The signature restaurant at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is the Flying V Bar & Grill, which is situated to provide amazing golf course and city views. The setting is warm, vibrant and inviting. We were lucky enough to score an intimate table for two right next to the fireplace. The service was impeccable; we must have had 4-5 people waiting on us at any given time. The food was beautifully presented, however our first night of dining the taste was not quite on par with all the other elements of the restaurant experience. For example, we started off with the lobster bisque with fennel, shrimp and chorizo fritter, which on an odd and snowy day seemed perfect. While the flavor of the bisque was quite good, it was served as a puree. I don’t know about you, but I’m used to having chunks of fresh lobster in my lobster bisque.
Next up we tried the pan seared scallops with parsnip puree, arugula and fennel, which again had great flavor and presentation, but in this case the scallops arrived at our table at room temperature or below, so it had me concerned they might not have been fully cooked. The last thing you want to do is overcook scallops, but in this case they may have been a tad undercooked and/or just sat too long before being served.
As an entrée I tried the rainbow trout with quinoa, agave lacquered parsnips & carrots with a Spanish red pepper vinaigrette, which was artistically presented. The color, contrast and flavors were outstanding. My only critique is that there was significantly too much raw garlic used, and personally I prefer using roasted garlic when I cook so as not to leave such a strong aftertaste.
My traveling companion (Rhonda) and I really enjoyed our overall dining experience, so we thought we’d give the Flying V Bar & Grill another chance by ordering a few other menu items on another night of our stay.
First up we tried the Belgian endive salad with mixed greens, cabrales cheese (a Spanish cheese, similar to blue cheese), avocado, pecans with an agave vinaigrette dressing. This was quite good, light and refreshing.
Next we had the Ahi which was accompanied by vegetable posole, spinach, pine nuts with a casacabel chili sauce. This was simply wonderful. Perfectly prepared and full of flavor.
We were tempted to try another savory dish–maybe the ceviche or shrimp tacos, but opted to splurge on dessert instead. Abraham (our server) convinced us to try the banana split. I know what you’re thinking, and we were too…however we went with the recommendation and were pleasantly surprised. The bananas were caramelized and slightly warm. There was a single scoop of vanilla ice cream sprinkled with chunks of chocolate and toffee topped with fresh whipped cream. It was pretty darn decadent and delicious.
The Flying V is very well known for something…the tableside guacamole. While we did not try this appetizer, I’d be remiss if I did not tell you about the unique experience. If you order this menu item your server will bring out a special cart and prepare a bowl of guacamole right at your table. You can even pick and choose which ingredients you like most. This is a very popular item and we saw it prepared several times during our two visits to the restaurant.
Bottom line: The overall experience at the Flying V is quite good. The ambiance, setting and services are stellar, but as I indicated I didn’t feel as though the food was quite on par with the other elements of the dining experience. With all of my lodging and dining experience, part of me feels as though places with a captive audience end up resting on their laurels.
I should mention that I’m a bit of a culinary aficionado, both in and out of the kitchen, so my critique may be more heightened than the general foodie.
If you’ve eaten at the Flying V Bar & Grill, please leave a comment below and share your experience and/or favorite dish with my readers and me. If you found this post and review helpful, please share it with friends and family.
Flying V Bar & Grill Information:
Located at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort: