“Everything’s betta with feta,” would be the perfect slogan for one of the newest restaurants in Quartz Hill.
The Raven’s Nest, considered modern European, puts the “g” in gourmet. The executive chef, Amalia, adds a little extra love to each dish that comes out of the kitchen. Kat, the owner and mixologist, gives extra pizazz as she greets the guests and creates the awesome drinks.
Then there is Lenny, the server, who not only explains the dishes in detail, so your mouth is watering before the meal is even delivered, but is also the designer of the luscious desserts —paying special attention to detail, so they are beautiful and delicious. This is a true family affair, as the Graffeo family opens another new and unique dining experience in the Antelope Valley — with Fresco II being the first.
My companion and I met our friends, Anne and Gary, for dinner a couple of weeks ago. I promised to take them on my review, as they live within walking distance to the Raven’s Nest and they have been very excited for its opening. Once inside, you get this incredible warm feeling with lots of red and black in the furniture, drapes and flooring — romantic and gothic. We couldn’t wait to open the menu, as I read on the website, that their food combines a variety of flavors to create a modern fusion of European cuisine with influences from all parts of the globe. I knew this was going to be quite an experience and couldn’t wait to get started.
As we were seated, a drink menu was handed to us with botanical cocktails that are 40 proof and fermented wine-based, made with 100% love. The selections include fun names, vibrant colors and delicious flavors.
I had the amore or raspberry basil mojito (rum, simple syrup, basil, fresh raspberries and lime). It was an excellent choice — refreshing, sweet and delicious. In fact, on my second visit I ordered it again, how could you go wrong with a name like amore, which is Italian for love. A few others have interesting gothic names like crystal ball, blood moon, Lilith and mystic matcha. The reasonably priced wine list consists of every different varietal. From white, red and port to sangria, sparkling and even sake by the glass or bottle. Anne selected a bottle of the J. Lohr Los Osos merlot from Paso Robles. It was a mature red color with a raspberry hue and so full-bodied that it was enjoyed to the last drop.
Let me tell you all about the glorious food. This was Gary’s first time reviewing a restaurant with me, so I quickly explained that I pick a few dishes and then we vote on a few and enjoy it family-style. He said he was all in and ready to play. We ordered stuffed mushrooms, fettuccine Alfredo, Queens NY meatball pizza, Greek lamb chops and for dessert, blood orange panna cotta.
The mushrooms were brought to the table in a steaming dish full of spinach, ricotta and basil, baked in marinara. Not only did they have an incredible aroma and nice presentation, but were just as yummy as could be. Anne and I each enjoyed one and we let the men have two. It was the perfect appetizer to start our meal.
The lamb chops were Gary’s idea, as my companion and I were not really fans of lamb (notice the word were). After the first bite, our minds and taste buds definitely turned around. These garlic crusted lamb chops with freshly squeezed lemon and lightly sprinkled feta cheese, served with roasted potatoes, caramelized carrots, grilled asparagus and broccolini, were incredible and that is where the “everything is betta with feta” comes in to play.
They were moist, tender, flavorful and Gourmet with a capital g. I’m still craving that feta as I write this review. There wasn’t a bit left on the plate, only four happy campers.
Gourmet pizza has always been my favorite. What makes a gourmet pizza? Specialty toppings like house-made Sicilian-style sliced meatballs, fresh parmigiano reggiano, fresh basil and house-made marinara on top of crisp, golden made-from-scratch crust. Now that, my friends, is the perfect gourmet pizza — rich and savory with a hint of delicious sweetness at the end.
Fettuccini Alfredo with perfectly seasoned grilled chicken, was another hit at the table — ever so decadent with a creamy texture reminiscent of my grandma’s cooking, but with a little extra flavor and pizazz. The rich flavor of the parmigiano reggiano came out in every bite — a true delight.
Last was the light and elegant panna cotta (Lenny’s suggestion) — the blood orange sauce that accompanies this fragrant, creamy goodness is simply delightful. The essence of citrus really makes this dish along with the freshly prepared whipped cream surrounded by strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. It was luscious, flavorful and beautifully presented.
If you are looking for a unique dining experience with great food and impeccable service, check out The Raven’s Nest. The menu boasts a very nice variety of appetizers, soup and salad, pasta, pizza and signature dishes (USDA-certified Angus 20 oz. ribeye, chicken cordon bleu, seared salmon, Greek hen, Corvina sea bass and Neptune’s risotto).
The Raven’s Nest, at 42458 60th St. West in Quartz Hill, 661-579-6982, is open for dinner daily at 5 p.m.