The champagne was so fine and the food, so divine. 

This sentence rang true this past weekend, as my companion and I were in Tehachapi. We frequented two of our favorite places, Triassic Vineyard and Jake’s Steakhouse. 

We started at Triassic Vineyard to share a bottle of the sparkling almond and boy, did it sparkle. The scenic wine tasting room and vineyard is nestled deep in the Tehachapi mountains and tucked into the most beautiful golden, rolling foothills. 

Tehachapi is uniquely blessed with four distinct seasons, each with its own spice and flavor. It was quite cold, but very clear and we could see for miles as we sat outside on the enclosed, heated patio. 

The sparkling almond is naturally fermented with pure almond flavor added, it is a very clean and unique sparkling wine appreciated by champagne lovers. It is our very favorite and made even better when they add a splash of the daily “red.” 

Triassic Vineyards has award winning wine, offers a wine club membership and has a calendar chock full of events with Wine & Dine Fridays (live music and a catered dinner) being one of our favorites. The wine tasting room is open from noon to 6 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are located at the corner of Highway 202 and Cummings Valley Road. They can be reached at 661-822-5341, www.TriassicVineyards.com.

After we finished up, we took a short drive to downtown Tehachapi, where we stopped at Jake’s Steakhouse for our 4 p.m. reservation. We were quickly seated in a very cozy booth and had our drink order taken. 

My companion had the house chardonnay and I ordered a raspberry lemon drop martini from the signature martini menu. It was raspberry liquor and raspberry vodka with fresh lemon juice and a sugared rim and yes, it tasted just as wonderful as it sounds! 

I also ordered the calamari strips for our appetizer. There were quite a few other amazing-sounding appetizers, but I really wanted to indulge in this yummy seafood treasure. For this dish, its all about the breading and the dipping sauce — great job on both. The dipping sauce was a creamy Southwestern sauce with a slight kick and the calamari was perfectly seasoned and fried to a golden brown.

As we were enjoying the calamari, we were perusing the menu, trying to decide on our entrees. There was such a wide variety, we just couldn’t decide. I kept going back and forth from the aloha chicken to the St. Louis ribs, to the pasta alfredo and my companion couldn’t decide between prime rib, macadamia-crusted mahi mahi or the colossal tiger prawns. 

We ended up ordering three of the six —aloha chicken (grilled breast served with spicy plum sauce, bell peppers, sautéed onions, mushrooms and pineapple) with rice pilaf; a half rack of St. Louis ribs (meaty pork ribs with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce) served with sweet potato fries and a side salad and the regular cut of prime rib (slow roasted and served with au jus and creamy horseradish) served with a loaded baked potato and mushroom brie soup.

Everything was absolutely incredible, I’m not sure where to start, so I will start with the juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs. The savory BBQ sauce gave an added flavor that put our taste buds into outer space. It was savory to the 10th degree with just the perfect amount of heat. This dish was beautifully presented and was almost too pretty to eat. Note the word almost, as they were gone in minutes. 

My sweet potato fries were amazing, especially dipped in that fabulous BBQ sauce. They were sweet, salty, crunchy and very addicting. 

The aloha chicken was another great choice, again the breast was juicy and the vegetables gave it an amazing flavor, all wrapped in a very tasty, zippy-spicy flavorful fruit sauce (otherwise known as plum sauce) with a bite. I made sure that every bite included onion and mushroom plus a tidbit of the grilled pineapple. I enjoyed the taste of both the red and green bell peppers.

Now, on to the prime rib with a fabulous au jus and let’s not forget the absolutely wonderful, freshly-made, creamy horseradish sauce. Each slice of the succulent, tender slow-roasted, perfectly-seasoned meat was dipped in the au jus, then the horseradish, then into our mouths. This palate pleasing masterpiece was not only eyes-rolling-backward-good, but also the hit of the night. 

I wish we would have had a little bit left, as I can only imagine how delicious it would be on a French roll. But wait, Jake’s has a wonderful lunch menu as well, with that very item. The mushroom brie soup was excellent and a creamy bowl of rich and savory deliciousness. 

I like to end my meals on a sweet note and what a sweet note it was — Italian lemon crème cake with whipped cream and raspberry drizzle from a choice of turtle cheesecake, Key lime pie divine, rustic apple tart and chocolate lava cake. This was an all-out lemon dessert experience which was so deliciously light, sweet, cool, creamy and downright fabulous.

Jake’s Steakhouse, Pasta Seafood & Spirits is located at 213 South Curry St in downtown Tehachapi and is open at 11 a.m., seven days a week. 661-822-6015. Checkout the complete menu and special events on their website www.jakessteakhouse.net

Bon appetit!

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