My husband, Larry and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary last weekend in Pasadena, California.
(Yes, I was a child bride).
One of the highlights of our trip was dinner at the Parkway Grill in Pasadena, 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, Larry and I were ready for our special anniversary dinner.
We read about a restaurant in Pasadena called the Parkway Grill that was highly praised by both professional dining critics and everyday people.
The Parkway Grill restaurant in Pasadena, California
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 Cal…"
There was one special item among the list of favorable features that cinched the deal for me:
" FRESH HERBS AND VEGETABLES FROM THE RESTAURANT'S CULINARY GARDEN!"
Parkway Grill has their own organic, gourmet garden. How could I resist?
I know some of you garden crazed readers are "feeling me" and would be equally persuaded to visit a restaurant just because it has it's 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 delectable, melt-in -your mouth bone-in New York steak.
It was the best we have ever had.
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!
Our waiter, Ron Brown and general manager Kornelija Welles presented me with a bouquet of orchids upon learning about our anniversary! Complimentary desert followed.
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!
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!
Have you discovered any great restaurants with their own chef's garden?
I want to hear about them!