After a peaceful sleep on the oh so comfortable Dream Sleeper pillow top mattress, we went downstairs for breakfast at Cello Ristorante. Food and Beverage Manager Thomas Humphrey greeted us while we savored duck hash with quail eggs and divine coffee. We sat down with Executive Chef Eric Olson and I loved his philosophy on food and service. This man exudes passion. He’s “been around the world two or three times” first with the military and then on a culinary adventure. Military food was “horrendous”, so he’d often go AWOL with his buddies for good food. He loved to cook pancakes and barbecue for the barracks. He started cooking at age 16. His mom was a home economist and model who cooked on tv. He would stay at home and watch her. She married an Italian doctor who had tomatoes and basil in the front yard instead of a lawn.
We joined some fellow writers for a farewell luncheon the following day and Chef Eric and Food and Beverage Manager Thomas joined us in a most memorable meal. Plate after plate appeared from the kitchen. Duck with tangerine and rhubarb, squab with wild mushroom, local shrimp with saffron served on a spoon, diver scallops with buttermilk corn, and filet mignon with fig and cilantro. We savored a classic Reuben while other guests feasted on black bean burgers and mouth-watering salads. Mixologist Alexandra chatted with us and prepared specialty cocktails based on our spirit preferences. Allegretto more than lives up to its reputation. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.