Today is: Sunday, March 26, 2017
Chapter 8 Lounge Restaurant Review
The city of Agoura Hills holds an array of charms, but until
a meal at Chapter 8 Lounge,
you’ll not know how charming it can be.
The Chapter 8 Lounge restaurant is a charming nightclub and fine restaurant in the area.. The restaurant proper offers an open, airy setting and comfortable vibe, with
a fire place, music, comfortable outside patio, while a separate restaurant bar is a gathering place for locals, with an outstanding wine selection and a renowned happy hour, while a wonderful singer that reminds of Frank Sinatra manages the wonderful Frank’s songs while you and your friends enjoy their superb food.
Chef Michael Carreiro runs the kitchen, putting together an array of refreshing,
modern American cuisine that melds regional flavors, incorporates global
ingredients, and doesn’t hesitate to play up comfort food favorites. Twin
brothers Brad and Greg Finefrock were tired of schlepping into the city for
good food and a hot scene, so they've began to populate suburbs like
Westlake Village and the increasingly rich Agoura Hills with the kind
of restaurants and lounges more commonly found in Hollywood.
The thing about Chapter 8 Lounge is that it has two lives. First, it is a fine-dining restaurant, with a menu so creative, a chef so committed, and ingredients of
such quality that it's worth a drive from anywhere in the county. But second, it
serves as a neighborhood gathering place, a friendly nightclub with specials
and an affordable selection of casual bar fare that makes it a favorite among locals.
Of course, there is much more to Chapter 8 Lounge than the bar. The restaurant's layout is quintessentially Californian, the spaces within the property blurring the line between indoors and out. The dining area is amazingly gorgeous, making you feel
that you are in a Russian restaurant, with a gorgeous décor, surrounded by chic
boots and tables. Here is where the ambiance of Chapter 8 Lounge shines.
Tables are close together, but angled so to optimize the number of guests
that can face the live singer. Outside in the open area, large space
heaters and oversized umbrellas pepper the space between
tables, providing both heat and shelter when needed.
As we take a seat early in the evening, the sun's rays lend a cheerful, carefree vibe
to the dining space and suddenly, even though we've driven about 30 miles to get
here, we feel as if we are on vacation. We are quickly greeted by our gracious
server, who brings warm bread, cool water, and, at our request, “great cocktails” from the bar including their signature Blueberry Mojito, simply divine!
We had a group of 4 and had a chance to taste a variety of things on the menu. Everyone's steak was perfectly done and tender. The sides were what were most amazing. The service was truly excellent and the staff was very attentive. This
place is very classy and the decor is very unique and attractive.
Long Island Ice Tea
The menus arrive, but my attention first turns to the wine list, which is hand-selected
by our server. For a Wine-Spectator-recognized list, the selection is surprisingly approachable, just long enough to offer variety but not too long to overwhelm.
The list leans red, with about 10-25 options for each common varieties as well
as a short list of more eclectic reds and whites. Selected wines are also available
by the half bottle, but we are enticed by the by-the-glass selection, thanks to
the excellent descriptions that accompany each wine on the list.
Because the sun is still shining and the mountains are within eyesight, we opt for
light whites: a Tolloy Pinot Grigio and an excellent Rodney Strong Sauvignon
Blanc. It's time to turn our attention to the main reason we are excited: the food.
The Chef is inspired by local, organic produce, sustainable seafood and
amazing steaks. The selection of appetizers start coming up, and they
are simply the best, all the dishes that we sampled were wildly
creative and somehow also seems ordered and calculated.
Lobster Lollipops are draped across the plate, with white corn sauce and green, fresh flavor unmasked. Unmasked, that is, until the flesh comes into contact with the wildly diverse flavors on the rest of the plate, a wonderful appetizer that was great!
Fire Cracker Calamari
The Fire Cracker Calamari was fabulous, with piquant flavors that lend a tangy finish between bites. Then, there’s a decadent duo of sauces with chili and sherry honey,
my first impression is that this is decadent enough to be on a dessert plate,
a rush of bursts flavors reminding me this is still the first course.
The Shrimp Cocktail pay homage to a quintessential American comfort food, to say this dish is excellently composed is to not do it justice. The components work so well together
their ratio, their quality, their size that the shrimp actually seems as if it existed as one complete entity that was plucked from the sea and served on the plate. Each bite of
sweet moist flesh backed by subtly spicy remoulade is a decadent treat.
Also the Pan-Seared Scallops were very tender,
and served with Spanish Chorizo, on
a garlic sauce and basil oil.
Chilean Sea Bass
A new dish for summer, the Chilean Sea Bass is another creative but calculated creation, a delicate union of rich ingredients. A
large filet of sea bass sits
beneath a witty layer of fresh vegetables While my
instinct would be to
avoid pairing white fish and mashed potatoes they seem
a little too
similar in both texture and color Chef Chapter 8 Lounge not only
pulls it off, he shows why they deserve to be on the same plate.
Kansas City Strip Loin
The Kansas City Strip Loin is a dish for the hungriest of appetites. The "Flintstones-sized" cut of meat absolutely commands the plate, a 18oz complete with perfect
grill marks. A pool of delicious spicy sauce surrounds the amazing meat, and the unmistakable aroma wafts up from across the table. The meat is pale and tender, eagerly embracing the strong flavors. Again, it is a dish that proves each ingredient's worth, demonstrating how such distinct flavors seem to belong together.
Surf & Turf
Twin Lobster Tails
We could not leave without trying their amazing Surf & Turf and their spectacular Twin Lobster Tails, that went perfectly with the side orders we choose;
Creamed Corn and Asparagus Side Dishes
creamed corn, the wild mushroom, and could not
miss their spectacular
Lobster Mac & Cheese.
Lobster Mac & Cheese
I never experienced an amazing side orders that
were not only delicious, but large enough to feed about 10 people! Absolutely
the best, I have no words to say how much we all have enjoyed this dinner.
Cheese Cake, Chocolate Cake, Crème Brulee
All of the desserts at Chapter 8 Lounge are made in house. The crème brulee is
as rewarding as a house-made dessert can be. Like every dish that precedes it,
the flavors are forward and real, the carefully selected components combined
in such a way to bring out the best of each of them. Also the Chocolat
Cake flavores are complex, elusive, and make us realize the
amazing inherent qualities of each ingredient.
Dow 1942 Vintage Port
Chapter 8 Lounge doesn't just serve up quality food, it pays homage to it. Each dish
is a tribute to its ingredients, put together in a way that elevates each component
to its highest potential. In a world increasingly full of restaurants each day, it is refreshing to find one that prioritizes quality ingredients and simple
presentations that showcase the best that our earth has to offer.
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at www.chapter8lounge.com
Article by: Mary Adams
Photos by: Chris Marx
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