We had been sitting on a hundred dollar gift certificate to Pacific Grill since Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Mother’s Day. I’m not sure which. It was a present to Peg from Zeke Melquist. I don’t know what to call Zeke, actually Dr. Alexander Melquist. We’ve known him almost all his life. His parents were our best friends for years, and years. Neither are still with us. Our oldest son, Del, married Zeke’s sister Johanna. We inherited two grandchildren (Vanessa, and Caitlin) from her previous marriage, but we’ve known them and loved them all their lives. Since the marriage, Del and Johanna have given us two more granddaughters (Bella and Sophia). Earlier this month we received a twenty-five dollar gift certificate from Pacific Grill to celebrate Peg’s birthday. My cousin Lindy, Lavinia Hart, moved back to the Tacoma area (Lakewood) last summer. She teaches drama and directing at Wayne State University in Detroit. This is her last year teaching. Lindy’s mother and my mother were identical twins, so we grew up virtually as brother and sister. We introduced Lindy to Pacific Grill a year or two ago, so she has dined there several times and brought her daughter TV actress Jaime Moyer. This time we made sure she signed up for the Pacific Grill birthday program. We arrived at the restaurant and turned our car over to the valet and waltzed in to the reception desk. Seconds later we were sitting down.
Although we study the menu judiciously each time we visit Pacific Grill, we always know how we will start our dinner. Peg and I love salmon, so our appetizer is without fail, their smoked salmon. We asked for two orders plus an extra salmon and cracker addition: cold-smoked salmon, red onion, capers + cream cheese w/ multi-grain crackers. Peg had a glass of sauvignon blanc, while Lindy had a glass of malbeck. Both worked well with dinner. Before visiting Pacific Grill for dinner, I suggest you visit them at the bar for lunch. They offer many items at happy hour prices, which could give you a chance to sample a number of menu items.
When you make reservations online you have an opportunity to make requests. We asked for Danielle as our server. There is not a list for requests, we just know what we want. Danielle knows that I love to drink Shirley Temples with lots of cherries. I have to cut her off after two or three glasses. She would keep delivering them forever I think. However, I certainly don’t want to ruin my appetite. Danielle makes suggestions and follows up on our orders to make sure we are happy. She only works Monday thru Thursday evenings. We’ve never had bad service, but it’s so nice having someone who knows your tastes.
Peg and I declined salad, but Lindy asked for the BLT Salad: Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon, romaine, avocado, marinated tomatoes + warm dijon-bacon vinaigrette. Peg and I sampled. Danielle brought us little plates. The bacon was plentiful and the vinaigrette dressing had a nice little zing to it. Peg loved the little cherry tomatoes. The BLT Salad and a sandwich would make a very nice lunch there.
I almost always order the Filet Mignon for dinner, but the Lamb Shank caught my attention. The spice-braised lamb shank comes with creamy polenta and cloud forest cardamom, toasted cumin seeds, broccolini, red wine sauce + black lime gremolata. Lamb Shank, sometimes used as “osso buco,” is a very flavorful, succulent dish. It’s braised and the meat practically melts off the bone. I figured I would order the lamb and Peg would order the scallops. I was wrong. Peg wanted the lamb, while I settled for the scallops. Settling is perhaps, not the right word. The scallops came with a beet purée with horseradish, local chanterelle mushrooms + thyme brown butter. I had several bites of lamb and Peg brought her left-overs home. She also received a scallop from me. I also consumed most of her polenta. It was excellent.
Lindy ordered the Filet Mignon. I should have ordered the Filet Mignon, too. It was fantastic. The medium-rare filet is a grilled 8 oz. certified Angus beef® filet w/ double-cream Gouda mashed potatoes, broccolini + red wine sauce. I had two bites of the perfect steak along with a spoonful of the Gouda mashed potatoes. In reality, everyone had scallops. For a ten dollar charge you can have two as a side dish.
Dessert is another chance to try something different or asking for your favorite dish. Peg ordered the tangy blood orange sorbet (new), while Lindy chose the Hot Buttered Rum Creme Brulee with its house-made gingersnap cookies. All three of us were rolling our eyes in delight as we ate our desserts and sampled each other’s.
My Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding with cinnamon ice cream and caramel sauce was absolutely perfect. I ended up with one of Lindy’s gingersnap cookies and dunked each bite in my caramel sauce and passed my little caramel sauce pitcher to her. I also finished off Peg’s sorbet.
We had made our dinner reservations to give us two hours for dinner. We had tickets for Tacoma Little Theatre for a seven-thirty curtain time. Our timing was perfect. Danielle expedited our bill, delivered a birthday card and a certificate for dessert at our next dinner and arranged for our valet (which was taken care of on the bill by Danielle). When we walked out the door our car was waiting for us. We arrived at TLT in time to chat with people and then watch the show. A great evening of excellent food and entertainment.