426 Emily Rose Circle, Windsor, CA
(707) 836-7600 (Beside/behind the kitchen store "In the Kitchen" - think Southwest parking lot of Windsor Insta-town. )
They do not take reservations. Visited: July 13, 2007 - Dinner
Only the insiders seemed to know about this tiny spot in Windsor which opened almost 2 months ago. The chef behind the project is Rudy Mihal formerly of SF's Zupa but we presume he was deep in the kitchen on our visit as he was not to be seen.
Overall, the food won us over (after a rough start - see below), but beware of the salt. A few dishes were over-the-top salted and when we pointed it out to the manager at the end he shrugged it off (we also pointed out the limp fries which he apologized for). The service is quite untrained and slow. The kitchen is small and with the restaurant half-full we waited too long between first and second courses. One dessert was offered on our visit. We will return.
Odyssey is a small restaurant offering table seating with an upholstered banquet and and molded wood chairs. It's in the old location of L'Assiette. There is seating at the bar for about ten. Movies which are played on one of the walls that are decidedly Italian and adult (movies are subtitled).
Like pizza crust with lots of salt and torn sprigs of fresh rosemary. Good. As there is no bread offered this is your bread option and will work to soak up sauces. It does not come with olive oil but I'm sure it would be given if asked for.
Marinated Bodega Bay sardines with fennel au greque and arugula jus A lovely surprise of meaty well-filleted sardines lightly grilled. Not a bone in sight. The pickled fennel was a nice idea but was tough and I didn't think enhanced the sardines in any way. There were a few tiny cubes of vegetables which went well.
Salad of Lobster Salad, roasted tomatoes and artichokes
Lots of lobster. Quite salty and I wasn't that fond of the vinegary dressing but others loved it and declared it wonderful. The roasted tomatoes were really lovely.
Foie Gras torchon in crisp napoleon and apricot marmellata
A really interesting preparation - Jack said he doesn't remember having foie gras served "standing up". A nice crunch from the caramel disks and sweetness from the fresh jam made this a thumbs up!
Halibut served over Sweet Corn & New England Clam Ragout
Overcooked fish dragged this dish down. The clams were superior quality to what one usually finds in a sauce or ragout. The sauce was fresh and good with the fish.
Pizza- San Daniele Prosciutto and Arugula with tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
The sauce was great (albeit salty). Really fresh and tomato-y. Right on. If red sauce appears on the menu I would try it. The pizza was light on the cheese but the cheese was good as was the quality of the arugula and prosciutto (which was fluffy and soft and thinly sliced). They don't have a wood oven but this pizza was really well done.
Hand-made Fava Bean Ravioli with a Lobster fondu blanc
Yum. The only possibly complaint was perhaps the fava bean puree in the ravioli could have been more plentiful (or more prominent) and the pasta itself was a bit heavy and flat in flavor. But the fresh green favas and peas were perfectly cooked in a light buttery sauce with lovely chunks of lobster making the dish rise above average.
Burger - Black truffle braised short ribs and foie gras enclosed by beef sirloin with frites and garlic aioli
We had divided camps. The flavor of the burger was really good (with layers of flavor) but reasonably dry. The bun was of excellent quality (brioche) and quite edible on its own. The burger needed something to lighten it. The trouble is that anything juicy will kill the fragile bun - A big dilemma. The frites served in a parchment cone were a big disappointment. Care had been taken to use hand-cut potatoes but they were limp and decidedly uncrispy (they needed the twice-fry technique). In contrast the aioli was very truffle-y and light.
Vignette Wine Country Soda: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
The only non-(regular) soda choice. I still find it too sweet and the use of juice from concentrate a poor choice. We'd prefer to see Navarro served with sparkling water to lighten it.
2005 Antinori Bolghieri Vermentino
Note on the Wine List: It's an okay starter list for the size of the restaurant. We look forward to seeing it grow in quality and depth. A Rough Start: Odyssey ruffled our feathers a bit on the way in. We called ahead to make a reservation knowing it was a tiny place and a Friday night (the website at the time did not offer the info that they did not take reservations - or actually any info). The answering machine appeared to take the message and spewed it's own hours for restaurant, landing us at their door at 5pm.
Upon entrance we were firmly informed that the restaurant opened at 5:30 and that our message had not been picked up. We when arrived back at 5:30 we were informed that our odd party number was going to be near impossible to seat as tables were already arranged for two large parties. After some flurry we squeezed 5 into a corner table of 4 blocking entrance to another table. They had given us 2 firm opportunities for us to take our dining elsewhere, which was not a good start. The website now states they do not take reservations.
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.