Filet with Gorgonzola Walnut Butter - Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group
Gallery: Stanley's Steakhouse [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
by Jennifer Resnicke
Photography by Dante FontanaTucked inside The National Hotel on Main Street in Jackson, one could easily miss the entrance to Stanley’s. Completely quiet, with the front door’s small glass panels entirely black, there’s no hint of the restaurant and bar behind it.
Once inside, however, everything oozes with old-world elegance and Gold Rush charm: dark woods, plush booths, white tablecloths, light fixtures dripping with crystal, and a small fireplace casting a warm glow on the cream and tan walls.
My dining partner and I started off with grilled wild prawns served with a preserved lemon celery root slaw, cashews, grilled pineapple and salsa verde. The dish had a tropical flair to it, and the zingy slaw even upstaged the prawns. Next up was a truly incredible German Butterball potato soup with roasted mushrooms, crostini, Gruyère and white truffle oil. It was creamy, rich and perfectly smooth—eschewing the fine grit that most potato soups leave behind. The savory flavors danced across our palates in perfect harmony.
For entrées, my husband opted for the seared duck breast with coconut curry-braised baby bok choy, baby shiitake mushrooms and jasmine rice. The duck was simple but rich, and taking a bit of mushroom with some of the curry sauce alongside it brought the entire dish to life. I absolutely had to try the filet with Gorgonzola walnut butter and toasted mushroom barley. The steak knife was really more of a formality since the meat was so soft you hardly had to cut it. Not to be outdone, the barley side was a bold accompaniment with just-enough heft and subtlety to round out the entrée.
To be entirely honest, my husband had to talk me into the Primitivo spice cake for dessert. I was happy he did. It arrived bubbling around the edges with a purple hue forming over the white ramekin (showcasing the wine in its name). As opposed to the one-note chocolate barrages of other offerings, the smooth, dense and brownie-like cake was a cascade of layered flavors: cinnamon, chocolate, berry and the distinct tannic tang of wine. It was a sultry ending, indeed, to an old-world decadent evening.
Stanley’s Steakhouse - Jackson, CA