditions, Ackerman is focusing on highlighting the ingredients for what they are, without too much alteration. Since taking over the restaurant in the spring of 2016, he’s lightened up the menu with less butter, while still maintaining plenty of flavor.
“We are trying to elevate the food, and really give people what I believe they want to eat,” says Ackerman. “What we put on the plate is what we would want to eat and what we think is creative.”
The Chilean sea bass stands up effortlessly to a glass of Alexander Valley cab franc. The dish is deeply savory with Brussels sprouts, wild rice, black garlic, chive and amaranth, yet balanced with a lively miso glaze on the fish.
The crescendo seems to build throughout the meal, and fully belts out perfection with the Dakota 21-day dry-aged buffalo rib-eye. This completely tender cut is served over a bed of spaetzel and lambic beer cabbage for a hearty Tyrolean flare. Each smooth, velvet-like bite should be taken with sips of cabernet sauvignon to lead you right back to your next forkful.
The show doesn’t end until Sebastian Schmitt sings. The French pastry chef is crafting desserts where you must “crack open the moon,” or “climb up the mountain” – unique and fun presentations that please all the way from plate to palate. •
Appetizers: $14-$22; Entrées: $38-$62
Elegant mountain chateau
Dakota 21-day dry-aged buffalo rib-eye