Wine a key ingredient at Bentley’s

I love a quality steakhouse. Once through the front door, the décor, the courteous service, the white table cloths on the rich walnut tables, the worldly red wines and steaks on the menu all promise a memorable dining experience.
Bentley’s Steak and Chop House in Encinitas adds one more savory essential for the success story that it is: unbeatable value!
I first learned of this dining oasis when I attended a premium winemaker event to present Nick Goldschmidt and his Goldschmidt, Boulder Bank and Forefathers line of fine wines. Goldschmidt is a globe-trotting, nonstop wine impresario. He led wine production and marketing for world class producers in eight countries over 20 years including New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile and now in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma in California. He has a PhD in horticulture and sources his own grapes.
Under his name brand, Goldschmidt offers a wide range of labels and varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and several blend offerings. All wines are single vineyard, single appellation and single vintage. What stood out for me was his 2006 Vborny Vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet. The vineyard sits on a knoll just East of Geyserville. This provides excellent exposure for the grapes and allows a long hang time. The cab possesses rich, concentrated flavors, a signature for the skills of Nick Goldschmidt and his most important accomplishment.
Bentley’s has been offering this kind of quality both in their wines and menu items. It’s a product of some 40 years of experience that the owners have in the steak restaurant business.
Dave Reese, the general manager since the day Bentley’s opened in June 2008, grew up on a 2,000-acre cattle ranch and gets to the heart of Bentleys when he says “we all share the same vision that everything must be of the highest value. We hand-cut our USDA prime center-cut filet mignon. Our presentations must be a perfect fit for the diner and over-deliver on quality. When I select wines for the menu, I refuse to know the price. If I feel it’s a worthy wine then it must come under our price estimates, so we can pass it on to the customer.”
Passing value on to the customer has kept Bentley’s increasing its popularity, even as the restaurant business is hanging on nationwide decreasing numbers and even tougher spending numbers in restaurants and bars, down more than 3 percent last year.
At Bentley’s you can enjoy a “Super Sunday” full dinner of your choice of center cut Filet Mignon, Salmon or Prime Rib including hot bread and a side dish for $15. “Surf and Turf” Mondays are equally generous with a choice of Whiskey Peppercorn Flatiron Steak, Filet Mignon or Prime Top Sirloin for $15. Add $10 more for a “Surf” choice of Lobster, Shrimp Scampi or King Crab Legs.
Reservations are suggested for this super popular value combination by calling (760) 632-9333.
This same team that owns Bentley’s has operated Carver’s Steak and Chops in Rancho Bernardo. Check for almost daily wine specials in the bar and dining room, like half-price wines and free corkage for your bottle. When I last checked, Bentley’s was running a premium bottle of wine with dinner for just $15.
Bentley’s is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday and dinner Monday through Sunday at 5 p.m. Cocktail hour is Monday through Friday 2 to 6:30 p.m. For the full menu and wine list, go to www.bentleyssteak.com. For more on Nick Goldschmidt, visit www.goldschmidtvineyards.com.
Wine Bytes
— The Crossings Golf Course Country Club in Carlsbad is hosting a Monte Carlo Night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 6 to benefit Friends of Aviara Schools. Enjoy wine and other libation tastings, appetizers, Vegas-style gaming, and raffle drawings. Cost is $85 per person. RSVP at (760) 602-9727.
— Become a Certified Specialist of Wine with classes by Charrie Foglio, wine instructor for the San Diego Culinary Institute. First classes start March 8 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at San Diego Wine Storage. For details, call (619) 244-4224 or e-mail sommelierguild@cs.com.
Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido welcomes Rupert Symington of Symington Family Estates from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 10 with great Portuguese wines including ports.  Cost is $20 in advance. Call (760) 745-1200 for details.
— La Costa Wine Company offers “The Truth About Wine & Cheese,” from 3 to 5 p.m. March 13. Learn about textures, aroma and flavors. Four artisan cheeses and five wines will be tasted. Public cost is $40. WC members are $36 and couples are $68. Call (760) 431-8455 for details.
— The second annual Rhythm & Vine, a music, food and wine festival in Escondido’s North County Fair Mall off I-15, will be held starting at 6 p.m. April 17 to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Diego County. Sixty award-winning wineries and 35 top chefs from gourmet restaurants will be on hand, including three live concerts, all for the general admission price of $75 in advance, $100 at the door. A VIP package is available for $125 in advance, $150 at the door. Look for the silent auction. Applications are still being accepted for wineries, breweries, spirits and restaurants. Space is free with a donation to the event’s silent auction. Ticket information is available by calling (858) 578-9463, or visit www.rhythmandvine.org.

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