Covering the dining scene in and around the OC
It’s no secret that we’ve become fans of The Sliding Door Café in Newport Beach. Chef-Owner Kevin Cahalan, a transplanted New Yorker, is making culinary magic in his tiny kitchen. However, we wanted to share this secret with fellow food writers, so a couple of weeks ago we invited four other food writers to join us for a special tasting of half a dozen of Chef Cahalan’s signature dishes.
We’re pleased to report that they too were impressed with the quality and originality of the dishes, and have already written glowing reports.
Catherine also wanted to weigh in with her opinion, especially because she noticed a cheesy theme running through the menu.
“I’m always a fan of anything fried so I loved the goat cheese fritters appetizer ($12). They were nice and crisp on the outside with a mild goat cheese filling that didn’t overpower the palate. The slight spice to the chili aioli dipping sauce rounded out the character of the fritters.
And then I was on to the lobster mac ‘n cheese ($13), which I’ve written about before but it really is a must-have. The combination of four different cheeses (aged cheddar, provolone, Jack and smoked Gouda) really gives the perfect balance of cheesy flavor, and the generous portions of lobster almost make this an entree-sized dish.
Another favorite of mine was the carrot ginger risotto ($24). The perfectly cooked risotto had hints of ginger and carrot that blended nicely with the cheeses used to make this creamy dish.
And finally, the New York-style cheesecake is another must. It has a creamy texture with a simple graham cracker crust and fresh berries.”
Interestingly, all the desserts are also made by Chef Cahalan. The menu changes seasonally, and often is based on Chef Cahalan’s spontaneity.
Visit http://www.TheSlidingDoorCafe.com for more information.