The Best Thing I Ate This Week: Pacifica's Pan Roasted Lamb Chops

Pan-roasted lamb chops from Pacifica

Anne Leonard

If you don’t already know, Pacifica Little Bar Bistro is a local’s spot. The oceanfront atmosphere translates to its hipster-surf vibe in that it’s laid back, dimly lit—sometimes via fireplace—with the music playing hushed beneath the chatter, at least if you’re there before the late night crew. Their menu changes seasonally and is often a quirky combination of ingredients served tapas style, which is really an ideal serving to get the right amount of flavor until moving on to the next sampling. Pacifica’s menu is divided by cold and hot tapas. The cold side entails some sort of salad, edamame, a funky bread and butter (which changes often throughout each season), a charcuterie and cheese plate, as well as an array of whatever other tasty things they have up their sleeves. The hot items are typically meat options, deep fried goods, a seasonal soup and other delicious offerings.

Their cocktail and martini lists have a personality all on their own with comments following the ingredients like, “You should have more fish in your diet” for their Red Snapper. The husband, Cody, and I often drop in for these sassy drinks or beers and an order of s’mores—which are a no-brainer whenever we go—or when I’m in attendance with anyone else. But on this particular evening, we hadn’t eaten dinner and decided to delve into their summer menu. First things first, Cody went for his obligatory I.P.A. by Green Flash Brewing Company and I my stout, which was Dark Hollow by Afton, Virginia’s Blue Mountain Brewery.

Drinks in hand, we mulled over the summer menu. It’s not too often that I choose a meat-driven item. Instead of my typical hummus du jour or crostini choices, I decided to detour and venture the meat and potatoes route. I ordered the pan-roasted lamb chops with new potatoes and a mint julep pesto while the husband craved a steak dish. Our food was served in a jiffy. Divided beneath the lamb chops were a handful of small, red new potatoes chopped and tossed with herbs and olive oil rubbing shoulders with the flared flavorings of mint julep pesto. This is exactly what you're imagining. It’s a reduction of mint julep ingredients—bourbon, simple syrup, and mint—meshed with pesto. It has a boozy sweetness that I can’t quite compare to any pesto I’ve had before, but it worked. Dipping the savory, succulent lamb chops in the pesto was divine. Cooked to perfection, which in my case is medium rare, the lamb paired perfectly with my stout and its smoky bourbon-coffee afterbite. 

Since Pacifica’s summer offerings are ending soon, I recommend you make your way to the beach and pair this ravishing dish with a chilled stout and an order of s’mores.

Pacifica is open every day from 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Check out their website and Facebook page for more information and debuts of their seasonal menu changes.

Pacifica Restaurant

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