Los Pinos Ranch
Having been privy to raves about chef Enam Chowdhury’s specials, we set out to visit this remote winery and restaurant and order the specials of the evening, no matter the culinary category. We primed our palates with the lobster nachos, which were peppered with charred guajillo chiles, and the ahi tuna tower, generously tall with ahi tuna, avocado, toasted sesame seeds, sticky rice, and a garnish of soy-wasabi vinaigrette. The tempura squid, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and sriracha, was delightful, the melding of spice and tender squid in a light tempura batter conjuring visions of run-of-the-mill rubber calamari scurrying to the corner, tentacles over eyes in shame. The next course was roasted duck breast with a slightly sweet Portuguese Madeira wine sauce and a side of buttery wild-mushroom risotto. We enjoyed this perfect meal on the covered porch while listening to excellent local jazz and sipping some award-winning wine from the winery.