Last updated 6/7/2007 at Noon
Fine dining is defined in a myriad of terms. In Fallbrook, the new restaurant Baxter’s Grille defines the term in new and exciting ways.
The building, a familiar sight on South Mission Road with its row of windows fronting the street, has been completely renovated. The interior is now subtly romantic with glowing wall sconces, a cozy stone fireplace and comfy booths.
Patio dining is included in the experience with an artistically curved firepit with seating that encourages conversation. On Friday and Saturday nights, “Arlene and Jack” entertain in the patio area with their mellow tunes.
Dianne Winenger is responsible for much of the interior design, from the wall sconces to the china. Passionate about perfection, she scoured the country for appropriately elegant designs. The china has an “Ancient Greek” look with fine lines, vibrant cardinal reds and brilliant golds.
Winenger and Jim Cass are also willing to tweak their restaurant offerings in order to please their clientele. “What Fallbrook wants, we are going to provide,” Winenger noted.
There is no substitute for excellence, and Baxter’s proves that point with a wide selection of prime Angus beef cuts prepared with care by Chef Brent Cook. Chef Brent was schooled in the culinary arts at the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles.
The restaurant is equipped with a specialty broiler, which sears the meat at 1,600 degrees, adding a unique flavor. This piece of equipment takes a special touch that not everyone has, but it is possessed by Chef Brent.
Chef Brent said he is creative with the recipes and “keeps it as fresh as possible.” At Baxter’s it is possible because they have their own herb garden where Chef Brent can nip some cilantro or mint when he needs to enhance a recipe.
Baxter’s sauces are inventive and made on the premises. Chef Brent can take ordinary zucchini and make it something simply marvelous by drenching it in a cognac-based sauce, which brings a touch of sweetness to the savory flavor.
For starters I recommend the delightful Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with local avocado and fresh cilantro. It is served with Baxter’s own seafood sauce, which is tangy with a slight citrus flavor. The flavorful shrimp are “jumbo” redefined!
The Lobster Bisque is a creamy marvel delicately flavored with sherry. Cayenne pepper gives it just the punch it needs and the soup is swimming with a wealth of lobster.
For an entrée the Halibut with Mango Salsa is a fresh choice. The halibut is pan-seared, then baked in order to retain the moisture. The result is a mild-flavored fish that flakes easily. The salsa topping is made with diced mango, fresh cilantro, jalapeño and green onions. This dish is accompanied by delectable sides of garlic mashed potatoes and squash in cognac sauce.
Desserts are an event at Baxter’s. From Crème Brulée to Key Lime Pie to Fresh Strawberries, their desserts are a fitting finale to the savory entrees. A Marsala wine and egg blend makes a delectable dipping sauce for sliced strawberries. Patrons can also sink their strawberries in a light but flavorful sauce made with Grand Marnier, cream and powered sugar.
Baxter’s offers a tavern experience with a large collection of single malt scotch, premium spirits and complimentary appetizers during Monday Happy Hour. HD flat screens in the tavern area make the sports fans smile.
Sunday Brunch is the newest addition to the menu, with specialties such as Lobster Quiche, Machaca Con Huevas, Fresh Strawberry Crepes and Tropical Banana Pancakes with Mango Coulis. Brunch is reasonably priced, so you can relay the message to all your friends: “Meet me at Baxter’s!”
1415 South Mission Road Fallbrook
John Smith – General Manager
Call for hours or reservations