Temecula Creek Inn seems to have found the type of restaurant that appeals to both locals and hotel guests, combining casual charm with progressive fresh menu items. The menu and atmosphere are clearly designed for all: golfers popping in for a drink and a bite to eat; wine country visitors wanting to enjoy the scenery a little bit longer; and both locals and visitors seeking a unique gourmet dining experience.
The vision for Cork Fire Kitchen is to feature locally sourced artisan fare, based on what is fresh and in season. The bar selections include premium wines and beers and barrel-aged whiskies. More than a dozen signature cocktails enhance the menu. We were promptly ushered into the homey cabin-like dining room overlooking the golf course. For once I could not say “This restaurant reminds me of…” Cork Fire Kitchen sets a mark all its own.
Throughout our dining experience, the service was impeccable. As writers, we always have lots of questions. Our waiter, Tony, cheerfully answered each one and spoke directly to the chef if he was unsure. I noticed Chef Igor intermingling with guests, exhibiting great sparkle and charm. He is obviously enthusiastic and proud to be executing his vision at Cork Fire Kitchen.
It seemed to me as if each course set a new standard, building up to the entrée. Although I was getting full, I anxiously awaited the next dish. It was Slow Braised Short Ribs. And by far the best I have ever eaten. The well-composed plate included carrot puree, pommes puree, port-braised shallots and crispy onions. I was more than satisfied.
But wait, there’s more! I anticipated the curiosity of my husband would lead him back to the wine and spirits. We noticed that the bar served at least 4 wines and 5 beers on tap, stored at 62 degrees. There were also over a dozen wines by the stem and a vast array of wines by the bottle. I appreciated that the wine list seemed thoughtfully arranged under headings of: Dry Sparkling Wines and Champagnes, Sweet White/Blush Wines, plus Light Intensity, Medium Intensity and Full Intensity Whites and Reds.
Now I am ready to return for more – weekday breakfasts, weekend brunches, satisfying lunches, cocktails by the fire, and of course scrumptious dinners.
Parting words from Chef Igor, “We strive to cook simple food in a simple way that people understand. We want the food to speak for itself.”
Simple? Yes. extraordinarily simple. Bravo, Cork Fire Kitchen!