With an invitation to sample one of the island’s newest restaurants,
three ladies piled into the purple love bug (aka golf cart) and headed
out for an evening of delicious cuisine. We had no idea what to expect,
other than the promise of a fine dining experience – tablecloth dining
at that -the perfect outing for us girls on a Friday night!
Judyann and Tom Horton took their time working on Black Orchid’s
concept, perfecting the building, its offerings and a menu that will
not overwhelm one with choices, but rather, guarantees that any dish
ordered will satisfy. With a thatched roof, eclectic décor (there’s a faux
ruin against one wall, plus a variety of ethnic masks and wood carvings),
and even privacy nooks, Black Orchid has much to offer the discerning
But, as most of our evenings start, we kicked things off with cocktails.
Bartender Kenny brings out three signature cocktails for us to sample
and decide on. The Black Orchid, named for its
visual presentation: a mix of liquors/liqueurs
that create an ‘orchid’ floating in the cocktail.
It is not too sweet, but at once creamy and
refreshing. The Fire Coral is a pretty blend
of strawberry daiquiri and piña colada: fresh
macerated strawberries are reduced to a syrupy
consistency, and it blends in beautifully with the
coconut/pineapple blend. Janelle, our newest
reporter declared it her instant favorite. “It’s
like sipping strawberry jam!” Indeed, each sip
brought with it a hit of the fresh strawberries to
mix with the creamy colada – super delicious,
almost dessert-like. Yummy!
And just when we thought we had found the
one, the last cocktail arrives for us to taste and
approve: the Key Lime Pie Martini. Yes, a liquid
version of the popular dessert is now available!
It is gorgeous – with its lime and pie flavors that
combine to make you feel as though you were
drinking dessert. And we hadn’t even started dinner
yet!! What a glorious welcome that was – we
couldn’t wait to see what was on the menu after
Our server Julie had brought over menus for us
to peruse, and with the bacon-wrapped stuffed
mushrooms and shrimp dip begging to be picked, we place our
appetizer order. We browse the menu further, appreciative of the fact
that it is not overwhelming with choices. Immediately calling our name
is the lasagna, which promises to be fresh and flavorful. The spicy shrimp
looks good too – who can resist spicy seafood?! With the meat-lover’s
favorite, Ribeye steak with traditional mashed potatoes and vegetables,
our dinner order is complete and we sit back to enjoy our appetizers.
The mushrooms arrive first – and we get ready to dig in. Even if you
aren’t a fan of mushrooms, it’s really hard to resist a fresh mushroom
stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled/seared to a
delicious crisp. The bacon adds tons of flavor and the earthy mushrooms
are the perfect receptacle for the creamy cheese and bacon fat - what
a delicious ‘healthy’ bite.
The bowl of shrimp dip arrives and we eagerly dig in with the warm,
crispy bites of bread. The dip is super creamy and cheesy, with succulent
bites of shrimp that positively hop onto the bread. Yum!! Between bites,
we discuss what else we could do if we had access to vats of this warm,
cheesy dip, and the thought of bathing some fettuccine noodles in this
creamy concoction is the winner. But just as it was served, slathered
on buttery bites of crisp bread, it is a wonderful way to start our food
journey at Black Orchid.
Three main dishes arrive as we’re polishing off the appetizers, our
taste buds quivering in anticipation of the culinary delights that await us.
A beautiful Lasagna Boat, tempting Spicy Shrimp in sweet-hot sauce
and two glorious hunks of red meat (Ribeyes) grace our table. Where
Why with the first bite of course. The lasagna
is made with fresh, handmade noodles,
layered with cheese, meat and marinara
sauce with some vegetables sneakily tucked
in to add a variety of flavors. It is not heavy
at all, rather, the lasagna is a satisfying
testament to each ingredient’s flavor and
freshness. Even Janelle, little Miss “I hate
vegetables” found herself polishing off every
bite: “It’s so good!!”
By now, you know how we do it, everyone
sneaks bites of each other’s dish – and
next up on my agenda was tackling the very
tempting, saucy shrimp. A ring of battered
and fried shrimp in a golden sauce surrounds
fluffy white rice. The shrimp is crisp and
sweet, with a wonderful spicy kick tempered
by the rice. Honey and pepper have never
tasted so good combined! Whatever the
secret ingredient is, the shrimp shows it off
magnificently, and it’s all I can do to control
myself from taking the dish for myself.
But what awaits me? Two beautifully
grilled rounds of Ribeye steak, with the
classic char marks that just beg you to dig
in. Cooked to a medium rare, the steak is
perfect for a meat-lover. The marinade has
penetrated and each bite is flavorful, but the
meat is what shines through - carnivores rejoice!
The smashed potatoes and vegetable
medley are the right accompaniments to the
juicy steaks, letting them shine and offering
bites of comfort in between each bite of beef.
We all agree we have made the perfect
choices – for that evening – but now our mission
is to try the other items on the menu!
Our next visit will have to include a taste
test of the fettuccine Alfredo, or maybe the teriyaki chicken – there is a variety in flavors waiting to be explored! Judyann has insisted
that despite our (very weak) protests, we must try the desserts. The key lime pie martini
sounds about right, but we must be good and stick to the actual dessert menu!
Our dessert orders included raisin rum ice
cream, lemon bar pie paired with Gilbert’s
Tawny Port (aren’t I getting all fancy having
port with my dessert!) and an Italian Kiss (no,
they don’t have handsome Italians at the ready
to kiss you…I am sure you can put in a request,
but it’ll cost you!)
The ice cream comes in from Ladyville, and
is handmade, creamy goodness! Not overwhelmingly
sweet, the cooling ice cream melts
pleasantly, and quite ‘rummily’. Delicious and
actually a light finish to the meal. One could
order just a slice of lemon bar pie, but Black
Orchid offers dessert pairings, which, frankly,
is a most excellent idea! Have a bite of super
delicious, sweet-tart pie and sip some warm
port. It is such a good combination, I believe port is going
to be a fixture in my life (with or without dessert).
Tamara’s Italian Kiss is, alas, not the handsome Italian
I envisioned, but rather, a liquid dessert. How would she
have ever explained a kissing Italian anyway? It was far
less complicated really, to have a Courvoisier with a bit of
Chambord –quite potent and warming.
Black Orchid made for super happy bellies all around,
and with eyelids drooping, we had to figure out how to
make it back home without falling asleep halfway home.
Such delicious food, good drinks and fun company are the
perfect ingredients for a long, delicious nap afterward! With
dreams of coming back to try the other items on the menu,
and perhaps revisit a few of our favorites, we make our way
to the cart and drive home, happy, satisfied customers.
Black Orchid Restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays,
from 9am till 9pm, and on Sangria Sundays, from 9am – 2pm. Can you imagine a sunny
Sunday spent out on their patio, sipping
sangria and digging into a Seafood
or Chili Omelet? Even a quick
lunch stop will have your taste buds
singing, so the next time you take a
leisurely drive down south, past the
croc/WASA pond, be sure to stop in
at Black Orchid – you will love it! Call
for reservations at 206-2441.
From The San Pedro Sun