After months and months of navigating miles of red tape and overcoming one hurdle after another, Le Grange Grill and Cellars is open for business (and fun!) in Old Town Murrieta. When Doug Wiens learned the old Plowboys was available, a light bulb went off in his head. He initially thought it would make an ideal extension to the family’s Temecula brewery. It just seemed like a beer place to him, a cool place to do something. His brothers, however, weren’t interested. Fine, he said to himself. “I’ll do it myself.”
While visiting with Doug and Debbie, my partner Kat and I sampled several items from the Le Grange menu, prepared on this evening by sous chef Chris Kavanaugh. We began with maple-bacon wrapped dates stuffed with marscapone cheese. Doug says the dates were originally filled with goat cheese and they may go back to that recipe. Whatever they decide, it’s a delicious appetizer and a great way to start. We also shared an order of Bierocks, Debbie’s nod to her Nebraska heritage, based on runza, house-made pastry stuffed with beef and cabbage and served with a beer mustard dipping sauce. They are absolutely divine.
Chef Chris brought our entrées. We were dining family style, so everyone got to taste everything. We began with the Le Grange Romaine lettuce salad, with torn Romaine, shaved watermelon radish, Bacon lardons, red onions, heirloom tomatoes, shaved Manchego cheese and bread crumbs tossed with green goddess dressing and topped with medium-rare bistro filet. This is a salad I could devour every day. We also shared pan-seared jerk chicken breast with pan-seared Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, sautéed kale and scallion pesto, also sublime. We had been hearing raves about their shrimp and grits and it didn’t disappoint. made with aged sharp cheddar, Cajun shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, micro cilantro and pine nut pesto, it’s easily one of the finest grits dishes I’ve ever enjoyed.
Le Grange is open seven days a week, 11 – 9 Sunday through Thursday and 11 – 10 Friday and Saturday at 24683 Washington Avenue in Murrieta. Give them a call at (951) 600-2800.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous, a food, wine and travel blog in 2009 and is a long-time 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. He is a three-time recipient of the best tour award from the Luxury Travel Guide in Birmingham, England. 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.