Lantana has set a new bar for dining in Fresno. A girlfriend and I went to Lantana for dinner the other night. I didn't even know that the place was open. We were walking to the Dirty Olive and I saw a waiter setting up their patio tables. I didn't even realize a restaurant was going in before that.
We decided to check it out. As you walk in through the large black double doors you are immediately struck by the lovely aesthetics of the restaurant. The reservation desk is immediately to the right facing the bar on your left. just pass the bar is an intimate banquet room that seats around 25, and the most gorgeous dining room I have ever seen with long windows that capture a fantastic view. It seats upward of 100 people.
As we were not really dressed for fine dining which this place definitely is, we decided to dine in the bar. The bar is not especially large - it seats probably eight at the bar and has only two tables, but it is directly behind the patio, which is large, beautiful and in this gorgeous weather where you would probably rather be.
I should mention that the architecture in the bar is really cool and there is a grand piano, which I hope will be utilized. We ordered a variety of appetizers and cocktails. We started off with the crapese salad, which has to be the simplest and yet most delicious salads you could ever enjoy. But don't be fooled, as a connosieur of crapese salads, I am often surprised at how often they aren't good. Lantana has the best one I have ever eaten. It was made with vine ripened red, orange and yellow tomatos, a truly fragrant, flavorful young basil, olive oil, and the most essential ingredient a delicious moist mozzarella.
We then tried the lobster crab cakes, they were soft (it seems like a lot of establishments overcook them) and delicate in flavor, plus their tartar sauce is delicious. We rounded out our meal with the seared ahi appetizer that was very fresh - wonderful - with a soy and green onion sauce.
I didn't have any of the entrees but Lantana is primarily a steakhouse, with a rather extensive wine list. I spoke with sommelier Spencer Burton regarding the list. As of now the wine list primarily focuses on california wines, but Burton is revising the wine list to feature at least a few wines from every region, like chile, Argentina, France, Italy, and Australia. "As a Steakhouse, I think it is especially important to have a variety of wines to choose from."
The service was prompt and our bartender was extremely attentive. In fact everybody I spoke with was extremely courteous and attentive. No doubt due to excellent training by General Manager, Craig Kirby, who has extensive experience in fine dining establishments, and is a genuinely nice guy.
While Lantana has been open for a little under two weeks, their grand opening is this Friday. Give it a try, you will be truly impressed
Lantana is located at 9455 N. Fort Washington Road in the Riverview Shopping centre. For reservations please call 559-434-1546