I wouldn't normally consider going to Rancho Cucamonga to dine, but the promise of a free hotel stay sounded like a nice getaway and convinced me to go check out this new restaurant headed by Executive Chef Greg Stillman, a French Laundry and Patina alum. On the drive to the restaurant, we saw what other places were in Rancho Cucamonga and it was pretty much restaurant chain capital.
The other side of the restaurant was the lounge area - even the lighting was different. Apparently after regular dinner hours the place turns into a club with DJs - not really my kind of scene.
The cocktail list contains five "signature cocktails" at $14 each and five "vintage cocktails" at $12 each. I went with one from the vintage list, the Highlander with Famous Grouse blended scotch whiskey, fresh grapefruit juice, house made grenadine, clover honey, orange bitters. I tried my friends' "signature cocktails" which lean towards the sweeter side.
More appetizers included shrimp and pesto pizza ($12) and wild mushroom pizza - I thought the mushroom on was jut ok, try the shrimp pesto.
Pork belly, greengage plums, rhubarb, marcona almond ($9) was paired with 2010 Riesling, SnoQualmie, Columbia Valley
Most of the entrees range around $25, but I just had to go with the lobster "mac and cheese" (never say no to lobster) with butter poached lobster, mascarpone enriched orzo, and parmesan crisp ($35)
This was paired with 2009 Chardonnay Schug, Sonoma Coast, California
The desserts were served family style, though not everything made it my way. I managed to try the Arbequina olive oil panna cotta, greengage plums, and potato doughnuts.
Some of the other bloggers didn't really like their duck entree, which I didn't try, but I enjoyed my lobster.
I thought the prices were pretty reasonable for the appetizers. The entrees are pretty expensive but similar to prices in LA (and probably also comparable to nearby Fleming's). Chef Stillman admitted that he had to tone down the menu for the Rancho Cucamonga crowd (apparently pork belly doesn't sell as well in the desert!) and not get too creative, but Ra Pour is certainly still a nice change from all the chain restaurants in the area, and maybe it will help the crowd get ready for more quality food.
7900 Kew Avenue
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Disclosure: this meal was hosted.