Every wine region seems to have its signature hotel and restaurant. In Lodi, it’s the Wine and Roses. Located in a rambling farmhouse that has been converted into a hotel and spa, Wine and Roses is emblematic of Lodi’s growth as a wine region.
Christine and I visited the restaurant on a sumptuous weekday night. As we sat down at our table on the patio, a strong Delta breeze was cooling off a day that had reached into the upper 80s. It’s the kind of day Lodians always try to describe to Bay Area folks who think Lodi is somewhere around Bakersfield.
We started off with a glass of champagne, followed by salads with white wine. Christine’s beet salad with pecans, bleu cheese and vinaigrette was delicious and paired well with a Voss Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley.
What I love about Wine and Roses is that executive chef George Bertaina has crafted a menu that has generous portions that aren’t too heavy. This is food that tastes sophisticated but isn’t prepared with a minimalist’s approach. I had the double cut pork chop with a vanilla apple “gastrique,” an almost glaze like sauce that accentuated the pork’s natural flavor. The pork was cooked through yet still had a delicate tenderness. Christine opted for grilled New Zealand lamb that had a robust wine reduction sauce.
Our efficient and pleasant waitress informed us we had to try the warm chocolate molten cake with vanilla ice cream. She said the dessert was the invention of the restaurant’s new sous chef Fabrice who baked brioche that was the best she had ever tasted in her life. Fabrice’s dessert was delicious too. Christine and me ate in about 10 minutes.