The Mustard Seed, Davis

Original Thanksgiving plans included a trip to Sonoma County. Those plans changed unexpectedly and last minute. We learned late morning while we were on a ride that the meal was going to be served mid-afternoon. This just might be an important detail to let your guests who are traveling from out of town know ahead of time, but … all is well that ends well. So, we found ourselves without any of the traditional Thanksgiving makings and certainly did not want to head to the store, or out to find an open store, after riding, so on our way back we rolled through Downtown Davis to see who might be open.

I was a little cranky already, because the wind proved to be a bit much for me yesterday on the ride. I really don’t understand how sometimes it doesn’t look that windy, but it feels like I have my own personal gale force winds. I guess it’s just one of those mysteries. Luckily for me, I had a riding partner who stayed just far enough ahead of me to not hear me whining out loud, “This sucks! I am NOT having fun!” But not so far ahead that I felt alone out there in my very own personal tornado.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

After the ride, a quick check online showed that there was still a reservation available at 4pm at The Mustard Seed in Downtown Davis. The menu promised a “traditional” Thanksgiving menu. I must admit I had a few reservations of my own, because when it comes to “traditional” stuffing, I have rules. Besides, dinner at 4pm? Hmph.

I groused and grumbled around for a while in the afternoon and decided to take my frustration out on that nagging spot on the laundry room floor, rather than share my general unpleasantness with someone who was going to great lengths to be very sweet to me. The good news is that the laundry room floor looks great!

Traditional. Hmph. We’ll see.Wish I had just made the meal myself. Next year.

Table Setting

Candle Light

A Nice View







We arrived promptly and were seated right away at a lovely table by the window, overlooking the patio tables. The table setting was elegant and simple. Service was friendly and professional.

We enjoyed a Cazar Pinot Noir (2010), which went nicely with each course.

First Course:  Golden Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque. Normally, I am not much for bisques, because they tend to be too rich for me, but this one had a nice balance of savory and sweet and was not too rich.

Golden Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque

Clearly, we didn't like this at all.

 Second Course:  Pomegranates, Cinnamon Persimmons, Autumn Greens & Laura Chenel Goat Cheese. The pictures say it all … I could feel every last trace of grumpiness leave. This was the kind of salad I would make for myself. Fresh, crisp greens. Fruit. Cheese. Perfectly lightly dressed.

Autumn Greens, Persimmons, Pomegranate, Goat Cheese

Obviously, we didn't really like this one, either.

Main Course: Diestel Ranch Turkey Breast Roulade, Traditional Stuffing, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Country Gravy, & Cranberry Chutney.

With gravy ...

Gravy on the side ...

Looks promisingly traditional

I was surprised by the generous portions served. There were two large slices of turkey breast, and generous sides of roasted brussel sprouts, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry chutney. Everything tasted homemade from scratch, like I would make. Even the gravy was good; it was rich and flavorful without being too heavy.

The brussel sprouts were tender and perfectly roasted. Brussel sprouts are devine when they are cooked right, but they tend to have a bad reputation because so many people overcook them. My favorite way to prepare them is roasting, and these were cooked exactly how I like them cooked. I tried really hard to leave a couple for leftovers today, but that didn’t happen.

The stuffing … I hate to admit, but this was as good as my own. I grew up with this style of stuffing, and so very few people get this right (in my ever-so-humble opinion). So, any doubts about “traditional” were completely dissolved after just one bite. You’ve won me over.

Try as I might to finish, I just couldn't quite do it.

Cranberry chutney … I grew up hating cranberries because we always had to endure that slimy, jellied glop that slides out of a can. At some point my family discovered fresh cranberries, and we experimented a bit with a few recipes, and some came out pretty good, but I was never that big of a fan of cranberry relish or chutney. I have to say, though, that this chutney was wonderful. Tart, sweet, cooked just right.

Mashed potatoes … perfect.

And then there was pie …

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon-Cardamom Whipped Cream

It's a shame, but we didn't really like this, either. But just to be safe, we requested that the second one be packed up to take home so we could sample it again today, just to be sure.

So, after all that … I had better get ready for a big bike ride today!

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