This post is in partnership with Cadillac
Living in Southern California endears you to automotive culture whether you realize it or not. In fact, I never thought about cars until I moved here, and my personal relationship with them changed forever. Of course, there are those whose interest in them knows no bounds, and whenever I’m with my car friends I love hearing what’s around the corner and what’s new in terms of design and performance.
So when the invitation to attend Cadillac’s Road to Table event came my way, I immediately replied with a resounding YES. Founded in 1902, Cadillac is legendary as we all know, and the novel hook of the event reeled me in instantly. Food and cars? Yes please.
So what was the event about? Cadillac partnered with Saveur Magazine to present their concept of “Road to Table,” which combined a fantastic dinner, a stunning location, and the opportunity to test drive the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS Sedan and be chauffeured home in the next-generation 2015 Cadillac Escalade. With events in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, and Orange County (where I attended), this was a fantastic way to learn a bit more about the design process, see where the brand is headed, talk about performance, snap some photos, and enjoy a meal at Studio Restaurant located at the Montage in Laguna Beach.
The event began at Seven Degrees, also in Laguna Beach, where we were greeted with small bites and drinks. An entire fleet of 2014 CTS Sedans was waiting, and I was able to test drive a fully-featured model that left me giddy. I wish I could report back to you on the car’s performance (which was nothing short of amazing), but my brain is filled with details of the vehicle’s creature comforts and tech features. Cadillac calls it a “driver-focused interior,” and they certainly mean it. On the model I drove, the heads-up display projected my speed, along with the posted speed limit, directly onto the windshield Since it was a warm evening (and I wore a jacket!), I appreciated the air-conditioned leather seats and was sad when my short drive from Seven Degrees to the Montage was over.
Greeted by glasses of wine, a breathtaking view and the first ever 2014 ELR, Cadillac’s range-extending electric coupe with gas generator, guests immediately made their way to the back patio of Studio Restaurant to take in the views. The sun was setting, so can you blame us? Passed appetizers, more wine, and then a sunset.
After a few words from Chef Craig Strong, we all sat down to enjoy dinner, which started with Hamachi sashimi with kiwi, celery, kaffir lime, and trout caviar; followed by seared swordfish with spicy lentils, okra, amaranth, and piperade sauce or grilled beef tenderloin with maple potatoes, broccoli, and bordelaise sauce; and ended with “Textures of Grapefruit,” which was segments of grapefruit with grapefruit-flavored marmalade, sorbet, granita, cream, sauce and foam. Guests enjoyed the Foley Chardonnay from the Santa Rita Hills and the Montagna Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. And while I tried my hardest to snap some shots of the meal, the sun set rather quickly and you know how I feel about flash in restaurants. It’s a no-no. Let’s just say that everyone was delighted with Chef Strong’s menu and I can’t wait to return.
After dinner, we were all whisked away into 2015 Escalades, and I shall tell you this: I could get extremely comfortable having someone take me home after dinner in a luxurious, spacious vehicle like this. And what a smooth ride! I’m pretty sure the driver had to kick me out . . . but I’ll save that story for another time.
Opening collage and final dessert image credit Greensky, used by permission.
Thanks to Cadillac for a creative, engaging, wonderful way to experience their vehicles and to Saveur for a beautiful dinner. Special thanks to Montage Laguna Beach and Chef Craig Strong for the view and the great hospitality. This post was sponsored by Cadillac.