Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Lumberyard in Laguna Beach
It isn’t quite Valentine’s Day yet but we were in the mood to start the festivities early. In past years, February 14th has come and gone like any other day until two years ago. I suppose there’s a reason to celebrate if you’re truly in love and while I’m well aware love should be shown everyday and that it might be an economy booster it never hurts to go the extra mile for just one day, take a step back, and just celebrate what you two have together.
This weekend has afforded us the luxury of clear skies and balmy weather. It would have been a fallacy to stay inland given the gorgeous day so we headed out to Laguna Beach and my new favorite hangout, The Lumberyard. The architecture of this building was its first appealing factor to me. It stands apart from the main strip, looks like a hobbit house, and something you might find in Solvang or Europe. Inside of course, it’s just like any other restaurant. The bar is centrally located and your main focal point. The dining area is a mixture of booths and tables. It’s dimly lit for atmosphere and like my first visit, I was pleased to note that customer service still remains friendly and observant.
For the weekend, the restaurant was offering a 3 course Valentine’s Day meal for $85 however we opted for our own selections. I wanted to start off with one of their signature cocktails – the Go Green. This poorly named drink (sorry Lumberyard – I think it could have been named better) is a mixture of Hendricks Gin, cucumber, basil, citrus, yuzu, and ginger. It’s a modern take on the mojito. It’s very refreshing and goes down easy however not strong enough to give you a buzz so it makes for the perfect afternoon or light evening cocktail.
We couldn’t agree on an appetizer so we choose the Skillet Corn Bread with honey butter. I would have preferred the Lumberyard planks with the lemon aioli (bread zucchini) however the corn bread with jalapenos wasn’t bad. I liked the presentation – a rustic skillet but the bread was falling apart as I cut into it.
Our main entrees consisted of the Lumberyard Meatloaf for him and the Penne Pasta with Chicken and Tomato-Vodka Sauce for me. The meatloaf was wrapped in bacon and served on whipped potatoes and a mushroom demiglaze. My pasta came with an amazingly light vodka sauce and the chicken was perfectly grilled and had a fantastic spicy kick to it. Unfortunately the amount of pasta they served left me full and there was no room for dessert even though it starts off light. As for Jay, he was lost in his meal and would look up every so often to give me a thumbs up or a nod that he was satisfied with his meal.
The Lumberyard sits at the edge of the downtown strip and since it has its own parking lot you can valet a ticket for a few hours, soak up some beach views, and head back into town. We spent a better part of the evening working off our meal by walking around downtown and still got stuck in outbound traffic. I guess everyone had the same idea as us – enjoy the weekend outdoors.