I’m from California, born and raised. I’m a big city girl, Bay Area at heart. I moved my family out to Pennsylvania in 2020, to a small town of roughly 14,000 called Bloomsburg. I’m always asked, “Why would you move and come here?” That my friends is worth a dedicated blog in itself, but to give it straight - California is one of most expensive states in the U.S. My quality of life has improved exponentially, and my money goes so much farther.
There are pros and cons to everything. The pros of moving to a small town have outweighed the cons, but there are some challenges. There isn’t too much diversity and culture. I have to drive about 40 minutes out to see other Latinos…until I found La Malbec restaurant in our little town. Fine dining, at its finest and owned by Ecuadorians. Music to my ears, and I discovered also explosive flavors to my lips.
The hubby and I pawned off the kids to the grandparents and it was on like Donkey Kong (yes, I’m a 90s kid!) We were beside ourselves. We live in a town of 14,000 - not the same as San Jose, population creeping to 1 million! I’ve had many dining experiences, and some in very large cities (Los Angeles, Philly, New York, etc.) So, here it is - La Malbec in Bloomsburg, PA was the finest dining experience I’ve ever had.
I have no complaints and everything was on-point to perfection: service, cuisine, cocktails, and interior design. We dressed fancy and we felt damn good walking underneath warmly lit, decadent glass chandeliers.
First things first, cocktails of course. My hubby ordered a Manhattan and I got a dirty Martini. They couldn’t have been more perfect. Next up, salads. He got the Cesar and I got the beet. My husband grew up with hard core Italian grandparents who owned a catering company. Why do I mention? I learned from my hubby years ago, Cesar salad dressing is either done right or not at all. Apparently when made from scratch it requires an egg yolk. A person raised by Italian grandparents knows the difference. This was the best Cesar dressing we’ve ever had. My beet salad was epic as well, not to mention the peppercorn in grinder sitting on our table; a game changer.
Next up, their specialty cocktail, the Smoked Maple Old Fashioned. We expected a drink brought to our table but we received so much more; a unique dining experience. Watch the video for full impact. Taste - supreme. Delivery, like none other.
Let me remind you, we’re not at the entrees yet. My husband ordered the grilled chicken over pasta and lemon butter sauce. I got the salmon over pureed cauliflower and chopped vegetables. Again, perfection; of taste and plating. Let me start with the grilled chicken over pasta. The lemon butter sauce melted so hard, it left you needing that next bite. When the fork pierced my salmon, it sliced apart so slick with superb tanginess as I slid it across that lemony cauliflower puree.
It doesn’t end there!
We rarely finish dishes when dining. We devoured our salads and entrees. We drank every last drop of our cocktails. We usually pass on dessert…not this time. Two words, creme brulee. I’ve had creme brulee many times and this was by far the best.
The owner came out to our table, Roxanna. I have an Aunt Roxanna, and it felt no different. I felt like the niece of this restaurant. I have a strange affinity to restaurant owners coming out to greet customers at their tables - it’s my favorite.
Take it from a born and bred Californian, a Mexican-American and very cultured person - La Malbec was one of the finest and best dining experiences I’ve ever had.
Check out La Malbec's website here, Facebook page, and Instagram.