We Review Bandon Bill's Grill
Oh where to dine? The question lingers often when I am assigned the arduous task of picking the place to share the final meal of the day with my beau. It doesn't sound like much of a big deal, but considering my beau's devotion to all things gustatory, a tremendous responsibility befalls me to pick just the right place, where the crowd isn't too boisterous, the cooks know how to treat a steak just right, the ambiance is suitable for comment and the service is, well, service.
When Mongo asked me to explore Bandon's eateries, my first reaction was exultation at the opportunity to actually earn my dinner. When he directed me to Bandon Bill's, I knew I was sunk, because I hadn't heard of it, didn't know where it was and could only fathom questions from my beau about the type of restaurant it was, the kind of food it serves and do we need reservations. Reservations? I haven't needed reservations for eating anywhere in the Bay Area since moving here six years ago. I knew I had crossed into a dimension I knew little about. How exciting!
Much to my relief, Bandon Bill's has a delightful website that provides the reader with sample menus and a peek at their beautiful setting, a nice way to introduce the diner to the venue. I found the 'sample' menu very inclusive of their offerings. In addition to the website menu, you may peruse a comprehensive wine list and review the evening's special selections as you enter the restaurant.
The house wine options were limited, but the vintages selected were ideal. I had an Aerie Pinot Gris, and my beau had a King Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. I'm not much of a white wine drinker, but I highly recommend giving this wine a try. In my humble experience, Cabernet's have been pretty predictable, but the King Estate vintage was a pleasant experience. It's a full bodied wine with nice legs and easy on the palette without a fuzzy aftertaste.
The Bandon Grill appetizer menu is pretty typical of 'Grill' appetizer selections. One standout that could not go without trying was the Fresh Oregon Dungeness Crab Nachos. I know my crab and this dish was derived from fresh Dungeness! The presentation was colorful and the accent of pasilla chilies and cheese complimented the dish beautifully! A little spendy at $10.25, but worthy of the sensory joy it provided.
Anyone who visits Bandon Bill's must order the signature house salad. I opted for the green salad and continually risked impalement by fork while sneaking bites of my beau's signature salad. The cranberry vinaigrette is divine.
As I mentioned earlier, the website provides an overview of options (sans specials) that is sure to accommodate most tastes. Pastas, chicken, steak and seafood are offered in a variety of ways. We selected the Halibut entree and the Ribeye steak. Both were prepared perfectly. The cucumber creme fraiche is the lightest and subtlest sauce, yet compliments the halibut wonderfully. The steak was tender, juicy and actually cooked medium, a rarity in my dining experience.
The dessert tray tempted us with mint cheesecake, bread pudding, apple pie, apple crisp, cherry tart and a pumpkin dish served in a glass. We chose the apple crisp (only one dessert for the two of us was necessary). And par for the dining course, it was a treat. Accented with cranberries, the oatmeal topping was perfectly seasoned, not too sweet and not too chewy or 'crisp'. Heated with ice cream, it was the perfect ender to the dining experience.
The only downside of the evening was the timing of the presentation of courses. The salads came perfectly timed on the heels of an empty Dungeness Crab appetizer. The entree, however came after just a couple of bites of salad (mind you it allowed me to grab more goodies from my beau's signature salad!) but if you like your salad cold and crisp, and your entree hot and fresh, it was a bit of a challenge working on both at the same time.
I don't get to Bandon for dinner too often, but I would definitely make it back to try another entree and next time I'll order the signature salad! Two glasses of wine, appetizer, two entrees and one dessert to share: $106.00 (includes 20% gratuity). A great dinner in a picturesque setting, PRICELESS. Four and 1/2 happy MongoThumbs.
Reviewed by Krab, October 2007.