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Castle-like dining and scrumptious seafood at Carol's Restaurant


Last updated 2/15/2007 at Noon

Napa cabbage isn’t from Napa. I discovered that while dining at Carol’s Restaurant at the Baily Winery in Temecula. One of the two entrees I sampled was a delicious “Charbroiled Salmon Filet” which was listed on the menu as “A fresh Atlantic salmon filet grilled with a hint of lime and served on a Napa cabbage salad with an oriental sesame dressing.”

I assumed, this being a winery restaurant, that the Napa cabbage was grown in Napa Valley. However, I was told that Napa cabbage is actually a Chinese cabbage that is known for its tender flavor. I don’t think the actual cabbage on my plate was grown in China, but at least now I know it wasn’t grown in Napa. By the way, the salmon was tender and the charbroiling process gave it a wonderful flavor.

The other dish I sampled was “Shrimp Scampi Montage,” billed as “Succulent shrimp sautéed with our own Montage wine, garlic butter and tomato served on linguini garnished with Parmesan cheese.” This is another excellent dish. The shrimp are tender and plentiful. In some restaurants the shrimp scampi get buried in the linguini. Not so at Carol’s; they are generous with their shrimp and the linguini is just an accent. The stewed tomatoes are tender and blend well with the linguini and shreds of Parmesan cheese. The combination is creamy and delicious.

Try the 2004 Baily Montage wine with this dish. It is a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend with fig and melon aromas and is available by the glass or by the bottle.

The lunch menu offers salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts. The wine list features a number of Baily wines in addition to wines from other area wineries.

The restaurant itself looks like a castle. It is built with gray stone blocks and even has some gargoyles keeping watch on one of the outside walls. The interior of the restaurant, which is called Bacchus Hall, boasts a massive ceiling-to-floor fireplace and a resident knight in shining armor. Actually, it is only the shining armor; much to my disappointment, there was no knight inside.

Carol Baily, owner and executive chef, mentioned that she was pleased I understood the theme. “Some people just don’t get it,” she said.

Carol and her husband, Phil, founded Baily Winery and Vineyard in 1986 and in 2001 opened Carol’s Restaurant.

Carol’s Restaurant and the Baily Winery Tasting Room are located at 33440 La Serena Way, which is right off of Rancho California Road in Temecula’s wine country. Carol’s is open for lunch Wednesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call (951) 675-WINE or access for more information.

The food and the décor are great and this restaurant is worth a visit; after all, it’s the only place I know around here where you can dine in a restaurant that looks like a castle!


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