gmhTODAY 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 92

Cocktails & Wine Dining Out with Friends at: Written By Larry J. Mickartz O Appetizers Chilled Prawn Cocktail Seared Ahi Tuna n a chilly January night, we took our new Gilroy friends, Nita and Danny Mitchell, to Ladera Grill in Morgan Hill. The evening started off well with the Valet Parking at Ladera…a welcomed service in the busy downtown. Inside it was a typical busy Friday night with a packed bar and full res- taurant. We were ushered into a well- situated corner booth. Our waitress, Natalie, soon welcomed us and took drink orders. Gin and Tonic for Nita, a Cosmo for J.Chris, a tall Rum and Coke for Danny, and a Pinot Noir for me. Readers who are not familiar with Ladera Grill should try it out. It has a good feel, an excellent selection of food, a full bar and an extensive wine selection. If you think the wild life photos around the room seem out of place, look carefully at the lower right- hand corner. You will see the signature of Dan McCranie, a wildlife photographer and owner of Ladera Grill! Ladera also has some great outdoor dining space Entrees Teriyaki Tri-Tip Steak along Monterey and down the south- side, but a January evening was not the time. Before long we put in orders for some appetizers. We selected: Seared Ahi Tuna (Sashimi #1 grade ahi tuna, sesame crust, teriyaki glaze, oriental slaw, jasmine rice) and a Chilled Prawn Cocktail (Fresh Lemon, Cocktail Sauce), and—at the suggestion of our waitress, Natalie— the Stuffed Portabella Mushroom (Goat cheese, baby spinach, grilled apricots, pinenuts, heart of romaine, olive oil, parmesan dressing.) The tuna got rave reviews. It was fresh, well prepared and “perfectly presented.” The Prawn Cocktail had four large plump prawns. The Stuffed Portabella was a little different than the description but proved to be “the surprise of the evening.” It consisted of dressed romaine, a large stuffed portabella and a glass of seasoned cherry tomatoes. We placed the mushroom on the dressed romaine and topped it with the seasoned tomatoes. It was an absolute taste delight…”a great blend of flavors.” Lobster Tail & Wagyu Rib Eye Stuffed Portabella Mushroom 92 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018