Pacific Eating House: Blown out of the Water 🐳

Guest Pick:
Pacific Eating House
1130 Sterling Ridge Dr.
Fare: Asian Pacific inspired
Cost: $$$
Reservations: Recommended

Greetings, Eaters and Readers!

With Nebraska and Iowa steadily reopening most public or shared spaces, we headed out for June’s food-adventure with a friend tagging along. If you remember, once a quarter, we invite someone to join us. This month, my friend, coworker and ultimate foodie Megan joined us and was given the gift of choosing where we ate. True to foodie expectations, she quickly consulted her personal list of places she had been wanting to try and chose Pacific Eating House (PEH).

We met up on a Tuesday after work and gathered around one of Omaha’s newest and most inspired menus. Owned and operated by the same duo who run Twisted Cork, PEH makes good on the owners’ desire to bring Omaha ‘wild and natural’ dishes. According to their website, they opened PEH and Twisted Cork with a commitment to wholesome, sustainable fare. In doing so, they also succeed at presenting diners with creative, delicious plates.

Listed left to right, starting top left:
Amigos Caliente: Casamigos tequila jalapeño, cherry, lime, mezcal – $14
Puffer Punch: Ocean vodka, Cachaca spirit, Aperol, pineapple, mango – $14
Zombie: Passoa passion fruit, Cointreu, Flor de Cana rum, orange, lemon – $14
Ocean Vodka: Vodka soda with splash of lime – $9
50 Shades of Grey: Earl Grey infused bourbon, banana liquor, lime – $12

Megan, beating us both to the restaurant, asked the server for recommendations and was pleasantly surprised with her first cocktail.  She loves Bourbon and noticed a drink called 50 Shades of Grey. She was a bit hesitant that it had banana liqueur as that wasn’t a flavor she was too excited about. However, it was very balanced and no flavor over-powered the other. She notes it would be a refreshing summer cocktail even for those who aren’t big bourbon drinkers. 

Megan also enjoyed her second cocktail – which was the Amigos Caliente.  It was fruity and spicy and would be perfect for a hot summer night sitting on their covered patio.

I quickly spied the Puffer Punch and also asked the server for her input. She confirmed it was as delightful as it reads. That it comes to the table in an adorable puffer-fish shaped beverage receptacle was just a fun bonus I didn’t know about. One sip for each of us and we all agreed it was one of those dangerous fun drinks – almost too easy to drink and quite delicious. When my punch was gone, I opted for a glass of one of their featured white wines which was as delicious as I needed it to be.

I had also considered the Zombie, but Jaclyn beat me to it. Tropically sweet, she said it went down fast and easy. She wanted another, but got an Ocean Vodka instead. Plain and simple, but plenty enjoyable.

Brussels, Cauliflower, Mac Nuts blistered, Thai chili – $9

Although their appetizer options are not numerous, they still offer a good variety and err on the light side so you’re not ruining your appetite, which we appreciate. I discovered last year that I don’t hate Brussels sprouts as much as I thought I did. This particular evening, though, I found that I still prefer them overcooked and crispy-as-you-please. I enjoyed the flavor, but missed the good crunch I’d fallen in love with on my first Brussels sprouts introductions. Megan liked the crunch from the macadamia nuts and noted that the sauce had good flavor and heat that crept up on her.

Filet Mignon: hand cut, 6-ounce Piedmontese, pasture-raised, demi-glacé, grilled asparagus, roasted Gorgonzola potato – $32

I spent the better part of the week leading up to our dinner pouring over the menu and was having the hardest time deciding what sounded better. They have a burger that sounds wonderful, as well as salads and numerous fresh fish options.

In the end, steak sounded right for this particular Tuesday night – and it was. Perhaps smaller than my Midwest eyes always want to see, the filet was delicious and perfectly cooked. Moist and flavorful, I completely cleaned my plate.

Le Quartier Baguette, $1.25 each
Mulligatawny: spicy curry, apple, galangal, almond, paprika, coconut milk, Jasmine rice – $6

The Mulligatawny soup came recommended by both our server and Megan, who had previously enjoyed it at Twisted Cork. So Jac went for it. She stirred in the jasmine rice that laid at the bottom of the bowl and inhaled the fragrant Indian spices before taking her first bite.

And what a phenomenal first bite it was. Creamy with a subtle spice and just a little bit sweet. The rice and small pieces of almond added a nice texture. Jac’s bowl was empty in no time and she wished she’d ordered another to go.

Bibimbap Bowl: Salmon, scallop, Yuzu rice, carrots, bean sprout, shiitake, sesame, tamari, kimchi, kale, goghujang, sunny egg – $25

Megan had been thinking about the Bibimbap Bowl all day. It was her first experience trying it and she loved it. The scallops were wonderful and it had a good-sized piece of salmon. She was a bit nervous to try something so different, but she’s happy she did. She enjoyed all the awesome flavors and the fresh veggies. She’d order it again and share with a friend to try other menu options, as the portion was quite large.

Lemon Mousse: whipped cream, pirouette cookie – $6
Citrus Cheesecake: Laura’s creation – $6
Nanaimo Bar – $6

Jac’s lemon custard was the perfect ending to her meal. Not too sweet and not too tart, this creamy creation was perfectly delightful.

Since we all enjoyed our own dessert, I was finally able to indulge in my beloved cheesecake. I don’t know that I’ve ever had citrus cheesecake before but I know I’ll definitely have it again – if PEH’s version is any indication of what to expect. Cool, dense and light but flavorful – it was a great ending to a great meal.

Megan loved the Nanaimo Bar. It was very rich, but the crust helped balance it out. She was surprised it came with 3 slices as one would have been plenty – a great dessert to share with friends.

Final Bites

For our readers who will want to know how the Pacific Eating House is maintaining safety as the state reopens, PEH seems to have all of the little but important features in place: no shared menus (download or print at home); spaced seating with every other table in use; servers wear masks while customers are not required to; hand sanitizer generously available and – for full service points – PEH even has a basket of toilet paper rolls available for individual purchase.

Jac and I both realized that had Megan not brought Pacific Eating House to our attention, we may not have ever chosen it ourselves. It’s just far enough away from both us and, in all honesty, neither of us gravitates toward seafood. In hindsight, we’re low-key ashamed to even admit that PEH wasn’t on our radar.

Half way through our entrees it started to occur to both of us – we were smack dab in the middle of our next Certified Good Bite. Every sip of a drink and every forkful had more than exceeded our expectations. As we explained to Megan the criteria around CGBs and how we decide if it earns our highest praise – she put it to us and asked: “Would you come back again and keep trying other things on the menu?” That is, without a doubt, a yes.

Open since March (i.e. the very beginning of the pandemic), Pacific Eating House has all the right elements to establish itself as a ‘must try’ restaurant. Megan even called her sister on the way home to rave about it for her next visit home to Nebraska.

Supported by Megan’s personal ‘fork up’, we enthusiastically bestow Pacific Eating House with our 4th ever Certified Good Bite.

The Good Bite Gals (and Megan!)

Feature Image Credit: Pacific Eating House
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