Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stones Restaurant at Marriott Marina del Rey

I have been finding myself in Marina del Rey more and more these days. My last visit was to Stones Restaurant at the Marriott Marina del Rey hotel, which recently obtained a new chef and revamped their menu. Instead of ordering a la carte, they sent out a tasting of the dishes they wanted to showcase.

We started with a sampling of two appetizers:
Arugula, grilled peach, pickled red onion, burrata, balsamic glaze

Burrata and Grilled Peach
The burrata was creamy but the flavor was fairly mild and the dish benefits from the crunchy grilled peaches and the sweet and tart pickled onions.

Grilled shrimp, orange marmalade
Grilled Shrimp
This is the chef's riff on shrimp cocktails, where he grills then chills the shrimp. The sweet marmalade is a nice complement, though I'm not sure if I could eat more than two or three pieces of sweet shrimp.

Warm bread

Since all the entrees are accompanied by something creamy and starchy, we got full pretty fast, but we plowed through! This shouldn't be a problem for a regular diner not eating three entrees in a row :)

John Dory, popcorn crust, sweet corn ravioli, vegetable slaw
Popcorn Crusted Chicken
The popcorn crust was rather interesting (and according to the chef, pretty simple to replicate). The flesh of the john dory remains moist and flaky. I thought the sweet corn ravioli filling could be smoother and creamier, though.

Filet Mignon, yukon mash, cauliflower, demi
Stones cooks their proteins well, as exemplified by this tender, juicy steak. The mashed potatoes had the potato skins left in, giving it more body and flavor. The cauliflowers were not only colorful and fresh and crisp. This was a solid steak dish, you can't go wrong in ordering this.

The next dish doesn't lose out: New Zealand lamb, bacon, brussel sprouts, green apple risotto
Even with my full stomach, I thoroughly enjoyed this lamb, cooked a nice medium rare with that trickle of blood in the middle and nicely charred edges.The tart, crisp green apple slices in the risotto helped digest the other rich and heavy items.

We finished with a dessert sampler: Apple cobbler, Key lime tart, Chocolate ganache, Pineapple Upside Down cake.
Dessert Sampler

My favorite was the dark, spongy chocolate ganache, followed by the apple cobbler.

The libations menu need some work for my personal taste as the cocktails were mostly fruity martinis and the wine by the glass selection is limited. The chef seems to have a liking for rich and creamy sides, but if you're staying nearby, you'd be satisfied with having a nice piece of filet mignon or lamb, or perhaps a moist John Dory here.

Stones Restaurant
Marriott Hotel Marina del Rey
4100 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, California 90292
(310) 301-3000
Stones on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted.


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