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Cafe Champagne At Thornton Winery Releases New Menu

Executive Chef Steve Pickell
Executive Chef Steve Pickell
Courtesy Photo

Steve Pickell is gearing up for the 2011 Champagne Jazz Series that happens every April. Not that this is his first time feeding jazz aficionados, as he has been the Executive Chef of Café Champagne at Thornton Winery in Temecula for 18 years. His creations have been enjoyed by many people under the huge courtyard oak tree and beside the gurgling 3-tier fountain.

Chef Steve has released the new winter menu, which follows his philosophy: take what’s in season and create a menu around it. For lunch, enjoy the outdoor courtyard, the warm Mediterranean climate and the new smoked ham and artichoke salad with an NV Cuvee Rouge. A quiet and romantic dinner, in the restaurant or under the twinkling white lights on the patio might consist of an asparagus and baby beet salad and continue on with an entrée of clam and chorizo linguini. Don’t like clams? How about pan-roasted salmon au poivre. Either pair nicely with a 2008 Riesling.

After a long day along the wine trail, you might be in the mood for an hors d’oeuvre, a glass of wine and the cool breeze on the patio. Try Chef’s new black truffle and provolone risotto, and a glass of 2009 Chardonnay.

After a meal at Café Champagne, you will see why Chef Steve was voted 2003 Chef of the Year by the California Restaurant Writers and 2005 Chef of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant writers. You will also see why the Café Champagne was the winner of 5 Stars for their California cuisine and the Golden Bacchus Award, for their wine list.

Chef Steve loves to teach people how to create their own specialties. Join him for a class or three. He is planning: Soups and Salad, March 12, Pastas Galore, April 9, Seafood Delights, May 14 and BBQ June 4. Reservations are required. Call (951) 699-0099 for more information.

Make a plan to dine at the Café Champagne while enjoying the Temecula Valley Wine Route.

Details »
  • City: Temecula
  • Phone: 951-699-0099
  • Name: Cafe Champagne at Thornton Winery
  • Address: 32575 Rancho California Road