One of the highlights of my visit to Pasadena, California was an anniversary dinner at the Parkway Grill, a restaurant that boasts its own organic gourmet garden!
After a full day of frolicking under the oak groves and world-class camellia gardens at Descanso Gardens, a few miles away, my husband Larry and I were HUNGRY!
We were excited to eat at the Parkway Grill, which was highly praised by both professional dining critics and foodies.
The Parkway Grill restaurant in Pasadena, California
Restaurant With Organic Chef’s Garden!
The glowing reviews mentioned lots of key features that made the restaurant inviting to us including:
“Linen tables, fine art, brick walls, dramatic floral displays, piano music, notable wine list, excellent food, great service, Zagat’s review- One of the Top 40 Restaurants in So California, FRESH HERBS AND VEGETABLES FROM THE RESTAURANT’S CULINARY GARDEN!”
The “garden” reference caught my attention.
Parkway Grill has their own organic, gourmet garden. How could I resist?
I know some of you Foodie Gardener readers understand me and would be equally persuaded to visit a restaurant just because it has its own organic gourmet garden.
Am I right?
Parkway Grill’s Excellent Service and Food!
Before I rhapsodize about their garden, I must sing the praises of the hosts who welcomed Larry and I.
The restaurant was about to open and we were the first diners to arrive but we had no reservations and were under dressed.
The friendly hosts quickly put us at ease and sat us at one of their best tables near the fireplace.
Our waiter, Ron Brown, made the dining experience a pleasure and was especially attentive, asking us our preferences before recommending the bone-in New York steak that was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
It was the best we ever had.
Our waiter Ron Brown and general manager Kornelija Welles presented me with a bouquet of orchids upon learning that it was our anniversary.
Ron also recommended the salad of beets, featuring gold and red julienned beets, Humbolt fog goat cheese, candied hazelnuts, watercress and wild berry vinaigrette.
I’m a beet fan and appreciated the perfect texture that was neither too soft nor too crisp.
I enjoyed the salad so much, I ate one beet strip at a time to extend the pleasure!
Complimentary dessert followed.
I’m sure this was because of our special occasion.
Don’t go over there and expect free dessert!!
The Parkway Grill Organic Gourmet Garden!
Organic pineapple mint from the gardens
Kornelija made arrangements for me to see the garden the next day and shared her excitement with me about her hands-on participation in creating the gardens.
Kornelija oversaw the preparation of the garden beds which were recently planted for the fall/winter season and helped select the herbs, vegetables and fruit trees that will soon supply the restaurant.
Committed to maintaining an all-organic garden, Kornelija scoured Los Angeles for edible plants at the local farmers markets and nurseries and had the gardeners sow seeds to round out the supply.
Citrus trees, lavenders, rosemary and roses serve as bee magnets to attract the necessary pollinators to the garden.
Greens, chives and an assortment of herbs are sprouting at the Parkway Grill’s gourmet garden!
Fresh chives from the garden.
One of many citrus trees at the restaurant garden.
I look forward to keeping in touch with Kornelija and returning to the Parkway Grill with friends and family for special occasions.
I offered my gardening coach services to Kornelija who is new to gardening but a fast learner.
I can’t wait to visit in a few months and see the garden grow and enjoy some of the fresh harvest in my meal!
Organic strawberries for “fresh from the garden” desserts!
Have you discovered any great restaurants with their own chef’s garden?
I want to hear about them!
Looking for a fantastic outdoor dining experience in the San Diego area?
Casa de Bandini offers Mexican cuisine and has one of the most beautiful restaurant patio gardens I have ever seen!
Dine in paradise!
Read about my visit to Casa de Bandini.
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