Posted by: cvancil | April 15, 2009

Spotlight: The Sow’s Ear

An absolute must when you visit Cambria is to have dinner at The Sow’s Ear. Reviewed as “Perfect in every way” by Kim Carter in 2004, this restaurant has an atmosphere and food that will keep you coming back again and again

The Sow’s Ear is owned by Dough and Beth Lindsay (since 2001) who moved from Illinois where they ran several restaurants. Beth is responsible for their amazing wine list (what a selection!). They train the staff on food and wine pairing in addition to making sure that everyone is up to date on specials and is fully knowledgeable on the house cuisine, “creating an enriched experience for all.” The Chef, Sal Garcia, is an amazing conjurer of delicious meals – just talking about them make my mouth water! Having worked at TheSow’s Ear since he was 15 years old. Now, “as a top of the line chef and certified food manager, Sal has established a well designed family-run team in his kitchen where he works closely with his brothers to institute the streamlined environment that encourages performance and quality.” And quality you shall have. Often going out of his way for guests’ special needs, each meal you have here will be unique and satisfactory in every way

Now, onto the food, my favorite part!

For those of you who eat early and want to not only save money but eat a little less (always a bonus to combine those two together), I’d suggest you check out their Early Diners menu. Available to those who eat between 5 and 6pm, this menu features smaller portions at a lower cost. With the meal, you get their famous flower pot bread (bread that’s baked in a flower pot) and choice of soup or salad. My favorite dinner item is Chicken and Dumplings. It’s very hearty and the flavors of the broth, chicken, and dumplings melt together perfectly with each bite. Early Diners can enjoy this scrumptious dish for $15.95. If that price is too high, that’sOK , there’s a few cheaper but still tasty options (and you can always split an entree to cut that cost in half!) There’s the VegetarianStroganoff at $13.95 and the Southern Comfort-Peach Chicken Breast rings in at $14.95.

If you eat a little later like hubby and I, then you’ll miss out on the cheaper menu items and smaller portions, but here, it’s worth it. Of course, you’ll still get the flower pot bread, which hubby and I could eat all on it’s own and not eat dinner. The texture is wonderfully soft, and you have a choice of sourdough or rye, both in the flower pot. This is one of my favorite features at theSow’s Ear! For an appetizer, I’d recommend the few that I’ve tried: Herb Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (broiled in lemon garlic butter and white wine); Fried Brie Cheese (Topped with toasted almonds, served with garlic-onion marmalade, fresh fruit, and baguette); Smoked Salmon Cheesecake (need I say more). There is analacarte menu featuring some tasty dishes including Lobster Pot Pie, Mac & Cheese (made with andouille sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh chives, Gruyere, Blue, and Parmesan cheeses), Shepard’s Pie, and Spinach Salad. There are a broad range of entrees to choose from (all come with choice of soup or salad): Chicken Fried Steak, Chicken and Dumplings, Chardonnay Poached Rainbow Trout, Shrimp Scampi, Jack Daniels-Pancetta Fillet Mignon, New Zealand Rack of Lamb (and there’s so much more). Not fully interested yet? The specials change daily, so if you’re super curious, you can call the restaurant ahead of time and see if it’s something that tickles yourtaste buds (examples include Fresh Sea Scallops and Bay Shrimp Stuffed Rainbow Trout). Smaller portions are available for children twelve and under for $9.95.

After all this delicious food, if you still have room for dessert, I’d recommend the Warm Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Brandy Hard Sauce. Hubby’s favorite is the Turtle Sundae. Of course, there’s a variety of after-dinneraperitifs and drinks available to soothe that sweet tooth. The Sow’s Ear also offers dessert specials which vary by season and what fresh fruit is available. Samples include White Velvet, Bowl of Fresh Raspberries (with fresh cream, powderedsugar, and fresh mint), and Fresh Peach and Raspberry Cobbler.

A perfect place for a special occasion – anniversaries, birthdays, engagements – or for memorable gathering with friends and family, The Sow’s Ear cafe is sure to please anyone that walks through the doors. Staffed with knowledgeable people, a cozy atmosphere, and food that will knock your socks off, The Sow’s Ear Cafe is a place to go to create memories that will last a lifetime.


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