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Imagine sitting on a patio garden of beautiful flowers nestled amongst lush greenery in a valley of sprawling vineyards. Then immerse your thoughts into being presented a fine meal accompanied with a full-bodied wine as the afternoon sun bathes you in its warmth. If you can picture this enchanted scene, then you have just wished yourself to The Smokehouse Restaurant at the Ponte Family Estate Winery in Temecula.
The Temecula wine country has become a cornerstone of wine making and a great destination for locals and tourists alike. Take the Rancho California Road exit off the 15 freeway due East and be enchanted by one vineyard after another. One you must visit above all is Ponte Estate Winery. Savor the delectable wine tasting, enjoy the quaint gift shop and then stroll out back and enjoy The Smokehouse Restaurant.
The setting is so picturesque it’s almost too good to be true, but true it is. Smokehouse delivers fine, elegant dishes that match its splendid surroundings. The menu offers unique selections and numerous spins on traditional fare all in an outdoor patio setting. Starters include Oven Baked Brie, Sauteed Scampi and Fried Calamari. Garden choices such as the Farmer’s Market salad made daily using local farms organic produce and great homemade croutons also grace the menu. We started with the special of Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Scampi. The dish was splendidly tender and the combination of flavors superbly delicious but truth to be told, we removed the crab on the last few bites and the scampi and bacon was even better.
There are numerous fabulous main dishes to please your palette. Various Pizzas and Calzones are offered from their Grape Wood-Fired Oven. Sandwiches abound with the Chicken Melt (grilled boneless, skinless breast, sautéed onion and mushroom, fontina cheese and smoked onion aioli), Pulled Pork (roasted garlic bbq sauce and pickled red onions on a toasted focaccia bun), Mahi (line-caught mahi mahi, Italian rub, baby greens, tomato, onion and tomato remoulade) or Grilled Vegetable (eggplant, squash, portabello mushroom, red onion, pesto and feta on a pizza roll. All are uniquely seasoned and a bit of a twist on the traditional style.
Not to be missed is their unique take on a Baked Macaroni & Cheese (large macaroni, chunk tomatoes, pancetta bacon, fontina cheese and shaved black truffle) that came served in a crock of bubbling delights. We’re talking velvety, scrumptious and the truffle shavings generous indeed. Main entrees equally delight with Pumpkin Gnocchi (hearty greens, roasted garlic, onion, ginger, chive, lemon and shaved asiago), Scampi Puttanesca (cranberries, sun dried tomato, olives, basil, marjoram and anchovy with fresh speghettini pasta). Then there’s the mouthwatering Bacon Wrapped Grilled BBQ Meatloaf (all natural hormone-free ground chuck with spicy roasted garlic bbq sauce), which is just as decadent as it sounds. All of this great food is brought to you by Executive Chef Steven J. Stawinski, self-taught in the art of making great, flavorful dishes.
This being a Winery allows you the pleasure of enjoying literally home spun varietals each with their own distinct bouquet and a melody of flavors. We highly recommend the delightful 2005 Nebbiolo. To end your feast be sure to try the White Chocolate Bread Pudding (with rosemary crème anglaise) or Rustic Apple Cake (with cinnamon, walnuts and orange-cranberry compote). Both were delectable and a perfect way to end the meal. Enjoy!
- City: Temecula, CA 92591
- Phone: 951-694-8855
- Name: The Smokehouse Restaurant
- Address: 35053 Rancho California Road