A quick lunch yesterday, we thought we’d check out the Bistro at this modern winery but it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (bizzarely, since you would think they’d rather close the “main” restaurant). Asara now have a very modern luxury hotel as of May 2008, complete with a Grand Ballroom for conferences and weddings and two restaurants, Raphael’s for French-inspired cuisine and Bistro & Tapas for lighter Mediterranean meals.So we ended up at Raphael’s which has a great setting, good service – and a very curious menu that could belong to a steakhouse, certainly not to this “fancy” hotel. However, the longer I looked at this place, the more anodyne international-hotel it looked and the less I liked it, notwithstanding all the money spent.
There’s also a fantastic home and kitchen-goods shop on the property that seems deeply misplaced – surely it belongs in a mall? Will people come to a winery/hotel to buy upscale coffee machines and plates?Anyway, the food at Raphael’s is ordinary and certainly not worth the drive (it’s the kind of food that, as soon as it arrives, you lose interest in eating it). However the Bistro menu is far more exciting and I have heard some good things, so perhaps next time?