Monday, January 11, 2010

Review: Dio Deka (Birthday Dinner)

I haven't done a review in a while only because I haven't been impressed enough to do one.. which kinda defeats the point because I should include restaurants that suck but whatever. Tonight, Justyn took me to Dio Deka in Downtown Los Gatos. I had my reservations about this place which I can't say but just trust me.. I wasn't expecting a lot. I never expect a lot whenever a restaurant is located inside a hotel. It's just wrong... Think about the Hobees or worse yet.. the Dennys. Ew! Alright, call me a snob, but you know it's true.

Well, I was wrong. This place is located inside the Los Gatos Hotel which is a very cute hotel. We didn't stay there but based on my impressions of the outside I knew I was in for a treat. Hello! They still have Christmas lights out. Yay!

Anyway, our "amuse" were kalamata olives in a marinade with oregano, rosemary and olive oil. Super flavorful, tart and salty. The way olives should be. We also had some pita bread which was brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, rosemary & oregano. Mmm... It was delish! We also brought a bottle of Peju Cabernet Sauvignon 2005.

We ordered Kalamarakia Gemista which is Monterey bay, oven-roasted calamari stuffed with gulf shrimp and feta, served with a tomato relish. At first bite, I was in love. I actually wish they had this as a main dish.

For our main dishes, Justyn ordered the Pastitsada which is the roasted leg of lamb with pappardelle hand rolled pasta, garlic confit, , Santorini wine, Kalamata olives and shaved Kefalograviera cheese. Fantastic! I recognize the fact that handmade pasta is hard to cook. I've always had it over or undercooked. The chef cooked it expertly. It was al dente but not too chewy. The lamb was tender and perfectly seasoned. It was everything Justyn loved. Thick pasta, meaty & savory.

I ordered the Arni Kotsi which was the lamb shank with butternut squash risotto, stewed brussel sprouts and Manouri cheese. Oh... my....lord. I wasn't very hungry after the olives & bread but this sent me over the edge. You know that feeling you get when you're blissfully happy after some wine and good food? Yeah... that's how I felt. Blisss... mmmm... Not to sound too pornographic.. but I was moaning with pleasure. However.. my only two gripes were that the garnish of fried shallots were stale and the lamb shank was a little too salty. That means for well balanced palates, it's TOO salty. I loved it despite those two factors.

I apologize for the bad pics but like most restaurants, lighting is terrible. Overall, I have to say that since Evvia is so far, Dio Deka is a good substitute.

Anyway, since it was my birthday, Justyn put some candles in some Haagen Daaz icecream (chocolate & PB if you must know).. all 32! Holy crap that's a lot of candles. I had an awesome birthday. Thx B!

Also, my good friend Esther got me the 78 eyeshadow & blush palette from Coastal Scents. I can't wait to play with it! Thanks E-Ma!

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