I feel like the last time I looked at my calendar it was October! Where did this year go? The days just keep disappearing faster and faster each year. I can’t believe it’s Christmas week! As a former east coaster, it’s sometimes hard to connect to the holidays when you’re sweating in December, lol, so taking a drive up to Callaway Winery in Temecula is always the perfect reminder of the joyous holidays ahead.
Callaway’s premier restaurant, Meritage, just welcomed a new Executive Chef, Anthony Bar to the team. He hails from northern France and is bringing his French influences to a brand new menu. Chef Anthony came on board in November and is focused on creating dishes with fresh ingredients that are locally sourced, many of which come directly from the greenhouse on the property.
Chef’s favorite thing to eat is pasta! And as an Italian girl, that makes my carb-filled heart so happy! When he’s chilling at home he likes “something sweet like a pastry, and always chocolate.”
I’ve been eagerly awaiting to try some dishes from the new menu and first up was the Warm Goat Cheese. This melty goodness sits atop toasted apples and almonds tossed in herbs with a side of toast points. I flipped back and forth through the menu several times and decided I was in the mood for the Chicken Sandwich with fries. Personally, I think the chicken sandwich should be named “Not Your Basic Chicken Sandwich” because this was anything but basic! This focaccia sandwich is stuffed with organic chicken, arugula, avocado, and crispy bacon. We all know bacon makes everything better!
Since the chef himself loves sweets, you know I had to save room for dessert! While they all sounded tasty, I chose his version of Baies Cordonnière which translates to Berry Cobbler. This light dessert was balanced with fresh berries and cake and topped with a dollop of mascarpone.
If you’re like me and you missed their annual Barrel Tree Lighting, make a note to be there next year, I heard it was an awesome evening! I did make it just in time to browse their gift shop though. Wine themed gifts are always so fun, but wine and Christmas themed gifts are even better!
And if you thought I forgot the wine, you’d be wrong; I never forget the wine! Their newest sparkling wine, Bella Allora, is delicious and as a bonus, the bottle is super festive! It makes for a great hostess gift along with a couple of their Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la stemless wine glasses.
Wherever you spend the holidays and whoever you spend them with, I hope they are cheerful and full of love. On a personal note, I just want to thank you all for sharing in this past year of food and travel blogging with me. It’s truly been an incredible year for San Diego Food Girl and my heart overflows with gratitude.
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!