Thursday, January 5, 2012
Idyllwild: Cafe Aroma
In a small town 5000+ feet high amidst the San Jacinto mountains, whether you're in it for a romantic getaway or a change of scenery, Cafe Aroma and Italian cuisine sound like good times. Over 120 people on Yelp sure seem to think so.
At Cafe Aroma, you have the option to sit in the main dining room, with live music and lively crowds, or you could be seated in the library room. Yes, with books.
Attentive service with a big smile and bread with olive oil heavy on crushed raw garlic make it very Italian. You could always ask for more bread, but it was dry on the second batch and I don't think it's the thin air.
Shrimp Martini ($10) is an updated take on the shrimp cocktail with its three layered sauce, consisting of shrimp cocktail, horseradish, and pesto. Topped with a pitted olive, it's a good looking martini and works well on five very fresh jumbo prawns.
The Steamed Clams (14), the special appetizer of the day, were wonderfully topped with avocado, tomato, lemon, and bacon bits.
The tequila infused sauce was so good and suddenly a clam spoon was born.
Though the two pasta dishes, Shrimp Arrabbiata (18) and Meatballs Spaghetti (10), had decent flavor profiles, ultimately the pastas were overlooked and the softies couldn't quite match the high notes the starters were hitting.
For dessert, the Apple Sorbet (4) tasted like a good cup of hot apple cider hit by liquid nitrogen. It turned out to be a good palate cleanser.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience that left us wanting more in the end, though it doesn't hurt when you are in a vacation kind of mode.
cafearoma.org | 54750 N Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549 - menu | map | (951) 659-5212