Napa & Sonoma Reviews
Bay Area Reviews
Lola and I were staying in Monte Nido (May 2009), and we decided to check the restaurant action in town. Apparently there are only 3 restaurants, a Frech one, a Californian one and the restaurant at the Highland Dell Lodge, which serves German in addition to Californian food. We decided on dinner here, for no compelling reason.
The restaurant occupies two or three rather large, nicely appointed dining rooms, and has an outside deck overlooking the Russian river. It was a very hot day and both the deck and the dining rooms were in the 80's or 90's, but it was slightly cooler outside, so we ate there. The outside deck is quite informal (the dining rooms are more stylish), and we felt quite comfortable there in our shorts and jeans.
Service was good, but the bread and butter left some to be desired. The bread tasted like it was from that morning, and the butter was of the individually-packaged-pat kind.
The food was also uneven. Lola liked her jaegerschnitzel ($22), though she didn't say much about it. I had the mustard-rubbed rack of lamb, on special that day (about $25). The lamb wasn't as rare as I would have liked (I asked for it to be served medium-rare), and lacked seasoning beyond the mustard rub. The rub, as I was afraid of, was too strong flavored for the meat, but it came off quite easily. The dish, all in all, was OK, but definitely not worth the price. It was served with broccoli & carrots and something else, so unmemorable I can't think of what it was.
The restaurant did redeem itself with the desserts. We shared the bananas foster and chocolate cheesecake (both $5). Both were excellent and we couldn't decide which one we liked better. The bananas had a rich, rum sauce and melting ice cream, while the more subtle cheesecake was rich and balanced.
Another winner was the Johannesburg Riesling ($9? a glass) - it was almost sweet enough to be a dessert, though not enough to threaten the entree, a great sipping wine. I had the cava ($4.50), which was quite mediocre.
Highland Dell Lodge
21050 River Boulevard
Monte Rio, CA