Steppin’ Out – The Hindquarter House

Hindquarter House“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four; unless there are three other people.”
Orson Welles

The Hindquarter House, a restaurant with a bar in the town of Pilot Hill, has been around for some time. About three years ago Lesa Dalthorp took it over and has made it a very special place for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

One of the secrets to their success is that they have their own garden and herb garden, and buy as much as they can fresh from local farmers. That, along with the care she and her son, Josh, take in the kitchen in both food preparation and presentation, makes this a very special restaurant to visit.

“Windfall” owner Robert Henderson and I were invited to sample a few things. When we showed up, we found out we were going to be treated to an unexpected three hour gourmet banquet.

Dalthorp told us she wanted us to try several dishes that they were testing for the new menu that comes out next week, as she started us off with a nice Caesar salad, made with a delicious, house made dressing. That was followed by some of the best New England style clam chowder I have eaten (on the east, west and southern coasts of our great country): full of clams and deliciously creamy.

Henderson remarked to me that the potatoes, which didn’t overpower the taste of the clams, were perfect in texture. Dalthorp said they bake them somewhat before slicing them up for the chowder.

With the first dishes we were also served an Alpenglow-Blackberry spritzer that really woke up the palate.

The next dish was grilled shrimp kabobs with pineapple chunks and peppers. They came with a fresh peach-mango margarita and, for dipping, their spicy adobo sauce.

I’m a hot food freak, but wow, that was spicy…but very good. By the way, the fresh peach, mango margarita paired wonderfully with it (and cooled it a bit).

We were next served their barbecued babyback ribs with their own, very, very good barbecue sauce (the kind that gives no heartburn). The ribs were very meaty and perfectly done, as the meat pulled off the bone with a gentle tug. This, by the way, is where we decided it might be a good idea to pack up some of the food for later.

The next course was Bistro Chicken which was lightly seasoned and beautifully served in an herb infused white wine sauce and accompanied by garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes, spinach and more. Everything on the plate was delicious, especially the spinach of which I ate all.

Henderson took most of this dish home to share, and said to me after he tried it, “This is what I would call elegant home cooking!”

Next (only two more courses) was a ribeye steak with a zinfandel reduction demiglace, potato croquettes and flash fried, fresh vegetables.

The steak was medium-rare and tender and the flavorful demiglace did not overpower it. The potato croquettes were unique and delicious and the vegetables were still crisp, yet tender and full of flavor. With it we were served a glass of Boeger Barbera, which complemented the dish wonderfully.

The final dish was what they call Monkey Pie. It is a vanilla wafer crust with a hard coating of chocolate, then covered with bananas and vanilla pudding and topped with whipped cream. With it we were served their version of a yummy chocolate-strawberry martini.

It was a great and delicious ending for a great meal, a meal during which I used at least nine napkins and one handy wipe. For dinner that evening…I ate nothing.

The menu at the Hindquarter house is several pages long and in summary, includes for breakfast, an enormous variety of omelets, scrambles and something they call “belly busters,” along with a special section of under $5 items.

For lunch there are lots of starters or appetizers, their famous half-pound burgers, including a real buffalo burger, several kinds of great sandwiches (they cure and smoke their own corned beef and pastrami) and a Caesar or Steak and Bleu cheese salad, both of which can be served as a wrap.

For dinner, which is served from 5 p.m. on, you can enjoy steaks, the great babyback ribs, chicken dishes and pasta dishes, along with soup and their fresh salad bar that is cleverly kept in an old bathtub. And, on Friday and Saturday, prime rib and a “Fresh from the Sea” special.

I asked about the top selling dishes and was told they are chicken fried steak and biscuits and gravy at breakfast, the French dip sandwich (made with prime rib) and the jalapeno and Black and Bleu burgers at lunch. At dinner, it is steaks and their delicious babyback ribs, which often sell out, so get there early.

Oh, ask about their “Release the Kracken.” special meal for competitive eaters.

To accompany your meal, they have a full bar, emphasizing local beers and wines, along with coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks and more.

Their menu changes by the season and availability of ingredients. Call first to be sure they have what you want.

The Hindquarter House is located at 4400 Highway 49 in Pilot Hill (next to the post office) and is open Friday through Monday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 until 9, serving just lunch and dinner. For more information call (530) 885-8058.

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