May 27, 2014

Pot Roast and Pinot Pensacola, FL {restaurant review and giveaway}


Pot Roast and Pinot = Foodie Heaven


I have found a hidden gem in Pensacola, Florida and it's called Pot Roast and Pinot. Honestly it's not quite hidden {but it's definitely a gem!}. Located on Cervantes St, a minute off of popular 9th Ave, it is conveniently located near downtown, beaches, and the busy shopping district on 9th. A renovated diner, that has been open for around 9 months now, Pot Roast and Pinot has a sleek upscale vibe complete with a bar and wine cellar. Their menus include a plethora of mouth watering dishes mostly in their style of "American Comfort Food...with a twist!". They offer not only a lunch and dinner menu but also a weekend brunch {Red Velvet Pancakes and Bananas Foster French Toast, enough said}, late night menu, and frequent themed meals like their upcoming 4 Course Australian Dinner on June 3rd.
I first heard of Pot Roast and Pinot from my friend and hairdresser, Cynthia, a foodie like myself, who could not stop talking about this fantastic new restaurant she had recently dined at. She recommended I take my husband there for a date night when he returned from deployment. Then she mentioned the meal she had ordered: Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. {Say What?!} That alone hooked me. My two favorite foods together in a gooey, decadent plate of heaven?! Sign me up! I made plans to go the very next week with my Mom and daughter, Ava. 
My first visit to Pot Roast and Pinot in March.
We had a delightful late lunch dining on Lobster Mac and Cheese {how could I resist?}, Grilled Okra, Meatloaf, Deviled Eggs, and Spinach Salad. Large portions, top notch service {ask for Blair}, and true Comfort Food Paradise. I immediately went online and tweeted, Facebooked, Instagramed, and shouted to the social networking world: Pot Roast and Pinot rocks! I had found my new restaurant of choice in Pcola {dare I say byebye McGuires!} and I wanted everyone to know.
Flash forward to May. My husband came home from deployment and we traveled to Florida for a much needed family vacation and to attend the EOD Memorial Weekend. We stayed in Pensacola Beach with my parents for a few sun drenched, lounging by the pool days of bliss and I knew before we left we had to have a family meal at Pot Roast and Pinot. We decided to go again for another late lunch {although I am dying to try their brunch} on a weekday afternoon. For me it's the perfect time to go- around 2 or 3. Late enough that you miss the rushed lunch crowd but early enough that you still get to enjoy the lunch menu. We had a leisurely meal and enjoyed the place mostly to ourselves, exactly how I like it {especially with a sometimes loud and dramatic toddler on my hands}. 

Scroll down below for my review of our meal and be sure to enter our giveaway to win a $50 gift card to Pot Roast and Pinot. Return all week for featured recipes from our visit.
Vote for Pot Roast and Pinot here
Max, the General Manager and Blair, our #1 server.
First and foremost, we know the food makes the restaurant but a close second is the service. I have worked in the service industry since I was 15 and have managed and served at many of the areas most popular eateries. I know how good or bad service can make or break a dining experience. During my first visit to Pot Roast and Pinot, Blair promptly and politely introduced himself as our server. He was knowledgeable and friendly, smiling, making recommendations and genuinely making us feel welcome. He chatted with us but still gave us our space and we were never rushed. Our food was perfectly timed and if I requested something not on the menu {like a side of potatoes for Ava} he made it happen. Drinks were topped off and fresh coffee was brewed. He was dynamite! This made our visit that mush more enjoyable. So for our next visit, I called ahead to make sure Blair was available and could be our server again. Let me tell you if you get a good server, ask for their card and request them every time! 
Another observation was the entire staff was happy and they showed it {"and they're happy and they know it!"}. Yes, we dined during a slow time so no one was busy or stressed but it still makes a difference to me when the manager takes the time to come to your table and introduce himself and check on you, as the General Manager Max did. The cooks, who prepare the food at the cook tops behind the counter, waved and made faces to a delighted Ava, and the rest of the staff smiled and greeted us if we walked past. 
Great service, great staff, great place!

Drinks:

1. My Dad is still raving about their French Press coffee. And my Dad is a coffee aficionado. I mean he has a Starbucks VIP card and they know his name. At every store. 
2. As a true Southern girl, I almost always get Sweet Tea. Can't go wrong as long as it's sweet. It was perfectly refreshing and bonus it was served in these cute logo pint glasses!
We didn't order beer or wine during this trip but be sure to check out their extensive wine list!

Appetizers:

 
1.  Tomato Stack: Fresh mozzarella, beefsteak tomatoes, basil vinaigrette 
This was a magazine worthy beautiful dish. Nothing better than fresh local veggies and cheese!
My Dad and Ashton ordered this appetizer and it was gone before I got a bite {but I did sneak a nibble of mozzarella and it was fab!}. These guys love their tomatoes, especially Ashton who eat them like apples. They loved the freshness, the thick juicy tomatoes, and the tangy herb dressing.  
Ashton and my Dad devoured the Tomato Stack.
Always a good sign when the food is gone before you blink!
2. Deviled Eggs: Two ways, lobster claw, pork belly.
This is another app I ordered on both visits. Y'all know they had me at lobster! 
I loved the creamy egg filling with the hit on citrus but the meaty pork belly and succulent lobster on top made these truly decadent and delicious Deviled Eggs. 
Come back later this week for the recipe!
3. Buffalo Wings: chicken lollipop, blue cheese foam.
Just the description on these intrigued me enough to order them and we weren't disappointed. 
An fun dish, the chicken had a lot of meat and flavor and the blue cheese foam {!!!}. I have a serious love for blue cheese so I could have {well I did to be honest...} eaten it with a spoon! 

Salads:

1. Spinach Salad: soft poached egg, candied walnuts, apples, goat cheese, bacon mustard vinaigrette. 
I am a sucker for a good salad and I am not talking about foo-foo plain ol' garden salads. I want toppings galore and this Spinach Salad gave me just that. We ordered it on our first visit and loved it so much we ordered it again the next time. It is large enough for an entree but we opted to shared it four ways as a second course.
The tangy Hot Bacon Dressing is obviously the star but the perfectly poached egg on top and the salty crumbles of goat cheese are what put it over the top for me.
Come back later this week for the recipe!
Yes, I am usually behind the camera but
 my husband managed to get a pic of me enjoying the Spinach Salad.
 
 My little cutie Ava is always the life the the party {or meal in this case}.
Her favorite food at Pot Roast and Pinot? Deviled Eggs and a hearty serving of buttery mashed potatoes!

Entrees:

1. Pot Roast: slow roasted, garlic mashed potatoes, carrots.
Let me start first with the namesake: the Pot Roast. My Dad ordered the half portion {come on girlie man you can't eat the whole?} which was still plenty filling and chock full of savory goodness. Comfort food at it's finest with chunks of beef that are so fork tender they melt in your mouth with carrots and creamy mash as the perfect accompaniment. All drenched in a tomato beef gravy. This is what  my Dad had to say about the Pot Roast: "It's so good :nom,nom,nom:. Oh, man it melts in my mouth. :nom:nom:nom:. I could eat this every day. :nom:nom:nom:. Oh, I ate it all." 
Safe to say he thoroughly enjoyed it! 
Come back later this week for the recipe!
 2. Liver and Onions retro classic: calf's liver, crispy onions, peas, mashed potatoes. 
I bet if I hadn't just told you this was Liver and Onions you would have never guessed! This is not the boring ol' dried up piece of Liver and Onions that gave you nightmares as a child. This is jazzed up Liver and Onions "with a twist". Also just like everything else on their menu it is a hefty serving and will more than satisfy your comfort food craving. It was so big in fact that my husband exclaimed "Where is this liver from? A rhino?". Yep, it's times like that, that I know I married a good one. Smart and he keeps me entertained. Ashton and I both were adventurous eaters as kids {and adults obviously} and I was known to order Liver and Onions when out to eat with my parents. The waitress would always give me a strange look trying to decide is this 6 year old was pulling her leg. Heck no! It was good and I like it! But you have never had Liver and Onions like this y'all! Have an open mind and order this dish and you will not regret it. It is tender and succulent and the gravy, which is the same as the Pot Roast {that alone is enough to order it}, is TO DIE FOR. So don't be a sissy, put on your big boy pants, and order the Liver and Onions. Then you can thank me. With flowers. I like daisies. 
3. Mac and Cheese: cold water lobster, asiago, fontina, gruyere.
This is it. Forget everything else I have said. Hands down the best. mac and cheese. ever. You must order this or you will regret it for the rest of your life. It's only on the dinner menu but if you ask nicely they can make it for lunch. This is another dish I have ordered during both visits {and I will order it for my next visit too} and as soon as the hot plate of bubbly goodness is placed in front of me all I can think is "Get in my belly!". Three deliciously melty, rich cheeses and massive amounts of sweet lobster meat all baked together in harmony! I will say, I tasted truffle oil, which does have a strong flavor that can overpower a dish, but it wasn't enough to make me not shovel this in my mouth  eat every morsel on my plate of this excellent Lobster Mac and Cheese.
 4. Chicken Chesapeake: sauteed chicken paillard, lump crab, garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, lemon caper sauce. 
My Mom ordered this classy chicken dish and her favorite part was the stellar lemon caper sauce spooned on top along with the generous portion of sweet lump crab. The chicken was tasty although slightly dry but when eaten in the perfect bite: chicken, sauce, buttery mash, and crab, it was heavenly.

 Bonus: plenty of food leftover for lunch the next day!

Desserts:

Always save room for dessert! Or better yet- eat dessert first!

1. Key Lime Pie: Raspberry Sorbet
Even though I am from Florida I never tire of a tart slice of creamy Key Lime Pie. Pot Roast and Pinot's version, with homemade sorbet and raspberry sauce rivals any slice in Key West. Not too tart, not too sweet, with the perfect graham cracker crust. The sides of whipped cream and sorbet added another sweet/tart element that blew my mind! If I could have licked the plate, I would have {obviously I have no shame}!
 
2. Bread Pudding: chocolate, banana, and raisins. 
Their bread pudding selection changes daily and when I saw this flavor on the menu I had to have it! Served with cashew brittle, vanilla bean ice cream, and fluffy whipped cream then drizzled in caramel, it most definitely is the epitome of rich Southern comfort food. Unfortunately, the bananas and chocolate were somewhat lost in our dessert with all the other flavors going on. But it still was mighty tasty and I can't wait to try another flavor of the day on my next visit.
Clean Plate Club: the sign of a good meal!
 

Enter the giveaway below to win a $50 gift card!

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4 comments:

  1. mouth watering! i think it's time for a vacation ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is my favorite place. My mom and I go there all the time. We are addicted! It's to the point that the whole wait staff knows us and runs up for hugs when we get there. It's our home away from home and they spoil us rotten.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I discovered this place a couple weeks ago, what a fantastic meal. I can't wait to go back and try the liver and onions!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Everything looks delish

    ReplyDelete

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