Taste | Eureka! Claremont
By: Cianna Fige
As I made a smooth left onto West 1st St., it was easy to see why Claremont Village has secured itself as the new, trendy spot in our beloved IE. Gathered at its heart are shops, galleries, boutiques and cafes, each unique and entertaining to entice any fun loving professional who appreciates modern aesthetic.
It is at the end of this magnificent road that Eureka! has found its comfortable turf. Perched atop a dark brown wooden deck at the end of the turn, its reddish orange exclamation sign beckoned me to come hither. Greenery and multi-colored contours surrounds it, with sweet and savory smells from the kitchen wafting with the calm wind to wet my appetite, even from outside.
Tyler, my server and a future filmmaker with a charming smile and breezy personality, opened what was to be an awesome experience on a Monday evening. The menu is the standard American gastropub fair, nicely crafted with the socially conscious diner in mind. Ingredients are locally sourced, items are handmade, and both these attributes yield dishes that are hearty, satisfying while staying true to contemporary cuisine.
So often, we see and definitely taste our food. How often do we hear our food? Having read the description, it was with delight that I anticipated my first course. In the hands of an untrained chef, fresh beets can easily be destroyed with overcooking. However, Eureka! has managed to conquer this sweet root with their Slow Roasted Beet Salad. What made this particular salad extraordinary is the topping of watermelon pop rocks, where even after 53 minutes, the rocks were still popping atop my salad, giving me a symphonic melody of “pop,” “crackle,” “pop” that made me smile. Such harmony within the beets made the addition of peppery arugula, citrus segments and crunchy walnuts a harmonious marriage of salad ingredients like no other.
Not to be out-shined, the Grilled Caesar Salad finds the Romaine itself grilled, for a twist on a classic, offering a smoky nose and mouth crunch that married well with the house made Caesar dressing with fresh anchovies. From there, the All Day Breakfast Burrito gave me the expected comfort of eating a full breakfast, a dish I would recommend perhaps after a prior night of heavy libations and revelry. To aid in digesting the filling burrito, the Penicillin and Rum Swizzle cocktails were easily sipped and washed down nicely for a buzzy combination.
Utilizing a proprietary smoked whiskey, the Penicillin cocktail was superbly concocted, enhanced by candied ginger that left a sweet, pleasant, light burn effect on the throat. For the diner who loves their drink sassy and unapologetic, the Rum Swizzle packs a mighty punch, reminiscent of the classic Mint Julep, but with an easier and smoother finish on the palate. Dedicated lovers of beer will too find their comfort zone, as Eureka! excels at offering a fantastic array of craft beers that are uniquely bright with personalities to win over even the most ardent of beer connoisseurs.
Not being a huge fan of burgers, in general, I was pleasantly surprised at how juicy and flavorful the Bone Marrow Burger was. Grilled medium, it was enhanced by porcini butter, charred onions, seared globe tomatoes and mustard aioli. Won over, my mouth was happy and sang with joy for a burger that satisfied and danced well with the hand cut sweet potato fries.
As its meaning suggests, I triumphed at Eureka! Claremont, savoring plates that satisfied my hunger, cocktails that quenched my thirst and customer service that appeased my hospitality sensibility. I absolutely intend on returning to again experience the open glass feel of the establishment that is perfectly at home and a perfect liaison to a village that welcomed me. With Eureka! Redlands nearby, I might just schedule a future trip to try out some more of its creative tastes! Check out Eureka! Restaurants by visiting their website, and be sure to “like” Eureka! Claremont on Facebook and tell them IEShineOn.com sent ya!
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