A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Dishcrawl: The Fairmont Hotel

Disclaimer: Tracey very graciously gave me two complimentary tickets for this Dishcrawl so I took my friend Laurie who lives in San Jose with me. Even though I was given free tickets, my opinions are my own. :)

Last Tuesday I was given the opportunity to check out a Dishcrawl in San Jose at the Fairmont Hotel which had just finished their remodel. The hotel itself was just beautiful and surprisingly not very echo-y for how large the space was. There were two pianists that used iPads forĀ  their sheet music which I thought was pretty nifty. The entry space had a beautiful chandelier hanging over a central lounge area – I have a love affair with chandeliers so I’m pretty much enamored with any space that has one. All the employees were very nice and did everything they could to make sure we were well taken care of.

The check in for Dishcrawl was a simple folding table set up right before the lounge, and everyone was given a menu and divided into three groups – blue, green and pink. We were able to wander the lounge and get drinks at the bar (holy batman, that bar has pretty much every kind of booze), watch sushi being made and mingle with the other guests.

Tracy is on the left – say hi to her when you go!

While mingling I ran into Tracy who runs/founded Dishcrawl. She is one of the nicest people ever, hands down. I had emailed her, no lie, at least a dozen times the day before trying to get my coupon code to work she even made me my own code at one point to see if that worked. But no, it didn’t, so she talked to the web development team and then emailed me when to try it again. Seriously awesome customer service! She also happens to shoot Canon, which is what I use, and she helped me with my camera settings so I could get pictures in the dim lighting inside. Lesson learned – when shooting at f/1.4 and the pictures are still dark up the ISO! Awesome food AND impromptu camera lesson – amazing.

Sharon was fabulous!

After splitting off into our own groups – I was blue – we were greeted by our “tour guide” blue team’s guide was Sharon who was the perfect guide. She mingled with everyone and wandered from table to table asking what we liked best. And when it was time to go to the next restaurant it never felt rushed. One of the most fun thing (besides the food) about this event was meeting completely new people. Laurie and I met three ladies who had been friends since high school in Gilroy. After one moving to Arizona and life pulling everyone in different directions they all still make time to meet up and go out. How awesome is that? Totally rad.

Clockwise from noon: heirloom tomato shooter, house hickory smoked salmon, crab cake

Our first stop was the Fountain Restaurant which is The Fountain’s California cuisine restaurant. We were treated to three different things: house hickory smoked salmon blinis with caviar and creme fraiche, even though I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan I thought it was delicious; heirloom tomato shooter, the best gazpacho I’ve ever had; dungeness crab cake with basil aioli, oh my lord I was in heaven when I was eating this. The crab cake was crunchy on the outside and perfectly creamy on the inside and the basil aioli added a perfect fresh brightness to the cake to make feel light.

Gluten free! Figs, tomato shooter, and smoked salmon!

Laurie, who went with me, doesn’t eat gluten. But! The Fountain was amazing about it. I asked Cheri Shaw what things had gluten in them and which didn’t, Laurie and I had hoped that the buckwheat pancake that the salmon sat on didn’t contain regular flour but it did. So Cheri very graciously offered to make Laurie a gluten free plate that had just the salmon and caviar, gazpacho and some figs. For the warm afternoon the plate looked so refreshing and delicious.

Cheri Shaw, thank you for making a gluten free plate at a moments notice!

The Fountain is open from 6:30am to 2pm on weekdays and 7:00am to 2pm on weekends for breakfast and lunch. They also have a Sunday brunch that’s served from 10am to 1:30pm. From what I understand, it is a full service brunch at a fixed price of $44 per person. If I remember correctly, it was an all you can eat style brunch with the usual things and unusual brunch items like sushi. They also do have special occasion brunches for things like New Years and Mother’s Day. I definitely want to go back and try their brunch! They are also (as I mentioned before) very accommodating to different diets, if you have any restrictions just let them know and they’ll do their best to meet them!

Counter-clockwise: tuna and salmon nigiri, spider roll and unagi-hamachi roll (behind the tuna)

After the Fountain our second stop was The Lobby Lounge were we got to taste three different kinds of sushi: fresh tuna and salmon nigiri, delightful and super fresh; spider and unagi-hamachi roll, which were delightfully crispy from being fried by not overly heavy. I also got the lychee martini which was sweet and fruity at first but had a tootsie roll after taste. I’ll definitely order it again, but in case I didn’t feel like a tootsie roll the next time I’m in The Lobby Lounge has over 500 cocktail and martinis to choose from. They also offer up local wine and beer if cocktails and martinis aren’t your thing. The Lobby Lounge has light dishes all the way until midnight and with the relaxing atmosphere I could see myself losing track of time while dining and drinking with friends.

I want to marry those prawns.

The third stop was the Pagoda restaurant which treated us to dungeness crab egg drop soup, it was delightful but didn’t steal the show; honey walnut prawns, THESE stole the show. I wanted all of them; wok fried mango and mint chicken, the mint flavor up front was refreshing but it also had a delightful spice from the ginger mixed in; steamed jasmine rice, normal rice I loved it because jasmine rice is my favorite rice. Laurie and I were talking about how wonderful the shrimp were, the chef also commented that the dishes we were served were made with cornstarch, not flour, and brought some gluten free soy sauce out from the kitchen for Laurie.

So. Much. Dessert.

After all of that, we supposedly still had room for dessert which was up in the suites: The Presidential, The Fairmont, and the International. Sweets in the Suites, I love puns. OMG THE DESSERTS. There were SO MANY. One room had French pastries like elcares, fruit tarts, mango-fennel panna cotta (which Laurie liked, I tried it but I’m not a fan of that kind of texture but the favors were good!). Another room had a chocolate fountain with rice krispies, marshmellows and strawberries to stick in it, there were also truffles, and macaroons. In a third room there were mango, raspberry, lemon and peach sorbets. I loved the lemon and raspberry sorbets. I love peaches but I’ve never been a fan of peach sorbet and I only really like mangos dried because I’m incredibly weird, but I did try them and both of them had wonderful flavors and textures.

I think Dishcrawls are fabulous. The plates were small, but there was so much food I left completely stuffed. The servings were perfect for a nice taste of each restaurant. Tickets are $26 and the events start at 7pm and go til about 10pm. Its definitely a great way to find new restaurants; I’m looking forward to Dishcrawl coming back to Sacramento.

I would also recommend The Fairmont in San Jose to anyone who is looking for a hotel in that area, everything was wonderful I didn’t want to leave the hotel at the end of the night. At 10pm when they started cleaning up the desserts they didn’t make a fuss over people lingering, Laurie and I left around 10:15-10:20 and didn’t feel like we were being forced out. The wait staff, the chefs, the managers were all extremely pleasant and wanted to make sure that everyone was enjoying themselves. I wouldn’t hesitate to book a room there.

1 comment to Dishcrawl: The Fairmont Hotel

You must be logged in to post a comment.