I’ve taken my sweet time writing this post. In fact, I’ve waited so long, I’ve even been back to the restaurant since! Michael Warring is tucked away in the Hiddenbrook community of Vallejo, you would never stumble upon it, it’s a destination and a trip worth taking.
A dream in the making for the past three years, the restaurant is run single-handedly by the Chef Michael and his girlfriend Ali. The space was previously an ice cream shop. Minor modifications were made to turn it into a full service restaurant where Michael mans the kitchen while Ali handles the service. There may be a dishwasher on a busy night but aside from that, it is a 2 person operation.
Michael Warring is a pioneer in an emerging style of dining; this is the real ‘chefs table’. Similar to what you would experience in a sushi bar, the focus of the room and the evening is on the kitchen and the man running it. I loved watching Chef Warring thrive in his tiny workspace. When he is cooking, he is clearly in a focused state of mind. His hand instinctively knows the location and placement of everything, he is in total control of his domain and the results are phenomenal.
On both visits we enjoyed completely different menus, both were equally creative and well executed. Above is the salad of full moon greens with a blackberry coulis, walnuts and vanilla oil. The vanilla oil adds a great dimension to the salad and the presentations is beautiful with the borage flowers. Below is the house made cappelini with sweet italian peppers and butter poached lobster. I am certain this is the best lobster tail I have had, ever. It was perfectly prepared and I fear I will never have anything like it again.
The meat portions are very generous! Lats visit we enjoyed roast breast of Moscovy duck with summer squash, young potatoes, corn mousse, mustard glaze. On this visit, we were served a filet of brandt beef with roasted tomatillos, beets and carrots. It was delicious! In the photo, it appears to be quite rare; cooking sous-vide yields this look and the meat is quickly browned in the pan before serving.